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Manage Data

This section includes CSV Accounts Update, CSV Leads Update, Update Do-Not-Call phone numbers, Manage Data Export, Manage Data Import, Recording Storage, and Third-Party Call Recording Storage.


Best Practices

Proofs

How To

Importing Data

Import Your Data

Importing data to InsideSales.com is a straightforward task, most often done by taking a spreadsheet file in .CSV format and uploading it into the system. You can also import data automatically through InsideSales.com's Web service back end, but this option will be covered in more detail later. This section focuses solely on uploading data via spreadsheet. The data import function is available from two areas of the site, the Admin tab and from the Campaigns tab. In terms of functionality it makes no difference whether you initiate the import from the Admin or Campaign tab; the only difference is that if you import a through a Campaign, the records are automatically assigned to that campaign when they arrive.

Notice that from the Admin tab you can import accounts, deals/opportunities, and calendar events as well, but for purposes of the ISCA Certification, you'll only need to worry about importing Leads.

Unless you have a reason not to, we to assume that Sysadmins will typically run an import from the Campaigns tab, for a couple of reasons:

  1. By assigning sets of data to campaigns, it makes it much easier to track, sort, and report on the data later on, and
  2. If something were to go awry during a data import, it makes it easier to remove bad data and start over. Before going into the actual import process, however, we've found it highly useful to review some tips about preparing the spreadsheet data.

Setting Up Your Spreadsheet

InsideSales.com supports the industry-standard CSV (comma separated value) file format for data uploads. When placed into Excel™, OpenOffice™, or another compatible database application, the spreadsheet app will render our CSV file into a usable database, we just need to lay out the data in the cells properly and save the file.

Also, to make the upload run smoothly, you'll want to make the top row of the sheet a column header.

For database consistency, separate the first name, last name, account name (the contact's full name if B2C, or company name if B2B), and all address data (address, city, state, zip) into separate columns. When finished the spreadsheet should look something similar to the screenshot.

Formatting Dates

Because InsideSales.com’s database runs on MySQL, dates need to be set with a specific format when being imported from a spreadsheet.

Typically when you input a date into a spreadsheet, such as “April 1, 2007,” the spreadsheet either leaves the date as you enter it, or automatically translates it into some other format it prefers. For example, Excel™ typically changes “April 1, 2007” automatically to read as “04/01/2007.”

However, to have dates uploaded correctly into InsideSales they need to be input as a date with the four-digit year first, followed by the month and day, for example, 2005/07/31.

Luckily, it’s not difficult to change the format. Select the cells (or entire column), and choose the "Format Cells" option. Then you'll specify a “Custom,” or “User-defined” format type.

Enter the date format with the year first—yyyy/mm/dd, as shown.

Address Format

Addresses also need to follow a specific format to work properly when uploaded. All components of the address—street number and name, apartment / suite #, city, state/province, and postal code—must inhabit their own column within the spreadsheet. If addresses are listed in a single data column, then they must be split into their component pieces before being uploaded.

B2C Database Considerations

For companies who market on a business-to-consumer model, most lists don’t have a data column that indicates a “Company” (they’re consumers, not businesses, after all). We highly recommend that you substitute the full name of the contact in place of a company name.

If your sheet only comes with a first name and last name, but no full name and no company name, you’ll want to create a FULL NAME column in the sheet, and then use the CONCATENATE function to merge the first name and last name together (refer to your spreadsheet application's help materials for using the CONCATENATE function).

If you already have a full name column, but there is not a separate column for first name and last name individually, you’ll need to use the Data Text-to-Columns function to split your full names into a separate first and last name.

Consult your spreadsheet application's documentation for the Text-to-Columns feature if you need help using this function.

Importing the Leads

Once our spreadsheet is mapped and the needed changes are done, we can go ahead and start our data upload. Go to the Campaigns tab, and look for a campaign to upload the data to, or click the Manage Data Import link inside your Admin tab.

After clicking the Import Leads action, the system will take us to the first step of our data upload process.

