How to Link Salesforce Leads to Accounts

Leads are not linked with accounts in Salesforce, so when your sales team is looking at the account record, they aren't seeing leads that belong to the same company. This can result in confusion for team members who don't know the account exists and already has an owner, and potentially they reach out to an existing customer.

Luckily, there is a simple workaround that will let you create that relationship.  

Insycle's Associate app allows you to link Salesforce leads to accounts in bulk and automatically, using a custom lookup field you create in Salesforce.

Process Summary

  1. Create a custom lookup field in Salesforce.
  2. Use Insycle to filter the leads down to those you want to link.
  3. Set rules for making the links.
  4. Preview and apply the changes from Insycle to Salesforce.

 

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Setup Custom Lookup Field in Salesforce

Leads are not linked with accounts in Salesforce by default. To establish and display this relationship on lead and account pages, you need to use a custom lookup field, then display the correct related lists.

Create a Custom Lead Field Called “Account Name”

This field is used to create the association within the database.

In Salesforce navigate to Setup > Object Manager > Lead > Fields & Relationships.

Click New and create a custom field with the following properties:

  • Data Type: Lookup Relationship
  • Related Object: Account
  • Field Label: Account Name
  • Field Name: AccountId
  • Child Relationship Name: Leads
  • Related List Label: Leads (account)
  • API Name: AccountId__c (this should fill in automatically on the Custom Field Definition Detail page)

Account Name Custom Field properties

Add New Field to Lead Page Layout

In Salesforce, navigate to Setup > Object Manager > Lead > Page Layouts > Lead Layout.

Add the new Account Name field to the layout. 

Lead page layout

The Account Name custom lookup field should now be available on lead objects and the association should display on lead profile pages.

View of Account Name field on a Lead record

With the custom Account Name lookup field set up, you can now create relationships between Salesforce leads and accounts.

Add Leads Related List to Accounts Page Layout

In Salesforce, navigate to Setup > Object Manager > Account > Page Layouts > Account Layout.

Add the new Leads Related List to the layout. 

Account page layout

The leads associations should now show up on the account profile pages.

View of the leads on an account record

2. In Insycle, Filter Leads to Be Linked

In Insycle, navigate to the RevOps Acceleration > Associate app, select your Salesforce database, and the Leads record type in the top menu.

Explore the templates for an existing solution that may be close to what you need. The pre-built templates, Link Leads to Accounts using Company Name, or Link Leads to Accounts using Domain could give you a good start and be tailored to your needs.

Select a template

Under Step 1, select Fields you want to look at and Conditions you want the values to meet 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. You could leave the filter blank if you want to link all available leads to accounts.

Filter Lead records

When you click Search, Insycle will list matching records in the Record Viewer at the bottom of the page.

Record Viewer

3. Set Up Rules That Will Create the Relationships

Under Step 2, define the rules for bulk matching the two record types during the linking process. In this example, we're linking leads to accounts. 

In the first row:

Select Action, Link and Filter

1. Action tells Insycle what to do to the records surfaced in Step 1. You can Add or Remove a link between records. 

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

3. Click the Accounts Filter to limit the pool of target account records to those that best fit this relationship.

Account filter

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

associate-salesforce-accounts-step-2-selection-popup.png

In the second row:

Select Fields, comparison and match rules

5. Select the Leads Field you want to try and match with the account record. In the example above, the Company value from the lead record will be used.

6. Select the Accounts Field with the value that should match the lead field. In this example, the Account Name from the account records will be analyzed for a match.

7. The Comparison Rule tells Insycle whether the values between the lead 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.

8. 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 Ignored rule tells Insycle to ignore Symbols that may appear in the Company or Account Name fields such as the period at the end of "Inc." or "Co." This is often a necessary parameter for matching companies.

9. The Match Parts tells Insycle whether to match the entire field or just part of it. In the example, Insycle will only look at the First 2 Words of the Company and Account Name values. 

