Maximizer CRM Basics: Importing Data into Maximizer
Importing Address Book data is something that every Maximizer user needs to do at one time or another. Importing data is one of the first things that any new user does as part of the initial Maximizer setup process, and existing users can make use of import functionality as well to import new lists of leads or periodic imports of new contact lists.
Since it is such an important part of not only the initial setup of your Maximizer Address Book but also its ongoing maintenance, Maximizer Web Access and Maximizer CRM Live allow you to import contact information into your Address Book from a variety of sources, including
previous Maximizer versions, Microsoft Outlook, and comma-separated values and tab-delimited files.
Maximizer XML Import
If you’ve recently made the move to Maximizer CRM Live from an earlier version of Maximizer, no doubt you’ll want to bring along your existing Maximizer Address Book data. If so, a Maximizer XML/MXI import is probably the easiest way to import data from an existing Maximizer installation or from a previous version.
Maximizer’s XML format “Maximizer XML Interchange”, or MXI for short, allows you to export much of your Address Book data, including your companies and contacts, opportunities, user-defined fields, notes, and documents. You’ll find instructions to help you export your existing Address Book data to Maximizer’s XML format in the “Administration for Maximizer” chapter of your Maximizer CRM User’s Guide. If you don’t have a copy, you can find links to download the User’s Guide for your version of Maximizer on Maximizer’s customer support website.
Once you’ve exported your existing Maximizer data, all you need to do is upload the exported file to Maximizer CRM Live and Maximizer’s import engine will take care of the rest. When the import is complete, all of the imported entries will be added to a Favorite List so that you can easily retrieve the list of imported entries at any time.
Microsoft Outlook Import
Another common import format that is also handy during the initial setup of your Maximizer CRM Live Address Book is Microsoft Outlook. By using an Outlook import you can get up to speed quickly by adding all of your existing business contacts from Outlook directly into Maximizer in just one step.
You might not have had a reason to use it before, but Outlook has a handy wizard that allows you to export your Outlook contacts to a comma-separated values file. Maximizer’s Microsoft Outlook Contacts import wizard even shows you instructions for how to export your contacts from Outlook (see below). Once you’ve exported your Outlook contacts, you can use the Outlook import wizard to import those contacts into Maximizer Web Access or CRM Live.
Maximizer’s Microsoft Outlook Contacts import wizard will take care of mapping all of the fields from your Outlook contacts to their equivalent basic fields in Maximizer. Maximizer does the import in the background so you can continue working and don’t have to interrupt your day waiting for the import to finish. When you’re done, you’ll get an email with the results of the import. And as with all of Maximizer’s imports, the imported entries will be added to a Favorite List so that you can retrieve them later.
If you’re considering importing your Outlook Contacts into Maximizer, one thing to be aware of is that if you use Maximizer’s Outlook Integration to synchronize your contacts between Outlook and Maximizer, it is possible that you may end up with duplicate entries. So if you are already using or plan to use Maximizer’s Outlook synchronization, you should avoid importing your entries directly from Outlook. Instead, there are some alternate strategies you can use to get your Outlook contacts into Maximizer which I explored in a previous post.
Comma-Separated Values and Tab-Delimited Import
Perhaps the most versatile import method is the comma-separated values or tab-delimited import. With a comma-separated values (CSV) import, you can import data into Maximizer from just about any source you can think of. The tab-delimited import works exactly like the CSV import, but with tab-delimited data files rather than comma-delimited files.
If the application containing your data lets you export to a CSV file, you can import that data into Maximizer. Many applications nowadays will let you save your data to a CSV file, including most spreadsheet and database applications. For example, if you’ve got an Excel spreadsheet of contact data that you’d like to import into Maximizer, all you need to do is to click “Save As” in Excel and select the “CSV” option in the “Save as type” drop-down; it’s as easy as that.
When you import entries from a CSV file you can choose how those entries are imported. You are given the option to import the entries in the file as Companies and Contacts or as Individuals, and you can reformat the entries’ names in Name Case if you’d like. If the entries you’re importing are new leads, you can also have Maximizer mark them as leads as they are imported so that you remember to follow-up on them correctly.
Now, doing a CSV import can take a bit more work than the other import types, as each of the fields from your import file has to be mapped to its corresponding field in Maximizer. When you upload your CSV file, Maximizer reads through the list of fields in the file and attempts to match them to Maximizer fields. If any fields cannot be automatically mapped, you’ll need to select the corresponding Maximizer fields manually.
If you find yourself repeatedly importing from CSV files with the same format, for example a lead list subscription or other regular contact import, Maximizer helps to save you a little time by letting you save your field mappings to the Import Catalog. Subsequently, when importing another file with the same format, you can just load the field mapping from your Catalog without having to enter it all over again.
After you’ve established your field mapping, a CSV import works just the same as the other import types–the import takes place in the background, you’ll get an email when it’s done, and of course, your imported entries will be added to a Favorite List for easy retrieval.
To help you get started with importing your data, the Maximizer team has put together an instructional video which walks you through the import process from start to finish. It is a great place to start if you’re just setting up your new Maximizer Address Book, or if you are looking to import some contacts into your existing Address Book.
If you’re interested in looking up some more information about Maximizer’s various import options, you can find detailed instructions for each of the import methods in the “Maintaining Your Address Book” chapter of your Maximizer CRM User’s Guide. And you can also get help, including step-by-step instructions, right from within Maximizer by clicking the “help” icon in any of the import dialogs.