Bulk Associate Child to Parent Companies in HubSpot

How to Establish Relationships Between Parent and Child Companies in Bulk

Your sales and marketing teams rely on properly associated HubSpot data for context in communications and sales conversations. Without proper child-parent company associations in place, you lack vital context and potentially miss big opportunities.

With Insycle, you can automatically detect and create relationships between child companies and parent companies in bulk. 

If the parent and child records you want to associate are already in your CRM, use the Associate app. To associate new records from a CSV while importing, use the Magical Import module.

Tips for Creating Relationships between Companies

Identify Parent Companies In Your Database

A key to correctly associating parent companies in bulk is having a convention for identifying parent companies in your CRM. 

Common approaches include:

  • Adding an identifier to parent company names, such as "HQ." For example, the Parent Company value could be, "Microsoft HQ."
  • Adding a custom field with a value like, "Parent Company," or "HQ" to manually tag parents, then include this in the companies filter under Step 2.
  • Adding a HubSpot label such as "HQ," to parent companies, then use this label to select companies on the Related tab of Step 2.
  • Using other fields, such as opportunity amounts, to automatically identify and tag parent companies. 

There may be other ways to identify parent companies; it will depend on your data and situation.

Associate Child and Parent Companies with the Associate App

The Associate app can associate records that already exist in your database.

Process Summary

  1. Filter records down to those you want to associate.
  2. Set rules for making the associations.
  3. Optionally, copy a value between the associated records.
  4. Preview and apply the changes to the CRM.

In this example, the Company Name values of parent companies have already been appended with "HQ" to distinguish them from other companies, as suggested in the Tips for Creating Relationships between Companies above.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Select and Filter Records

Navigate to RevOps Acceleration > Associate.

Select the database and the Companies record type in the top menu. Then explore the templates for an existing solution. The Associate child to parent companies pre-built template can provide a good starting point that can be customized to fit your specific needs.

Under Step 1, the filter is configured to find company objects that might be child companies. Here, only companies that do not have an associated Parent Company, and the Company Name does not include the value “hq" will be included in the task.

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

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Step 2: Configure Rules That Will Create the Child-Parent Relationships

With HubSpot, there are two ways of creating child-parent company associations:

  1. Use a field that should have matching values on each record. For instance, you might select "Company Name," and/or "Company Domain" to match company records.
  2. Use existing relationships to fill in missing associations. For example, if you already have relationships between companies and contacts, you can use these relationships to create associations between child and parent companies.

Using Field Values to Match Records and Create Associations

In Step 2, set up the rules that tell Incycle what records to use, fields to look at, and what criteria the values must meet in order to consider them a match for creating the relationship:

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1. The Action tells Insycle what to do to the records that surfaced in Step 1. Add is used to create new child-parent company associations, or you could Remove existing associations. The Replace action removes existing child-parent associations and adds new associations in one easy step. 

2. Associate specifies the type of record you want to create the relationship with. This template uses the Company to Company option.

3. The Labels field is used in HubSpot to identify the relationship. Here, this is set as Child to Parent.

4. The Companies Filter is used to narrow the company records down to those that might be parent companies. To identify these, this filter will only look at companies that have, “HQ” in the company title. Update this filter to match the convention established for identifying parent companies in HubSpot.

5. Click the Selection button to define rules for picking the company if there are multiple matches found.

The next two lines tell Insycle what values to use to identify company matches: 

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6. The first Companies Field is the field from the child company you want to try and match with the parent company. 

7. The second Companies Field is the corresponding parent company field to be matched with the child record. 

In this template, Insycle will try to match the child Company Name to the parent Company Name, and the child Company Domain Name value to the parent Company Domain Name. The two matching fields are often the same for both the parent and child companies unless you are using a custom field to track an identifier.

To be considered a match, the values will have to meet the Comparison, Ignored, and Match Parts rules:

8. The Comparison Rule tells Insycle whether the values between the company records must be an Exact Match or Similar Match. This example uses Exact Match, but you can learn more about these Comparison Rules in the Pro Tip below.

9. Ignored settings 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 template, the first Ignore rule tells Insycle to ignore a list of Common Terms that may appear in the Company Name field such as "HQ," "LLC" or "Inc." To view or alter the list of Common Terms, click the Terms button at the bottom of this section (see #10 below).