Step 1

First, click the Browse button on the page and find the saved .CSV spreadsheet file on your computer. For purposes of this training, we assume that you will only be importing a list of names. In most cases, you will not ever use the Import Notes, Import Tasks, or Import Events options. These are used primarily for importing data from an existing database, such as ACT!.

Unique Companies Option

Notice the check mark option for All leads are from unique companies. This is a key element of doing a database upload, particularly for business-to-business (B2B) users. By default this option is selected, meaning that all leads uploaded will arrive as their own unique entry.

However, if you unmark this option, the system will instead assume that all Leads with the same Account name should be linked—in other words, all common contacts at the same organization should cross-reference each other.

For example, in our test spreadsheet, it shows several names with a single company name, ACME, Inc. For most B2B organizations you'd want to relate these Leads together.

However, if there's any question as to which option should be used, leave the All leads are unique companies option selected. If necessary, you can always re-merge common company records down the line.

Once we browse for our CSV file and choose our unique company option, click Upload.

Step 2

After completing the initial upload, the system takes us to the second step in the process. As shown, this step gives us a chance to do a quick inspection of our data, and decide to move on, or go back and re-upload our spreadsheet.

If you've done a good job of pre-formatting the .CSV file, the list should be in good shape and we can quickly continue on. However, if your list was very large, or you’re unsure how "clean" the list was, go ahead and click the Download button. The system will re-parse the list you just uploaded, and create a separate, temporary copy of the .CSV. Save this temporary copy to your hard drive and inspect it, if desired.

If you decide to grab a temporary copy, look at a few of the suggestions on the Step 2 screen, and see if your data has any of the issues listed. If there is any problem with the data, click Go Back and Upload Again and restart the upload.

If our inspection is satisfactory, click Continue and we’ll move on.

Step 3

Step 3 is where we line up all of the column headings in our spreadsheet to the data field in the database. When you first land on the page, the system will have attempted to do some preliminary matching on its own. Any fields marked in yellow will have a pre-matched column selecting.

You'll want to double check the pre-selected matches to make sure they're accurate. You may need to only make a few minor adjustments. If it looks like the matches are way off, click Reset Mapping, which will clear the existing matches.

To map a field, find the field label on the left, then click the dropdown next to it to show a list of all of the column headings in your spreadsheet. Line up the appropriate rows of data.

If you do not have a column heading for some of the database fields, that’s fine, go leave them marked as [SELECT].

Duplicate Checking in Step 3

Step 3 of the upload process also gives us the chance to tell the system to check for records in the system that may match the records we're currently uploading. The goal is to prevent duplicates from getting into the system, and all of the problems that entails.

While selecting the dropdowns, you may have noticed a small check box to the right of some of the fields. These indicate to the system that when your list uploads, you want it to check against those fields for duplicates. If you select more than one option, it will check against both options in aggregate, meaning that a name in your list must meet both criteria to be considered a duplicate. (Using Boolean logic, that's an "AND" not an "OR.") If you get a match for a duplicate the system will disregard that record and not import it.

The most common criteria, or combinations of criteria for duplicate checking are:

  • Last name and phone number together.
  • Email address.
  • Company name and Last Name together.
  • Some combination of phone number, email address, and a custom field of your choice.

Another check box you may want to use is labeled Duplicate check across all objects. This will extend the duplicate check basis for all other objects, such as Accounts and Contacts. By default the duplicate check will operate only among the records of the object type you're importing.

You can also use the check box labeled Limit the duplicate check to records within specific campaigns. This enhancement allows you to import leads and check for duplicates -- but only apply the duplicate rules if a duplicate is found in specific campaigns. Checking this box will open a list of campaigns for you to select. Hold the CTL button (or Command for Mac users) to select multiple campaigns from the list. You might use this feature if you use the PowerDialer in conjunction with outsourced lead generation, and want to actually include the same lead multiple times in different campaigns, but don't want duplicates WITHIN a single campaign.

