So you have decided to use ZOHO CRM as your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. You’re first step is to import your contacts into ZOHO. You will have contacts in a number of places and you want to get them all into ZOHO.

This guide applies to single users of ZOHO CRM and the SOHO small business marketing guy like me. I’ll start by focusing on the single user perspective of ZOHO - how to get my contacts into ZOHO and then I’ll finish by mentioning a few tips for people who want to share ZOHO with others in their team.

Ill also assume that you are on your free trial of the Professional Edition (BTW ZOHO guys are not paying me for this in anyway - I use ZOHO for my work and like it)

Hi - this post has recently been updated. It's one of my most read posts. So thanks Damien 23/10/2011

4 ways to get your contacts into ZOHO

  1. Grab your business cards and enter them into Excel with a column each for First Name, Last Name, Email, Account Name
  2. Manually enter them via the webpage at
  3. Save them from Outlook to a .CSV or Excel file
  4. Save them from Google

Its obvious that if you manually enter them via the web you don’t need to upload your contacts - but it is a method.

For those of you making your own Excel please use the column heads First Name, Last Name, Account Name typed just like First Name (you need to remember this for later tips).

However you choose to get your contacts into ZOHO the next step is about how you upload or import your contacts to ZOHO

How to save contacts from Google

  1. Go to Google Mail and find your contacts
  2. Near the middle - click on More and select EXPORT
  3. Choose Every Contact on select which group to export
  4. Choose to save as Outlook CSV format
  5. Click Export

Upload your Contacts to ZOHO CRM

  1. Go to the Contacts Tab in ZOHO - it looks empty

  2. Select Import My Contacts

  3. Select your file to import

  4. Select OK / Next

That was easy 🙂

Match or Map your Google Contact Fields to Zoho Database Fields

Easy so far? This part is just as easy.

  • Change First Name from None to First Name (Col 1)
  • Change Last Name from None to Last Name (Col: 3)
  • Change Vendor Name to None
  • Change Email from None to Email (Col: 15)
  • Change Account Name to Company (Col: 43)
  • Change Phone to Primary Phone (Col1: 18)
  • Change Mobile to Mobile Phone (Col: 21)
  • Ok that should be enough for now - you can make other changes but for now keep Vendor blank
  • Click Next
  • Click Import to go ahead you want your contacts in there
  • Review the results - don’t worry about missed records for now, that tells you that some of your Google Contacts are probably entered only with their First Name
  • Click OK
  • Now click on one of your contacts to see if everything looked the way it should
  • then - Go make a cuppa tea

A couple of points to be aware of when importing and mapping contacts to ZOHO CRM database

Remember that the only fixed or mandatory column is Last Name. I like my Contacts to have at least a mandatory email or phone number so we will fix that later.

If you really hated the import and something went wrong - go to SETUP .. under Data Administration select Import History and you can rollback the import. Or just cut n paste this link:

One great feature is that the next time you go to import contacts, ZOHO CRM has remembered the field mapping so it will save you at least 1 minutes work.

Settings for ZOHO CRM and sharing contacts

By default only you can see your contacts and leads (except your boss and your IT Admin guy - but you’re the only user right now).

So if you are going to share ZOHO and want your team mates to see the same contacts - go ahead and add a few users

This is what ZOHO CRM Setup menu looks like for a Single User

  • Choose the link under Admin for Users
  • Go ahead and add someone
  • You’ll have to enter your company name
  • Make their role CEO just like you
  • Make them a Standard User
  • Press OK
  • Now go to the setup menu and this is what setup looks like for a MultiUser database
  • Select the new menu entry for Data Sharing Settings
  • Click on Edit All Default Organization
  • Change everything from private to public  (don’t worry .. you can change this later)
  • Click Next

So that should have been really easy - What do you think of Zoho CRM? Do you use it often?

Tags: Zoho

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Meet the author

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Damien Saunders
An experienced management consultant and business leader interested in digital transformation, product centred design and scaled agile. If I'm not writing about living with UCTD (an autoimmune disease), I'm probably listening to music, reading a book or learning more about wine.