4. Preview and Apply Changes to Salesforce

Preview Changes in a CSV Report

Now with the filters and 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.

First, under Step 4, click the Review button.

In the Bulk Associate popup, select Preview and click Next.

Select Preview mode

On the Notify tab, add any recipients who should receive the CSV (and 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), then click the Run Now button.

Run Now

Open the CSV file from your email in a spreadsheet application and review the columns. 

For each lead record, Insycle looks at the Company value and looks for a match in the Account Name field of account records. You can see these values side-by-side in the CSV. In the Result column, an "Added" value indicates a match was found, and the relationship could be added (when the update is applied to your CRM). 

Review columns in CSV file

Apply Changes to Salesforce

If everything in your CSV preview looks correct, return to Insycle and apply the changes to the live Salesforce data.

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

On the When tab, click Run Now and select which records to apply the change to (in most cases this will be All), then click the Run Now button.

Save Templates and Setup Automation to Maintain Formatting

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 linking operation runs on a set schedule. 

By automating with a template, you'll save time and ensure that your fields are consistently linked on an ongoing basis.

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.

save-template-copy-and-rename.png

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.

associate-step-4-update-notify-always-send.png

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

associate-step-4-update-automate-weekly.png

Advanced How-Tos

Using Multiple Related Matching Fields

You can specify more than one matching field when making associations in the Associate app. 

For example, maybe you want to compare a contact's Email Domain against an account's Website, along with any listed in the Additional Websites field. 

To do this, under Step 2, select the Advanced tab. There, you'll be able to add Related Match Fields to catch more associations. 

associate-salesforce-contacts-to-accounts-step-2-advanced-tab-related-match-field.png

Matching Using Email Domain and Website

Instead of using the company and account name to match leads to accounts in Step 2, you could use the lead's email domain and the account's website. You'll need to tell Insycle to only look at the main part of the domain.

substrings-terms.png

  1. In the Ignored field, select Text (substrings) (www., https://), and Sub Domain (app.domain.com).
  2. To edit the ignored text substrings, click the Terms button, then on the Ignored Text tab, enter any additional values to ignore.

ignored-terms.png

Using Exact Match vs. Similar Match

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.

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-salesforce-leads-to-accounts-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.

Create and Associate a New Account 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.

associate-salesforce-leads-to-accounts-step-2-count-as-failed-checkbox.png

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

associate-step-4-update-mode-send-when-errors.png

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…

associate-count-as-failed-inbox-email-subject-with-failures.png

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

associate-salesforce-leads-to-accounts-csv-failed-result.png

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.

associate-salesforce-contacts-to-accounts-csv-failed-result.png

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. You can also 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 "Account 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
  4. In cases where there are multiple account records that could match, you can add Selection rules for picking the appropriate record.
    associate-salesforce-leads-to-accounts-step-2-selection-button.png
    You can create rules in the selection pop-up to select the most recently created record with an owner assigned.
    associate-salesforce-accounts-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.

associate-salesforce-contacts-to-accounts-unmodified-result-csv.png

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.

associate-salesforce-contacts-to-accounts-csv-failed-unmatched-result.png

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 with lead-to-account matching, you can look up the company name and account name values separately 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 Leads record type and look for a specific Company value.
  2. In the Grid Edit module select the Accounts record type and look for the Account Name value that matches the Company value from the previous step.
  3. In the Associate app, select the Leads record type and the pre-built template, Link Leads to Accounts using Company Name to link lead to account by name. Add a filter for the company name so that you can focus on these specific leads.lead-to-account-3.png

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to go through the typical conversion process before linking leads to accounts?

No, Insycle bypasses the typical conversion process of turning leads into contacts, accounts, and opportunities in the Salesforce system. With Insycle, you can directly associate leads to accounts.

Do I need to make any settings changes in Salesforce for this to work?

There aren't any settings that need to be changed, but creating the custom lookup field in Salesforce is required for Insycle to make lead-to-account links.

Additional Resources

Related Help Articles

Related Blog Posts