Step 4

The final step gives us a chance to do a quick “at-a-glance” inspection of the data we just uploaded, and then ultimately accept or reject the new batch.

We highly recommend that you at least do a cursory inspection of the data. Click the browse the site button, and a second window will pop up with a short view of the data batch.

Notice that the preview does not show you everything about the leads, only a select few key fields. If you need to inspect the data in more detail, then you will need to open the advanced search options and run some searches to get the view that you are looking for. Remember that you will need to narrow the campaign and created date in your search so that you are only looking at the batch of data you just uploaded.

Once you have completed your inspection, close the preview window.

To complete the import, choose Accept. If for any reason the data did not come in cleanly, Reject the data, and the system will send you back to Step 1 of the import process, giving you a chance to start over.

Exporting Data

Exporting Data

Whether it's to print a list of names, or grab data to throw into a spreadsheet pivot table, at some point most Sysadmins find they need to export data from their InsideSales.com system.

There's two basic ways to do this:

  1. Using the Advanced Search tool, and manually exporting the search results, or
  2. Requesting a full-fledged database backup through the Admin tab.

The Advanced Search option is fairly straightforward--run a search with the appropriate criteria. However, you'll want to adjust the Fields to Display option while running the search, so that the right data will be included in your export.

After your search runs, click the Export Search Results button in the bottom-right of the screen.

Click the Advanced Export Options checkbox in the dialogue box to see all of the available options.

Choose the file format in which you want to save your export, and choose the Use columns from search results option.

However, if you know you'll be doing a certain type of export regularly, you may also want to create an export template, which will standardize the fields to be included in the data export. This way, you don't have to spend time adjusting the Fields to Display every time you want to run a report, then change them back to do your actual work.

To create a template, click the Use Template radial button. If this is the first time you've used this feature, you'll need to click Create New.

Use the dialogue shown to add all of the fields you want included in your export. When finished, click Continue with Export.

Whether using the Fields to Display or a template, when ready, click the Export button. The system will render the data, and your browser will ask you where you'd like to save the resulting file.

Limits to Advanced Search Exports

Advanced Search data exports are limited to 5,000 records at a time. If you want to get more than 5,000 records at a time, you'll need to create a Saved Search Export template. To do this, use the Saved Search feature to save your current search parameters.

Then go to the Admin tab, and click the Saved Search Export link. Choose the object type, and the search you want to use as the export template. That night at midnight, the database will render your search into a .CSV spreadsheet file, and save it to your system's Files tab.

Full Company Backup Option

In addition to doing batches of data at a time using Advanced Searches, you can also request a full rendering of your company's entire database—every Lead and Account with their related objects, every Task and Event.

In terms of usability, this option is typically less useful than doing Advanced Search batches, because every object comes in its own spreadsheet—Events and Tasks don't appear on the sheet with the Lead they're attached to, Deals and Cases are on their own sheet, etc. The primary use of this feature is for archival storage purposes.

To use this feature go to: Admin tab >>> Company Settings >>> Company Profile >>> Request a Company Backup

Enter your email address to be notified when the backup is complete. The actual backup data will be stored in your Files tab as a compressed .zip file.

Third-Party Call Recording Storage

Third-Party Call Recording Storage

When the call recording feature is enabled for your system, the PowerDialer and Click-to-Call creates digital audio files for live calls and stores them on your application server. These recordings are considered part of your data usage. The third-party recording storage tools provide some additional ways to help you manage this storage, and reduce costs.

Please note that the third-party storage tool must enabled by an InsideSales.com support representative before it will be available in your system. Contact InsideSales.com if you think your organization might be interested.

Licensing

Data storage is divided into three separate "buckets," one for database storage (records housed in the database), one for general file storage (file attachments, items in the Files tab area, etc.), and one for call recordings.

Be aware that this may affect your monthly billing amount, so be sure to double-check your storage allotment.

Hardware

Here's a few notes about how our dialer servers handle the physical storage of call recordings.