In the second row, the Ignore rule says to ignore the Sub Domain in the Company Domain Name field values. For example, if the company is Microsoft, "www.microsoft.com," "dev.microsoft.com," and "app.microsoft.com" would all be considered matches. To also consider "www.microsoft.co.uk" as a match, add the Top-Level Domain (Extension) Ignore option.

10. 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.

11. Click the Terms button to edit the Ignored "Common Terms" from #9 above. 

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Using Existing Relationships to Create Associations

Under Step 2, click the Related tab and set up the rules that tell Incycle what associations to use for creating the relationship. 

Use the HubSpot association Labels to categorize the relationships or filter the related records. A Label option must be selected for each rule. If you don't want any labels applied, use the Unlabeled option.

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  1. The Action tells Insycle what to do to the records surfaced in Step 1. You can AddRemove, or use the Replace action to remove existing associations and create new ones.
  2. The Association is the relationship you want to create, the one that is missing on the source record. In the above example, we want to create a hierarchical relationship between companies. 
    Use the Association Labels to categorize the relationship. You can add, remove, or replace one or more labels based on the Action you've selected. In the example, the new relationship between companies will be labeled as "Child to Parent."
  3. On the Related From dropdown, select the association that already exists on the source records, and already has the same relationship you want to add to the source records. In this example, the child company records are already associated with contact records, and those contacts are already linked to parent companies.
    The Related From Labels act as a filter where only the existing associated records with the matching labels will be used/looked at. In the example, only contact records with a "Branch" label will be used.
  4. On the Related To dropdown, select the relationship from the associated record to copy to the source record. In this example, we'll copy the contact's associated parent company to the child company.
    The Related To Labels act as a filter where only relationships with the selected label will be copied to the source record. In this example, only companies with "HQ" labels will be added as parent companies.

Learn more about Using Existing HubSpot Associations to Fill in Missing Relationships.

Step 3: Copy Values between the Associated Records (Optional)

If you want to ensure some values are consistent between the linked records, such as the record owner, you can execute that copy in bulk.

Under Step 3, select the field from the source record type (in this example, child companies), and the relevant field on the target records (parent companies). You can choose to copy values from the source company (child) to the target company (parent), or target company to the source. In the below example, the child company owner will always be copied into a custom field on the parent company.

The Copy Rule gives you three options: 

  • Only when [the record you're linking to] field is empty
  • Only when [the record you're linking from] 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.

Step 4: Preview and Apply Changes to HubSpot

Preview Changes in a CSV Report

Now, with the filters and association actions in place, you can preview the changes you will make to your HubSpot data. Using the CSV, 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 add colleagues and additional context here.

On the When tab, click the Run Now tab 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 your preview), 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.

When using fields to make associations, the CSV shows how for each company record that didn't already have a Parent Company value, nor "HQ" in the Company Name, Insycle tried to match it with another company record using the Company Name + Company Domain Name values. There is one row per record showing the two record IDs, deeplinks to the HubSpot record, Company Name, and Domain values that were matched, and the Result column tells you if the relationship was added.

 associate-hubspot-child-to-parent-companies-by-name-&-domain-csv.png

When using existing relationships to make associations, each row in the CSV includes:

  1. Source record type (in this example, the child companies), with the ID, company name, and deeplink to the HubSpot record.
  2. Related record type (contacts), with the ID, email, and deeplink.
  3. Record type to be associated (parent companies), with the ID, company name, and deeplink.
  4. Result of the association. This example shows, "Added" which means an association was made.

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Apply Changes to the CRM

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

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

On the When tab, you should use Run Now the first time you apply these changes to the CRM, then click the Run Now button.

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Save a Template and Set Up Automation

After you've seen the results in HubSpot 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 process 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 (and make sure to hit Enter after each address). 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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Create a template for each segment and association configuration, then you can create a Recipe to automatically run them together. 

Additionally, you can create a Recipe, a template bundle that can then be inserted into HubSpot Workflows. By doing this, you could ensure that child and parent companies are correctly associated immediately after they enter your database and before your first communications to them go out.

Pro Tip: In Step 2, Using Exact Match vs. Similar Match

The Comparison Rule defines what kind of likeness to look for when deciding if field values should be considered a match.

