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Missing associations cause problems throughout your entire organization. Your sales and marketing teams rely on accurately related records for context in sales conversations and account-based marketing applications. Customer support and success teams also miss important information, and analysis and reporting are skewed. Missing relationships can impact your customers across the entire customer journey.

With Insycle's Associate app, you can automatically detect relationships and link contacts, accounts, deals, custom objects, and other object types in bulk. You can create hierarchical associations such as child and parent relationships, and you can copy data between the linked records. This will maintain order in Salesforce and give your teams a complete picture of every account.

Key Use Cases

How It Works

The Associate app makes it easy to match different record types, or identify parent-child relationships and link them in bulk. 

Powerful filtering options let you segment records based on attributes like existing relationship identifiers, account names, domains, or any other field. Records that meet these criteria can automatically be linked to other records based on matching rules.

These configurations can be saved and automated, set to run automatically at regular intervals, putting your association process on autopilot.

Salesforce Record Types Supported

Insycle supports the following Salesforce record types:

  • Contacts
  • Accounts
  • Leads
  • Opportunities
  • Custom Record Types

You can select the record type you would like to work with at the top of the module screen.

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Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Filter Records Down to Those You Want to Link

Navigate to RevOps Acceleration > Associate.

Select the database and the record type in the top menu. Then explore the templates for an existing solution that may be close to what you need.

Each row in Step 1 is for a field you want to look at to determine whether to include or exclude a record from this task. With this filter, you're telling Insycle what records you would like to update. 

In the below example, contacts that do not have an Account ID value will be included in this operation.

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When you click Search, Insycle will list records in the Record Viewer at the bottom of the page. If you make changes to the filter, you need to click the Search button again to refresh the viewer.

Step 2: Configure Rules That Will Create the Relationship

Under Step 2, define the rules for bulk matching the two record types during the association process. This example will link contacts to accounts.

Configure the rules that will create the relationship between the two record types. In the first row: 

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1. Action tells Insycle what to do to the records surfaced in Step 1—Add or Remove relationships.

2. Association specifies the type of record you want to create the relationship with. In the example above, contacts will be linked to accounts.

3. Click the Accounts Filter button to narrow the target records down to those that would be a good fit for this relationship.

In the Acount Filter popup you could, for example, add the "Account Name," field and set the Condition, "exists." This tells Insycle to only consider accounts for linking if the Account Name field has a value in the database.

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Click Search to apply the filter and close the popup. Note that the Accounts filter will not update the results in the Record Viewer, only in your final Review steps.

The next line tells Insycle what values to use to identify account matches:

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4. The Field Name is the field from the source record (in this example, contact) you want to try and match with the target record (account). In the example above, Email Domain from the contact record will be used. 

5. The Match Field is the target field to be matched with the source record. In this example, the Website field from the account records will be analyzed for a match. The source Field Name and target Match Field are often the same for both records.

6. The Comparison Rule tells Insycle whether the values between the contact and account records must be an Exact Match or Similar Match. In most cases, you'd select Exact Match, but you can learn more about these Comparison Rules in the Advanced How-Tos below.

7. In the Ignored field you can specify parts of a field value to ignore, such as specific text, whitespace, or characters. In the dropdown, check the box for the values you'd like to ignore.

In the example, the Ignore rule tells Insycle to ignore a list of Common Terms that may appear in the Website field such as "https://". To view or alter the list of Common Terms, click the Terms button at the bottom of this section (see #10 below).

8. The Match Parts field tells Insycle whether to match the entire field or just part of it—such as the first or last few words, or first and last characters.

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9. If no matching account is found, a relationship will not be created. In these cases, you can choose to automatically create a new account record based on what is in the contact record. Check the Create new Accounts when no matching is found box to enable, and select the field data that will be used to create the account name.

There are a couple of things to note when using this setting:

  • This feature only works when associating contacts to accounts, not accounts to contacts.
  • When using the "Exact Match" Comparison Rule, the "Create new..." setting could potentially create duplicates, so you should be thoughtful with the Matching Field and Comparison Rule that you use.