When calls record, the digital audio files initially save directly to the dialer server where the call took place. While the file is stored there, users can preview, download, or delete individual recordings but cannot download or delete them en masse.

Each night, the dialer server automatically transfers the recording files to the appropriate InsideSales.com data server that houses each client's respective database. Once offloaded from the dialer server(s), files can be viewed in the Files tab in the InsideSales LMP, and downloaded or removed en masse.

With a third party storage option in place, files are still transferred off the original dialer server, but are sent to a separate physical server from the client database. All of the functionality is the same, and all of the file links in the Files tab are there, we've just offloaded the storage to a different physical location, freeing up that space on the primary database servers. This helps keep call storage costs lower, and reduces performance overhead on the database servers.

The Third-Party Storage Utility

However, some of our users still use a substantial enough amount of call recording storage to incur monthly storage fees. To help clients reduce these costs, and take more control over the storage and backup of their recordings, we have included the ability to send call recordings to a third-party server location each night, instead of to InsideSales.com's database.

User Interface

Observe the Off-site Recording Storage link under the Manage Call Recordings link on the administrative page.

The link takes you to a page where you can set up a dedicated, off-site server location where your call recordings will be sent on a nightly basis.

If your company keeps large amounts of call recordings on your InsideSales.com system, you may want to leverage this tool for cost savings, as InsideSales.com charges a monthly fee to clients who exceed their allotted hosted storage amount.

The tool provides two options, (or locations) where clients can push their recordings: 1) To their own off-site SFTP location, or 2) to an Amazon Cloud storage account.

SFTP Settings

Here is a brief description of the settings:

  • Transfer Type - This sets the transfer type to SFTP or Amazon S3. For detailed information about this option, see the section of this page entitled Amazon S3 Help Guide for InsideSales.com
  • Domain or IP - This points to the Web location with SFTP access.
  • User Name - Enter the SFTP account user name for the specified domain / IP address.
  • Password - Enter the SFTP password for the specified user name.
  • Public / Private SSH Keys - We can use either the user name / password combination to access your server, or SSH key pair. The SSH key pair method is the most secure, and should be used if at all possible.

    If the SSH key pair is used, the system will ignore the user name / password combination. If, however, the public or private SSH key is encrypted (which is often the case), enter the user name and password for the SSH key de-encryption, NOT the user name and password for the SFTP server. The service will use the SSH options to make the server connection.
  • File Directory - If this field is used, it will create a sub-directory on the SFTP server where the files will be stored. If nothing is specified in this field, files will be dropped into the root directory defined for your SFTP account.
  • Default File Name - This sets the file name parameters for recordings AFTER the files are moved each night on to the third-party server. Names will combine three elements, which can be chosen from the following options:
    1. Date Created
    2. Employee Name
    3. Contact Name
    4. Contact ID (record ID)
    5. Number Called

An Important Reminder

The third-party recording and file storage elements of our system provide many helpful features to our users.

We HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you regularly review your system data usage, and identify aspects of your setup which incluence your usage and storage fees.

Continue reading below for more information about the Amazon S3 storage option.

Amazon S3 Help

Amazon S3 Help Guide for InsideSales.com

What is Amazon S3?

To help customers better manage costs, we've included the ability to move stored call recordings off InsideSales.com's servers, and on to a client-controlled location. This utility currently allows clients to use their own FTP / SFTP server, or connect to an Amazon S3 account.

We've provided this page to help our users who are considering using Amazon S3 for their off-site backup storage needs.

The simplest way to explain Amazon S3 ("S3" stands for "Simple Storage Service") is that it is a big "vault" to store data so that it can be used by Web applications. It's not primarily designed to work as a "Web site host," in terms of managing domain names and hosting active Web pages (though you can use it this way). Instead it's meant to interact with Web applications that transfer data between systems---images, databases, audio files, videos, text logs, and so on.

Amazon describes it this way:

"Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, secure, fast, inexpensive infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers."