It's a good idea to start with Exact Match for the straightforward matches, then use Similar Match to broaden the search and 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.

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 a Company Name of, “Acme” is found, it could include records with the Company 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.

associate-hubspot-contact-to-company-step-2-company-name-similar-match.png

  If using ID fields to match, note that they will only work with Exact Match, not Similar Match.

Associate Child-Parent Companies from a CSV with the Magical Import Module

If you have a CSV file containing data to be imported as new records, use the Magical Import module to associate child companies to existing parent companies in HubSpot when you import.

Process Summary

  1. Select the CSV file.
  2. Map the CSV columns to the HubSpot fields and select the import mode for each field.
  3. Select the unique identifier field.
  4. Optionally, specify how to prepare and modify your data before importing.
  5. Set rules to make associations between CSV and CRM records.
  6. Import the data with the specified associations to your CRM.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Select the File, Map Columns, and Specify How to Import Values

Select the CSV File for Import

In the Magical Import module, select the database and the record type in the top menu.

Click the Choose button and select the CSV file that you would like to import. Uploading a file into Insycle does not import it to the CRM right away, instead, you can prepare the data and make associations before actually importing it into HubSpot.

Map CSV Columns to CRM Fields

After uploading your CSV data, Insycle analyzes your file and compares the columns in the file to fields in your HubSpot database.

A column is included for each field in the CSV, with the CSV Column header appearing as the top row. Insycle automatically detects the matching HubSpot fields and maps them for you. The second row shows the mapped HubSpot Field names.

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If your CSV contains fields that are not matched to your CRM, a red error notification icon will show at the top of the column. These unmapped fields need to be mapped manually by clicking the dropdown and finding the appropriate HubSpot field. If they remain unmapped they will not be imported.

To remove fields from the import, hover over the column name and click the “X”.

If there are issues with row data, the red warning icon will be shown on the left side of the row. When you hover over the icon, an explanation of the error will be displayed. Records that have errors in them will not be imported. Learn about fixing common errors in the Troubleshooting section below.

Warning, No record in Owners has matching value

Specify How to Import Values for Each Column

With all relevant fields mapped, tell Insycle how to use the data on a field-by-field basis by selecting the Import Mode in the third row of the table.

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Four Import Mode Options

  • Update – Update your HubSpot records with data from all non-empty fields in the CSV.
  • Fill – Import CSV values only when the corresponding field in HubSpot is empty.
  • Overwrite – Insycle will replace any existing data in HubSpot with the data in the CSV—even if the CSV field is empty.
  • Append – Import values from the CSV and append (add them to) the existing data already in your HubSpot records. A typical example of how Append is used would be adding additional text in a “Notes” field. 

To make any final changes to values before they are imported, you can edit the import data directly in Insycle by hovering over a value and clicking the pencil icon.

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Step 2: Select Unique Identifier Field

Insycle uses Identity Fields to compare your CSV to your HubSpot data. Identity Fields must be "unique identifiers." This is data that would only belong to a single company—such as company name, company domain, phone numbers, addresses, or ID numbers.

Under Step 2 on the Import tab, select the Identity Field you'll use in your import.

Note that when using a domain field, Insycle will automatically cross-reference any additional domain fields in the records for a match. If using an email field, Insycle will check additional email fields.

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Select the Records Mode to tell Insycle how the imported data should be handled during the import process:

  • Update existing and create net new – If Insycle is unable to find a corresponding company record in HubSpot, a new record will be created.
  • Only update existing – If a corresponding company record is found, it will be updated with the data from your CSV import. CSV rows that are not matched with an existing HubSpot record will not be imported.
  • Only create net new – Only records that can not be matched with an existing record in your HubSpot database will be imported. Company records that already exist will not be updated.
Step 3: Specify Formatting Changes to Make (Optional)

You can make changes to the CSV data in Insycle before it is uploaded to your CRM. You could apply formatting to a field, cleanse data, organize, and perform other actions before import.

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Step 4: Set Up the Child to Parent Association to Make During Import

Under Step 4, click the Associate tab.

Configure the rules that will create the relationship between the two company records:

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1. Action tells Insycle what to do to the records surfaced in Step 1. Select “Add," to make this association during the import.