10. The Ignored "Common Terms" can be edited using the Terms button.

11. Check the Count unmatched records as Failed box to flag unmatched contacts as "Failed" on the Result popup and in the CSV report. When left unchecked, unmatched records are counted as "Unmodified."

Step 3: Optionally, Copy a Value between the Related Records

If your team is capturing valuable detail in the CRM you can automatically copy info into related records, avoiding errors and saving time.

After setting the association rules in Step 2, you can create rules to copy values between the records. If one record type consistently has values that would be helpful in the linked record, you can execute that copy in bulk.

Under Step 3, select the field from the source record type (in this example, contacts), and the relevant field on the target records (accounts). You can choose to copy values from the source record to the target, or target record to the source.

The Copy Rule gives you three options:

  • Only when Target Field is empty
  • Only when Source Field is not empty
  • Always copy

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The preview CSV will include these fields, and specify if the value was copied for each record.

Preview and Update

Preview Changes in the CSV Report

Now with the filters and association/linking actions in place, you can preview the changes you are making to your data. That way, you can check to ensure the relationships are being created as expected before those changes are made in your live database.

Under Step 4, click the Review button, then select Preview in the popup.

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On the Notify tab, add any additional recipients who should receive the CSV (and make sure to hit Enter after each address). You can also provide additional context in the message subject or body.

On the When tab, click Run Now and select which records to apply the change to (in most cases this will be All, but if you have a large number of records, you may just want to do a chunk for a test), then click the Run Now button.

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Open the CSV file from your email in a spreadsheet application and review the columns. Each row in the CSV includes the record types, IDs, names, deeplinks to both records in Salesforce, relevant values "before" and "after" the operation, and results info.

The below example highlights the last few columns of the CSV, showing:

  1. Source record match field (Contacts: Email Domain)
  2. Target record match field (Accounts: Website)
  3. Source field value before the copy operation from Step 3 (Contacts: Mailing Country (Before))
  4. Target field value before the copy operation (Accounts: Shipping Country (Before))
  5. Result of the copy operation
  6. Result of the association operation
    • Failed, multiple target matches (5) – Insycle found 5 records that meet the match criteria (see the Troubleshooting section below for more info and help)
    • Added – An association was successfully made
    • Created and added – There was no matching account found, so one was created and the association was made to the new account

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If the results don't look the way you expected, go back to your filters and associate functions and try making some adjustments, then preview again.

Apply Changes to Salesforce

If everything in your CSV preview looks correct, return to Insycle and move forward with applying the changes to your live Salesforce data.

Under Step 4, click the Review button again, and this time select Update mode.

On the When tab, you should use Run Now the first time you apply these changes to Salesforce. If you have a large number of records, you may want to do a smaller batch to review the results in your database.

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Save Templates and Set Up Automation

After you've seen the results in Salesforce and you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save all of the configurations as a template and set up automation so this association operation runs on a set schedule.

Return to the Template menu at the top of the page and click Copy to save your configurations as a new version of whatever template you started with. Then click the pencil to edit your new template name.

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Under Step 4, click the Review button, and select Update mode.

On the Notify tab, select the send option appropriate for your automation: Always send, Send when errors, or Do not email.

Add any additional recipients who should receive the CSV each time the automation runs. You can also provide additional context in the message subject or body.

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On the When tab, select Automate, and configure the frequency you'd like the template to run. When finished, click Schedule.

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If you have several templates you'd like to automatically run together, you can create a Recipe.

By automating with a template, you'll save time and ensure that your records are linked in a consistent way on an ongoing basis. 

Audit Trail and History

With the Activity Tracker, you have a complete audit trail and history of changes made through Insycle, including processes run in Preview mode or data syncs. At any time you can download a CSV report that lets you see all of the changes that were made in a given run of the operation.

Navigate to Operations > Activity Tracker, search by module, app, or template name, and then click the Run ID for the operation.