An example of how S3 could be used might involve a Web application that needed to run a nightly backup service to store certain pieces of data. Rather than having to set up and maintain a server cluster to do this, a company might instead use the Amazon S3 cloud as part of their standard operations, and incorporate the cost of the Amazon S3 services into their business model.

What Amazon S3 is Not

Some mistakenly believe that Amazon S3 is merely another type of "dropbox" tool to store files. Don't think of S3 as an application, but more of an ecosystem, or platform, which applications can utilize. For example, Amazon has its own "Amazon Cloud Streaming" application for purchasing and listening to music. The application has a front-end, with playback and volume controls, options to download music, and so forth. The interface is one part of the application, the back-end is actually using the Amazon S3 cloud structure, which is separate from the front-end interface.

Using the S3 platform, a developer / company could conceivably build a video streaming application, a data backup application, a digital printing application, an online image editor (you get the picture). Any Web application that transfers data between two locations could use the Amazon S3 platform as part of its data storage tool set.

How InsideSales.com Uses S3

InsideSales.com uses S3 in a simple, straightforward way---to move call recordings off of InsideSales.com's server clusters, and on to the S3 platform, saving clients money and giving them more robust access to their data.

When cloud recording storage is enabled and configured, the InsideSales.com Web application interacts with the S3 cloud to perform the needed file transfers.

At night, call recordings generated in your InsideSales.com system would automatically upload to your S3 storage account.

Setting Up Your Amazon S3 Account

Create an Account

To take advantage of the cloud recording storage tool using Amazon S3, you'll first need to create an account if you don't have one. Head over to:

http://aws.amazon.com/s3/

and click the link to Sign Up Now.

At that point, you can choose to link your Amazon S3 account to your current Amazon account if you have one, or create a new Amazon account specifically for S3.

After signing up, you'll be required to enter your credit card information for billing, and taken to an activation page.

After you receive an an email confirming your account activation, you're ready to move to the set up phase.

Setting up a "Bucket"

The easiest way to get started is to follow Amazon's provided "Get Started" guide. You can access it directly through your browser, or as a PDF.

HTML version:

http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AmazonS3/latest/gsg/GetStartedWithS3.html

PDF:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/awsdocs/S3/latest/s3-gsg.pdf

Since your account is already created, you can start on Step 2, "Create a Bucket." Log in to the Amazon S3 console, https://console.aws.amazon.com/s3, and create a new bucket in the interface.

Pay attention to the naming conventions Amazon describes for setting up your bucket (see Step 3 in Amazon's setup directions). You will want the bucket name to be unique, and follow appropriate conventions. BE SURE THE BUCKET NAME IS WHAT YOU WANT, because once you create it, you cannot change its name (though you can, of course, create a new bucket if you don't like the one you created). In addition to Amazon’s naming restrictions do not use any underscores or capitalization.

Bucket Region

Amazon provides as number of regions for its "buckets," based on location. Depending on the region you choose, the costs and fees associated with transferring data to those buckets may change, so be sure you select the best one for your organization.

Review the pricing and other information at:

http://aws.amazon.com/s3/

to get a better idea for how your region selection may affect your costs and usage of the system.

Bucket Console

After creating your bucket, you will be taken to the bucket view screen in the console.

If you choose, you can upload files directly to the bucket root directory, or you can create a sub-folder within the bucket. Either way will work just fine for the InsideSales.com call recording storage tool, you'll just need to specify the folder when you set it up in your LMP.

Get Your Credentials

Before moving over to the LMP, you'll want to get the access credentials for your new account. Click on your name in the top right corner of the screen, then click the Security Credentials link.

From there, you'll re-verify your account login, then be taken to the security credentials page. Look for the section heading for "Access Credentials." You'll see three tabs, one for access keys, one for X.509 certificates, one for key pairs. The items you'll need for your LMP are the two access keys--the access key ID, and the hidden key.

Write down, or copy / paste both of these somewhere where you can remember them.