2. Associate specifies the type of record you want to create the relationship with. Choose, "Company to Company."

3. The Labels field is used in HubSpot to identify the relationship. Select, "Child to Parent."

4. In the CSV Column field, select the field from your CSV to use to identify matches. When associating child to parent companies, you would likely choose the “Company Domain” or “Company Name” field from your CSV import.

5. On the Match Field, select the field in your HubSpot database that should match your CSV value. For example, if you are using the “Company Domain” field from the CSV, you'd want to match that to the “Company Domain Name” field in HubSpot. 

Step 5: Import the Data with Associations into HubSpot

By default, Insycle will attempt to import all of your formatted CSV data into your database. Leave the checkboxes blank to import all of the records. If there are only a few records you want to apply the association to—perhaps to test things out before importing the entire CSV—return to the table under Step 1 and check the boxes beside the desired records. 

To import, click the Import Companies button. Note that changes are applied to your CRM immediately, there is no preview step. 

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After the import runs, the Import Result breaks down the import information—how many records you tried to import and how many succeeded, failed, were updated, deleted, or unmodified. Click the Run ID to open a CSV record of the import.

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After you've seen the results in HubSpot and you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save all of the configurations as a template so you can easily reproduce the same import and associate operation in the future.

Troubleshooting: Step 1. Seeing Red Warning Icons

If there are issues with a record, the red warning icon will be shown on the left side of the record in Step 1. Records that have errors in them will not be imported.

To learn what the problem is and determine steps to resolve it, hover over the red exclamation mark—an explanation of the error will display.

Warning, No record in Owners has matching value

If a field in your HubSpot database includes picklist values and the data included in your CSV does not match, the row will display an "Invalid picklist value" error. This value needs to be changed to match the picklist options used in HubSpot.

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To make any final changes to values before they are imported, you can edit the import data directly in Insycle by hovering over a value and clicking the pencil icon.

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Troubleshooting: Using Multiple Identity Fields

You can select more than one Identity Field in Step 2, however, Insycle will check all the fields to match. If one of the fields does not match, a corresponding company CRM record will not be identified.

If using the Records Mode, Update existing and create net new, and Insycle wasn't able to find a match, a new record will be created.

With the Only update existing Records Mode, you may identify far fewer existing records and much of your CSV data may not be imported because Insycle will not be able to find the correct record to update.

Too many identity fields

Deduplicating Associated Companies

When deduplicating child or parent companies in HubSpot, Insycle is able to detect even the most complex company hierarchy associations, ensuring that the correct child company master records are associated with the correct parent company master records after the companies are merged.

HubSpot Specific Considerations

Primary vs. Non-Primary Associations

HubSpot records allow for multiple associations. For instance, a contact might be associated with both a primary company, as well as several subsidiary companies. In HubSpot, you can designate an association as the "Primary" association. This is visible on the record's profile page. The "Primary" tag is technically a label but has other implications such as that association showing at the top of association lists and being more visible within the UI. 

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With Insycle, you can add or remove the "Primary" label using the matching rules you set for your template.

Removing Associations and Dealing with Labels

With Insycle, there are a couple of ways to remove associations and all labels for an association in one step.

On the Simple tab of Step 2, select the Remove action and all relevant labels, including unlabeled ones, in the Labels dropdown. 

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The Existing tab lets you use existing labels to control which records to add or remove labels on. You can also remove associations from here.

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Learn more about using associations and labels in HubSpot.

Supported HubSpot Record Types

The following HubSpot CRM objects are supported in Insycle:

  • Contacts
  • Companies
  • Deals
  • Tickets
  • Line Items
  • Custom Objects

Advanced How-Tos

Associating Child-Parent-Grandparent Companies

Insycle can associate multiple levels of child-parent relationships by mapping child companies to parent companies and parent companies to grandparent companies.

  • Child Company → Parent Company → Grandparent Company

Similar to other association use cases, you can use the Associate app to associate based on existing properties or Magical Import to associate based on CSV files.

In the below example, to associate child-parent-grandparent using Magical Import, the columns in the CSV file include a custom field, "Relationship," populated with the values Child, Parent, and Grandparent. For in-depth instructions on how to do this, see the Associate Child-Parent Companies from a CSV with the Magical Import Module section above.