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Tips for Creating Relationships between Records

  • To create associations between records, you need a field with a similar value in both records. For example, "Email Domain" on the contact, and "Website" on the account. Then, you can pick those fields to match the records and establish the association.
  • You can make associations in both directions: contacts to accounts, or accounts to contacts.
  • Though making associations will work in both directions, consider that contacts to accounts is the standard direction, and some features (such as the "Create new when no matching is found" checkbox) are only designed to work when contacts are being associated to accounts.
  • For straightforward relationships with obvious matching fields, the direction of the relationship doesn't matter. But in some cases, such as creating associations with custom objects or child and parent accounts, the direction may be important. If you are having trouble, try changing the direction of the association.

Advanced How-Tos

Using Exact Match vs. Similar Match Comparison Rules

In Step 2, the Comparison Rule defines what kind of likeness to look for when deciding if field values should be considered a match for linking.

It's a good idea to start with Exact Match for the straightforward matches, then use Similar Match to look for edge cases.

Exact Match looks for values that match exactly, with no differences from one record to the next. Any unique identifying fields should use Exact Match. This is usually your best bet when looking for relationships.

Similar Match looks for values that may be close but with a one-character difference (like a typo, extra character, or missing character) and broadens the search. This search behaves like when Google shows results for a slightly different term or says “Did you mean...”

For example, if an Account Name of, “Acme” is found, it could include records with the Account Name values, “Akme," "acm," or "Acma,” as matches.

Similar Match uses looser criteria that cast a wider net for what can be considered matches. Make sure to carefully review the results to ensure the relationships being created are what you're expecting.

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*Note that ID fields can only be Exact Match, never Similar Match.

Create and Associate a New Record if No Match is Found

If no matching record is found, you can choose to automatically create a new record based on what is in the source record.

Under Step 2 of the Associate app, check the Create new [record] when no matching is found box to enable, then select the field to use for naming the new record.

Flag Unmatched Records in Your Inbox

When using the Associate app, you have the option to be alerted when records aren’t matched. This may be helpful if you want to investigate and address any records where a relationship has not been created.

Under Step 2 check the Count unmatched records as Failed box.

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Then in the Step 4 popup on the Notify tab, you can select the email delivery option “Always send,” or “Send when errors.”

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When checked, any record where there is no match to create the association will be counted as “Failed.” This will be reflected by a “with Failures” suffix on the report email subject line…

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…and a, "Failed, no matching record found (use 'Grid Edit' to troubleshoot)" message in the Result column of the CSV report.

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When you save this associate configuration as a template and set up automation, the report emails will let you know when a relationship has not been created for a record so you can address it as needed.

Troubleshooting

There's a "Failed, multiple sources/target matches," Result in CSV

A "Failed, multiple target matches (x)" or "Multiple sources matched" result occurs when multiple records meet your matching specifications. For example, if you were linking contacts to companies, and Insycle found ten company records with the name "Microsoft," it wouldn't know which Microsoft to establish the relationship with.

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There are a few options for resolving this issue:

  1. If there shouldn't be multiples of these records you should first go through the process of merging duplicates before trying to create these relationships.
  2. If there are supposed to be multiple similar, but distinct records, you can add another matching field in Step 2 to make the criteria more specific. A record would have to match both field values to be considered appropriate for making the relationship. associate-salesforce-leads-to-accounts-step-2-by-domain-&-country.png
  3. Or, use the filter in Step 2 to narrow the records to be associated.associate-salesforce-leads-to-accounts-step-2-accounts-filter-button-w-arrow.png
    In the filter popup you could, for example, add the "Company name," field and set the Condition, "contains" "HQ." This tells Insycle to only consider companies for association if the Company Name value includes the term "HQ."associate-salesforce-leads-to-accounts-step-2-filter-account-name-hq.png
There's an "Unmodified, no matching record found…," Result in CSV

An "Unmodified, no matching record found (use 'Grid Edit' to troubleshoot)" result occurs when there aren’t any records that meet your matching specifications.

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You can examine the data in the unmatched records and troubleshoot using the Grid Edit module. Look at different fields and values to identify why your associate setup didn’t work for the record. Then decide what match options could work or if some cleanup is needed.

Learn more about reviewing your data using the Grid Edit module.

