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Help Needed: Account Name vs. Account ID & Contact Roles

First – thank you for your time in reading and replying to this message!  I appreciate it very much…
I am a new Sales Force user and am using your Excel Connector to import my Opportunities into Sales Force.
I grab all of our company data out of our software program and format it in Excel, then import it in using the Sales Force Wizard and he Excel Connector.  I’m running into TWO issues that are slowing the process down and wondered if you knew a solution to them:
1. When I import my Opportunities with Excel Connector.  I’d like to be able to use the “Account Name” instead of the “Account ID” but that doesn’t seem to be an option.  I already have my unique Account Name created in Sales Force and in my Excel Opportunities spreadsheet, but the Connector doesn’t give me the option to upload via Account Name.  Instead I need to look up the “Account ID” for each of the Opportunities and then it will work.  I’m importing a couple hundred records every couple weeks, so looking up that Account ID for each line slows me down considerably.  Any solution to this?
2. And my other problem is once I do get my Opportunities uploaded to Sales Force I would like them to automatically tie into my Contact.  Example: Contact has an Account Name of A009.  Opportunity has an Account Name of A009, but they will not connect until I manually go in and update the “Contact Roles” tab.  Again, very time consuming and I’m hoping there is a way to automate this.
Any thoughts or suggestions on these two issues are GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks again
You're not going to be able to avoid using the AccountID to link opportunity information into the contact.  In salesforce, accountid is the foreign key in the opportunity object that links it with the account object.

As for your second problem....I know this is the excel connector forum, but I encountered issues like this quite often during our converstion to salesforce a year ago, and I was able work with them using a combination of the AppExchange Data Loader, and SQL Server.  MS Access, or any other relational database program will work fine too.

Contact roles are stored in the OpportunityContact Role object.  If you have the Opportunityid of the opportunity you want to update, and the contactid of the contact you would like to attach, all you need to do is insert a record consisting of the opportunityid and contactid.  You can also add values for the "IsPrimary" flag, and the "Role" of the contact if you have them.  Doing this manually in excel would be so much work that it's almost not worth it, but if you have the data in a sql database, you can do some queries to join the account, opportunity, and contact objects together to get what you want.

Sorry if that's not the answer you're looking for - the excel connector is good for a lot of things, but joining multiple objects isn't one of them, IMHO.

Good luck!


I received the following message from Ron Hess regarding my questions:

"with a bit of training you can do these
1> for this you would use the excel function VLOOKUP()  ,  you create a table of account id's and account names ( also using a query on  the account table) , then you use VLOOKUP() formula to generate the proper "account id" for use in your import

you can also use this after the import to relate the records.

2.) this also can be solved with a VLOOKUP() formula where you map the contract name to a contract ID then upload / update the opportunity with the poper ID"

I played around with the VLOOKUP functions and was able to work through both of my problems.  Thank you for your help.