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Mirroring Salesforce Account Hierarchy in HubSpot

The process of checking Salesforce hierarchies and re-creating them in HubSpot is labor-intensive, costly, and an easy way to introduce errors. Challenges arise from the inherent differences in how these platforms structure and manage data, as well as the complexities involved in syncing information across multiple systems. 

In Insycle, there are a couple steps you can take to optimize and automate this process.

First, you can use a custom ID to ensure relationships between child and parent companies are consistent between HubSpot and Salesforce, in bulk and automatically.

Then, you can use the filters in the Associate app to segment the companies from both CRMs, and make the process run more efficiently.

Setting Up the Custom ID Property

In HubSpot, create a custom property to hold parent company ID information. This new field must be a “dropdown select” field type.

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In Salesforce, add a new sync rule and mapping to share Salesforce’s parent company ID with HubSpot. On the HubSpot-Salesforce integration page, go to the field mappings for the Company property, and set the Salesforce Parent ID field mapping to “Always use Salesforce.”

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Now you can go to Insycle and use the Associate app to create the child-parent relationships in bulk. 

Configuring the Association Using the New Property

In Step 1, filter your HubSpot records to find those that don’t have a parent company, and do have a listed Salesforce Parent ID.

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The Salesforce ID is an 18-character alphanumeric value. When using this ID as the matching key, Insycle has to crawl through this string for the child and parent companies, comparing all 18 characters for each record on both sides. This can take a long time to complete.

To optimize the matching process, you can limit the number of characters Insycle will look at for the comparison. So instead of looking at all 18 characters of the Salesforce ID, you can tell Insycle to only compare the last 9. With this approach, matching will run about 300x faster!

In Step 2, configure the association settings using the new Salesforce Parent ID property and the Salesforce Account ID field. Use the Match Parts parameter to only look at the Last 9 Characters.

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Then save a template and set up automation to ensure the company hierarchies automatically remain consistent from here on.

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Create and Associate a New Company 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. The option is located in a different place in each module.

Associate App

In the Associate app, under Step 2 on the Simple tab, check the Create new [record] when no matching is found box to enable, then select the field to use for naming the new record.

Create a new record if no match is found

Magical Import Module

Under Step 4 of the Magical Import module, check the Create when no matching is found checkbox to enable.

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 using the Associate app, and 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-hubspot-contacts-to-companies-step-2-domain-and-country.png
  3. You can also use the filter in Step 2 of the Associate app to narrow the records to be associated.
    associate-hubspot-contacts-to-companies-step-2-companies-filter-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."
    bulk-op-hubspot-companies-step-2-companies-filter-hq-604px.png
  4. In cases where there are multiple target records that could match, you can add Selection rules for picking the appropriate record.
    associate-hubspot-deals-to-companies-step-2-selection-button.png
    You can create rules in the selection pop-up to choose the most recently created record that has an owner assigned.
    associate-hubspot-deals-to-companies-step-2-selection-popup.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.

There's a "Failed, not related to [Companies] through [Contacts] association" Result in the CSV

When using existing relationships to make associations, a "Failed, not related to [record type] through [record type] association" error in the CSV's Result column indicates the record associated to your selected source record type does not have the association you are looking for.

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For example, if you are setting up the process to associate child companies to parent companies with an "HQ" label by looking at the contact records, if a contact doesn’t have a company with that label associated with it, there is nothing to copy to the child company.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does Insycle know which company is the parent?

Insycle does not automatically know what company is the parent. You have to make that clear through the data itself. A common way of tagging the parent company is to include "HQ" in the company name field, or as a label. Or, you can create a custom field and manually tag parent companies before bulk associating with relevant child companies.

Can I have Insycle create a new company record and associate it if no match is found?

Yes, you can instruct Insycle to create the new company record if no match is found in both the Associate app and Magical Import module. See Create and Associate a New Company Record if No Match is Found in the Advanced How-Tos above for more detail.

create when no match found

Can I make child-parent associations from a CSV?

Yes. See the Associating Child and Parent Companies from a CSV With the Magical Import Module section above for information about making child-parent associations from a CSV file.

Can I make child-parent associations in bulk?

Yes. See the Associate Child and Parent Companies With the Associate App section above for information about making child-parent associations in bulk. 

Additional Resources

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