There's a "Failed, no matching record found…," Result in CSV

When using the Associate app, you have the option under Step 2 to Count unmatched records as Failed. When checked, any record where there is no match to create the association will be counted as “Failed.” This will be reflected by a, "Failed, no matching record found (use 'Grid Edit' to troubleshoot)" message in the Result column of the CSV report.

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You can examine the data in the unmatched records and troubleshoot using the Grid Edit module. Look at different fields and values to identify why your associate setup didn’t work for the record. Then decide what match options could work or if some cleanup is needed.

Learn more about reviewing your data using the Grid Edit module.

Looking for the Appropriate Matching Value

If you run into issues linking records, you can look up the matching values individually to determine what to use for a match. 

Doing the below steps in order allows you to compare how the values look before matching. That way, you can adjust the matching rules if they are not an exact match.

  1. In the Grid Edit module select the record type and look for a specific matching value.
  2. In the Grid Edit module select the linked record type and look for the field value that matches the value from the previous step.
  3. In the Associate app select the record type, and add a filter for the value you discovered in Step 2 so that you can focus on these specific records.lead-to-account-3.png
No Obvious Field to Use for Matching Between the Two Record Types

Bulk associations require that you have a field that you can use to match the two records. For instance, you might select "Account ID" for contact records, and "Account Name" for account records. You then use these two fields to link the two records.

But what do you do if you have no obvious matching field between the two record types that you would like to link?

For example, maybe you would like to link contacts not only with the account that they work for but with the parent account as well. In this scenario, it is not very likely that you capture the parent account on the contact record, which means that you may have no field to use to match the association. As a result, you'll need to create a custom field for contacts and accounts, such as "Custom Parent Account." Ideally, if child accounts are already related to parent accounts, you'll be able to pull this data from your account records and populate both custom fields using Salesforces's automation features.

Then, you'll be able to use the Custom Parent Account field for both contacts and accounts to make the match.

The key is finding a data point that would allow you to match the associations, even if it is only available for one record type. Then you can create the custom matching fields that allow you to make the associations.

It's Taking a Long Time for Insycle to Find Related Records

It can take a while for Insycle to find and match records if the fields being used to identify the relationship have very long values. The longer the values the longer it takes Insycle to process the data and generate the results. This might come up when using links with long ID numbers, LinkedIn bios, or other URLs with long strings (e.g., https://www.linkedin.com/in/svadin%C3%ADr-n%C4%9Bmec-1234b31a3/).

If the end of the values are all unique you can try and speed this up by using the Match Parts parameter under Step 2, which will limit the comparison to the last several characters.

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Or use the Ignored > Text (Substrings) parameter, and click the Terms button.

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On the Ignored Text tab of the popup, add the common portion of the URL or text string.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What fields can I use to create relationships?

You can use any field in your database to create relationships between records, you just need to figure out which field in each record type will have the same value. For instance, you might select "Account ID" for contact records, and "Account Name" for account records. Or you could use "Email Domain" on the contact, and "Website" on the account.

Commonly used fields for linking include account names, email domains, and website URLs.

Can I link accounts to contacts instead of contacts to accounts?

Yes. You can link records in either direction.

Though making relationships will work in both directions, consider that contacts to accounts is the standard direction, and some features (such as the "Create new when no matching is found" checkbox) are only designed to work when contacts are being linked to accounts.

In some cases, such as creating relationships with custom objects or child and parent accounts, the direction may be important.

Can Insycle manage parent-child relationships?

Yes, Insycle can help manage parent-child relationships. For more information, see the Associate or Link Parent-Child Companies article.

Can Insycle create and link a new account record if there isn't one found?

Yes. If no matching record is found, you can choose to automatically create a new account record based on what is in the contact record. Under Step 2, check the Create new Accounts when no matching is found box to enable, then select the field to use for naming the new account.

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How can I use a Recipe?

You can save several templates and string them together into a longer, ordered sequence. This can then be automated to run on a set schedule. 

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Learn more about Recipes, or learn Why Data Management Is So Time-Consuming and How Recipes Can Help.

Additional Resources

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