Mastering Excel for a Seamless HubSpot CRM Import

By Gianpiero Tomassoni

A successful customer relationship management (CRM) implementation is the cornerstone of every flourishing business. And when we're talking about robust CRM systems, HubSpot undoubtedly comes to the forefront. However, the road to successful implementation begins with well-structured and meticulously organized data. For many businesses, Microsoft Excel is the go-to tool for storing and organizing this data.

However, we understand that dealing with raw data in an Excel spreadsheet can be overwhelming and may pose challenges when importing into HubSpot. In this blog, we outline useful Excel tips and tricks that will enable you to prepare your data accurately for a successful HubSpot CRM import.

Let's dive right in!


Excel Tip One: VLOOKUP

When dealing with multiple Excel files, it can be challenging to keep track of all the information you need. Luckily, Excel's VLOOKUP function can help streamline the process. This function allows you to quickly search for and retrieve data from one Excel file and use it in another.

For example, if you're working on a sales report and need to pull in customer information from a separate Excel file, VLOOKUP can do this in just a few steps. By using the unique identifier that connects the two files, such as a customer ID number, you can easily merge the information you need. With VLOOKUP, you can save time and ensure accuracy in your data management. Let's say you have a deal Excel file, and each deal has an associated company. To automatically populate each deal cell with the corresponding company phone number, you can use the VLOOKUP formula.

  1. Start by creating a new column called Phone Number in your deal Excel file.
  2. Then, select the Associated Company column and head over to your company Excel file.
  3. Click and drag the Name column to the Phone Number column, and enter the Phone Number column number in the Col_index_num field.
  4. Lastly, enter 0 in the Range_lookup field and click Done. Voila!
  5. The associated company phone numbers will automatically populate in the Phone Number column, saving you time and ensuring accuracy in your data management.


Excel Tip Two: XLOOKUP

Excel's XLOOKUP function is a powerful tool introduced to overcome the limitations of older functions like VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP (similar to VLOOKUP but horizontally). XLOOKUP can search both vertically and horizontally, making it more versatile.

The Difference between VLOOKUP and XLOOKUP:

VLOOKUP only scans from left to right and returns the corresponding value of the first instance of a value, from the specified index column. However, it has a few limitations. For instance, it can't look to the left, can't return multiple matches, and won't search from the back.

XLOOKUP, on the other hand, doesn't have these limitations. It can look both ways, i.e., from right to left or left to right, returns multiple matches, and can search from the back or the front. This versatility makes it a powerful tool when dealing with complex data.

Here's how you can use XLOOKUP:

  1. In your Excel file, identify the data you need to pull from one file to another.
  2. In the cell where you want the result to be displayed, type =XLOOKUP().
  3. The XLOOKUP function takes three arguments at the minimum: =XLOOKUP(lookup_value, lookup_array, return_array).
  4. The lookup_value is the data you are searching for.
  5. The lookup_array is the data array where the search will be conducted.
  6. The return_array is from where the matching value will be returned.
  7. After entering the required details, hit enter, and the function will return the matching data from the other file.


Let's assume you're looking for a customer's phone number in a 'Contact' Excel file, and you need to pull this information into your 'Sales' Excel file.

  1. In the 'Sales' Excel file, create a new column called Phone Number, where you will use the XLOOKUP formula.
  2. • In the XLOOKUP formula, the lookup_value will be the customer's name in the 'Sales' file.
  3. • The lookup_array will be the column of customer names in the 'Contact' file.
  4. • The return_array will be the column of phone numbers in the 'Contact' file.
  5. • Once you hit enter, the phone number of the customer will populate in the Phone Number column in your 'Sales' Excel file.

With a deep understanding of the advantages and workings of both VLOOKUP and XLOOKUP, you can confidently select the best tool that suits your specific needs and achieve your data management goals with ease.


Excel Tip Three: Split a Cell

When it comes to managing your contacts in HubSpot, having their first and last names in separate columns is essential. However, if you have a list of contacts in an Excel file with both names in one column, Excel's 'Split a Cell' function is here to save the day.

  1. To use this function, first, select the column that contains the combined names. Then, go to the 'Data' tab and click on 'Text to Columns.'
  2. In the 'Convert Text to Columns Wizard,' select 'Delimited' and click 'Next.'
  3. Choose the delimiter that separates the first and last name (e.g., space or comma) and click 'Next' again.
  4. Finally, select the destination cells for the split data and click 'Finish.' Voila! Your contacts' names are now in separate columns, ready for import into HubSpot.


Excel Tip Four: Remove Capitalization

When importing data into HubSpot, uniform capitalization is crucial to avoid import errors. By using Excel's LOWER or PROPER functions, you can ensure your data matches its corresponding property value in HubSpot.

LOWER Function

The LOWER function in Excel converts all text in a cell to lowercase. It's handy when you want to maintain uniformity in your data entries.


Suppose you have a list of email addresses in your Excel sheet, but they're written in a mix of lower and uppercase letters. Since email addresses are not case-sensitive, you might want to change all of them to lowercase for consistency.

  1. First, create an empty column next to the column with email addresses.
  2. In the first cell of this new column, type the Excel LOWER formula: =LOWER(A2) (assuming A2 is the cell with the first email address).
  3. This formula will convert the text in cell A2 to lowercase. To apply this to the entire list of email addresses, drag the fill handle down to copy this formula to the rest of the cells in the new column.
  4. You now have a new column with all email addresses in lowercase. You can copy this column and paste the values over your original data, then remove the additional column.

PROPER Function

The PROPER function in Excel capitalizes the first letter of each word in a cell and lowercase all other letters. This function is beneficial when dealing with names or addresses.