Setup in the LMP

Go to the Admin tab in your InsideSales.com LMP. Look for the link for Off-site Recording Storage under the Manage Call Recordings heading in InsideSales.com.

Once there, you'll see a dialogue page to set up your off-site call recording settings. Select Amazon S3 in the top dropdown.

Input your access key and secret key into the provided text fields.

Bucket Directory

Here you'll need to input the full Amazon bucket name into the field. If you have any sub-folders in the bucket that you want the files to arrive in, they'll need to be appended to the bucket name, with a trailing forward slash.

For example, if your bucket name was

insidesales-call-recording-storage

and you had a folder in that bucket called "recordings," you would input the following into the bucket directory field:

insidesales-call-recording-storage/recordings

You MUST input the correct bucket name, and any folders into the bucket directory field, or the tool will not work properly.

Default File Name

This setting determines how the files will be named when pushed to your Amazon S3 bucket. There are three entry fields, with five options available for each field:

  1. Date Created
  2. Employee Name
  3. Contact Name
  4. Contact ID (or lead ID, or account ID)
  5. Number Called

Choose the three naming options that will best help you manage the recordings down the line.

Final Steps

Test Connection

Before saving your settings in the LMP, click the Test Connection button to ensure that you have input the correct access key and secret key. If the keys are valid, you will receive a notification showing that they were recognized.

If the keys were entered incorrectly, you will likewise receive a warning notice.

After you have tested your connection, go ahead and save your settings.

Bucket Policies and Other Permissions in Amazon

In some cases, your organization may want to establish particular policies related to accessing and transferring data to your S3 account. This can be done by establishing additional user access permissions, as well as creating "bucket policies" that control specific file access, read / write permissions, and other settings related to data stored in that bucket.

These are advanced settings that should typically be managed by your organization's IT department, as they relate to specific settings initiated through the Amazon Web Services API.

Bulk Managing Files in the S3 Bucket

Once files arrive in your Amazon bucket, you will no longer be able to mass download or mass delete the files from within your InsideSales dialer system. Someone in your organization will need to be tasked with managing the S3 bucket. You can do this manually through the AWS console, or if your company felt so inclined, you could create a custom Web application that interacts with the AWS service to manage files.

Restrictions

The following IP ranges must be open (whitelisted) on the SFTP/Amazon account. 64.90.204.224/28
67.214.247.0/27

Call Recording Settings

Call Recording Settings

PowerDialer video

Play Video

FAQ

Importing Data - Additional Tip

Importing Data - Additional Tip

If you expect to be uploading spreadsheet data to the system regularly, we recommend setting up a field map template. This is useful if you're going to be getting a list of names in the same, consistent format, like from a list provider like Hoover's or Dun & Bradstreet.

The way to do this is to create a mapping template while performing an upload. After selecting all of your field maps in Step 3, notice the small input form next to the button to Save Template. Enter a name in the form, and click to save. The system will memorize all of your selections, and create a mapping template that can be reused later at any time.

Using a Lead Routing Rule

By default, when you upload a Lead list, unless you specify otherwise the system assumes the person uploading the data should own it. You can specify an owner ID field in your .CSV spreadsheet to override this, but this can be a lot of work if you have large batches of data to upload, and want to distribute the records to multiple reps.

You could also use a Mass Action to reassign blocks of data after the upload completes, but this can also be problematic, depending on the number of users and amount of data.

The upload tool streamlines this process by letting you use what we call Routing Rules. Routing Rules will get a full treatment and explanation in a future section, but in essence they're a pre-set way for Sysadmins to assign data ownership as leads arrive in the database, either from a list upload, or through the system back end.

Any routing rules will have to be created before doing a list upload, so if you're still setting up a new system, you won't have any rules available initially. Once you create a rule, you can select and apply it during Step 4 of the import process. When you click to Accept the import, the rule applies the necessary ownership changes.

Release Notes

Find our most recent release notes.

Forum

Our InsideSales.com community forum is coming soon.

Advanced Training Guides

Advanced training for the Lead Management Platform.

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