Suppose you have a list of client names in your Excel sheet, but they're written in all caps. To make them appear more professional, you could use the PROPER function to ensure only the first letter of each name is capitalized.

  1. Create an empty column next to the column with client names.
  2. In the first cell of the new column, type the Excel PROPER formula: =PROPER(B2) (assuming B2 is the cell with the first client name).
  3. The formula will convert the text in cell B2 to 'Proper Case'. Drag the fill handle down to copy this formula to the rest of the cells in the new column.
  4. You now have a new column with all client names properly capitalized. Again, you can copy this column, paste the values over your original data, and remove the additional column.


Excel Tip Five: Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting is a powerful tool that can help you identify and highlight important data in your Excel sheets. With conditional formatting, you can set up rules that apply specific formatting, such as colours, icons, or data bars, to cells that meet certain criteria. For example, you can apply conditional formatting to highlight cells that contain values above or below a certain threshold, cells that contain specific text or dates, or cells that are duplicates of other cells in the same column.

By using conditional formatting, you can quickly spot errors, outliers, or patterns in your data, which can help you make informed decisions and take action accordingly. For instance, you can use conditional formatting to identify customers who haven't made a purchase in the past six months or to highlight products that are out of stock or underperforming.

Moreover, conditional formatting can help you ensure that your data is clean and error-free before importing it into HubSpot. By highlighting cells that contain errors, duplicates, or inconsistencies, you can correct them before exporting the data and prevent them from affecting your HubSpot account. This can save you time and headaches in the long run and ensure that your data is accurate and reliable.

To use conditional formatting in Excel, you can follow these steps:

  1.  Select the range of cells that you want to apply the formatting to.
  2. Go to the Home tab and click on Conditional Formatting.
  3. Choose the type of formatting that you want to apply, such as Highlight Cells Rules or Top/Bottom Rules.
  4. Select the criteria that you want to use for the formatting, such as Greater Than or Text that Contains.
  5. Specify the values or text that you want to use for the criteria, such as a dollar amount or a specific word.
  6. Choose the formatting options that you want to apply, such as a colour or an icon.
  7. Preview the formatting and adjust it as needed.
  8. Click OK to apply the formatting to the selected cells.

By mastering conditional formatting, you can take your Excel skills to the next level and ensure that your data is organized, accurate, and ready for import into HubSpot.


Excel Tip Six: Data Validation

Data validation is a crucial step in ensuring that the data you import into HubSpot is accurate and error-free. By setting up validation rules, you can prevent common data entry mistakes, such as typos, incorrect formatting, or missing values. This not only saves you time and effort but also helps you maintain the integrity of your data and avoid potential issues down the road.

To set up a data validation rule in Excel, you first need to select the range of cells that you want to apply the rule to. Then, go to the Data tab and click on Data Validation. In the Data Validation dialogue box, you can choose the type of validation you want to apply, such as whole numbers, text length, or custom formulas.

For example, if you want to ensure that all phone numbers in your data consist of ten digits, you can set up a custom formula that checks the length of the phone number.

The formula could be =LEN(A2)=10, where A2 is the cell that contains the phone number. This formula checks whether the length of the phone number in cell A2 is equal to ten. If it is, the data is valid and can be imported into HubSpot. If not, the cell will display an error message, indicating that the data is invalid and needs to be corrected.

By using data validation, you can ensure that your data meets specific criteria and is consistent with your business rules and standards. This can help you avoid data entry errors, reduce data cleaning time, and improve the accuracy and reliability of your data. So, make sure to take advantage of this powerful feature in Excel and streamline your data import process in HubSpot.


Excel Tip Seven: Find and Replace

Excel's Find and Replace function is a nifty tool that can help you clean up your data in no time. Whether you need to correct a typo in every cell of a column or replace a specific word or phrase across your entire dataset, Find and Replace has got you covered.

To use Find and Replace, first, select the range of cells that you want to search and replace. You can do this by clicking on the column or row headers or dragging your mouse over the cells. Next, go to the Home tab and click on Find & Select, then choose Replace. This will open the Find and Replace dialogue box, where you can specify the text that you want to find and the text that you want to replace it with.

For instance, if you notice that you've been misspelling a customer's name throughout your dataset, you can use Find and Replace to correct it.

  1. Simply type the misspelt name in the 'Find what' box
  2. and the correct spelling in the 'Replace with' box,
  3. and click on 'Replace All' Excel will replace all instances of the misspelt name with the correct one, saving you time and effort.

You can also use Find and Replace to replace values with formulas or functions. For instance, if you have a column of numbers that you want to increase by 10%, you can use Find and Replace to do this.

  1. First, select the column of numbers, then go to the Replace dialogue box.
  2. In the 'Find what' box, type '*' (without quotes), which means any value.
  3. In the 'Replace with' box, type '=A1*1.1' (assuming A1 is the first cell of the column), which means add 10% to the value in cell A1.
  4. Click on 'Replace All', and Excel will replace all values in the column with their 10% increase.

By using Find and Replace, you can save time and ensure that your data is accurate and consistent before importing it into HubSpot. So, give it a try and see how it can simplify your data management tasks.



Transferring data into a new CRM like HubSpot doesn't have to be daunting. By mastering these Excel skills, you can ensure your data is well-organized, consistent, and ready for a successful import. Remember, clean data is the backbone of any CRM system. 

Don't hesitate to reach out if you need any assistance or have any questions about the HubSpot CRM import process. We're here to help ensure your CRM implementation is seamless and successful.

For further assistance, visit our contact page or send us an email at For more insights and tips, explore our blog or check out our how-to videos

Happy HubSpotting!


WATCH NEXT ➡️  How to Use Excel Basics for Beginners

Source: HubSpot




Tags: HubSpot CRM, Revenue Operations, HubSpot Admin, Data Solutions

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