How to Establish Relationships Between Parent and Child Companies in Bulk
Your sales and marketing teams rely on properly associated data for context in communications and sales conversations. Without proper child-parent company associations in place, you lack vital context and may miss opportunities in account-based marketing and sales.
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
You will need a convention for identifying parent companies in your CRM. Without this, there is no way to associate them in bulk.
Common approaches include:
- Adding an identifier to parent company names, such as "HQ." This is what the filter in the example template is looking for. For example, the Parent Company value could be, "Microsoft HQ."
- Adding a custom field to manually tag parent companies before making the relationship.
- 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.
- Filter records down to those you want to associate.
- Set rules for making the associations.
- Optionally, copy a value between the associated records.
- Preview and apply the changes to the CRM.
Navigate to RevOps Acceleration > Associate.
Select the database and Companies record type from 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, configure the filter to find company records that might be child companies. Here, companies that do not have an associated Parent Company, and the Company Name does not include the value “hq" will be included in the results. This method assumes that parent company names will be appended with "hq" to denote that they are parent companies.
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, you'll need to click the Search button again to refresh the viewer.
In Step 2, you 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.
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 can Remove existing associations. In HubSpot, you can Replace existing associations with new child-parent associations based on your matching rules.
2. Associate specifies the type of record you want to create the relationship with. This template uses the Company to Company, option.
3. Hubspot users will see a Labels field which is used to name 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 your CRM.
The next two lines tell Insycle what values to use to identify company matches:
5. The Field Name is the field from the child record you want to try and match with the parent record.
6. Match Field is the corresponding parent company field to be matched with the child record.
The template will try to match the child Company Domain Name value to the parent Company Domain Name, and the child Company Name to the parent Company Name. To be considered a match, the values will have to meet the rules specified below.
The Field Name and Match Field are often the same for both the parent and child companies unless you are using a custom field to track an identifier.
7. 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.
Both of the field rows specify different parts of the values to ignore when considering them as matches:
8. 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," "Inc." or "LLC." To view or alter the list of Common Terms, click the Terms button at the bottom of this section (see below).
The second Ignore rule in the template says to ignore the Top-Level Domain (Extension), and Sub Domain in the Company Domain Name field values. Insycle will only look at the domain name and not at the extension or subdomain. For example, if the company is Microsoft, microsoft.com, microsoft.co.uk, and app.microsoft.com would all be considered matches.
9. 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.
10. The Ignored "Common Terms" can be edited using the Terms button.
After setting the association rules in Step 2, you can create rules to copy values between the company records. 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, the child company), and the relevant field on the target records (the parent company). 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
The preview CSV will include these fields, and specify if the value was copied for each record.
Preview Changes in a 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.
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), then click the Run Now button.
Open the CSV file from your email in a spreadsheet application and review the columns. 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. You can see the two Company Name values side by side, and the Result column tells you if the relationship was added.
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 CRM data.
Under Step 4, click the Review button, select Update mode, then click Next.
On the When tab you can choose to run and apply the update now, or you can set up an automation to run the template regularly. The first time you apply these changes to the CRM, we suggest you Run Now.
In the Run Now tab, you can control how many records to run the template on. Click Run Now to apply the changes to your CRM.
Save Templates and Setup Automation
After you've seen the results in the CRM 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.
By automating with a template, you'll save time and ensure that your company records are consistently associated on an ongoing basis.
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 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.
Be careful if using Similar Match, as the looser criteria can incorrectly identify records as matches. It is best to only use Similar Match with very open and generic fields, and only after trying everything else.
*Note that ID fields can only be Exact Match, never Similar Match.
Associate Child-Parent Companies from a CSV Using 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 your database when you import.
- Select the CSV file.
- Map the CSV columns to the CRM fields and select the import mode for each field.
- Select the unique identifier field.
- Optionally, specify how to prepare and modify your data before importing.
- Set rules to make associations between CSV and CRM records.
- Import the data with the specified associations to your CRM.
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 in a variety of ways before actually importing it to the CRM.
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 CRM 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 CRM fields and maps them for you. The second row shows the mapped CRM field names.
If your CSV contains fields that are not matched to your CRM, a red exclamation point icon will show. These unmapped fields need to be mapped manually by clicking the dropdown and finding the appropriate CRM 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 a field in your CRM includes dropdown values and the data included in your CSV does not match, the row will display an "Invalid picklist value" error.
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.
Four Import Mode Options
- Update – Update CRM records with all non-empty field data contained in the CSV.
- Fill – Import CSV values only when the corresponding field in your CRM is empty.
- Overwrite – Insycle will replace any existing data in your CRM 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 CRM. A typical example of how “Append” is used would be in a “Notes” field, or to add to existing dropdown data without including historical selections in your CSV.
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.
If there are issues with a record, the red warning icon will be shown on the left side of the row. When you hover over the red exclamation mark, an explanation of the error will be displayed.
Records that have errors in them will not be imported.
Insycle uses Identity Fields to compare your CSV to your CRM data. Identity Fields must be "unique identifiers." These are data points 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 an email field, Insycle will automatically cross-reference any additional email fields in the records for a match. If using a domain field, Insycle will check additional domain fields.
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, a new record will be created in your CRM.
- Only update existing – If a corresponding company record is found, it will be updated with the data from your CSV import. Records that are not matched with an existing CRM record will not be imported.
- Only create net new – Only records that can not be matched with an existing record in your database will be imported. Company records that already exist in your CRM will not be updated.
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.
Under Step 4, click the Associate tab (this may also be called the Link tab, depending on the naming convention in your CRM).
Configure the rules that will create the relationship between the two record types:
- For associating on import, choose “Add" from the Action field.
- Click the Associate field and choose "Company to Company."
- Then, under Labels choose "Child to Parent."
- 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 Name” or “Company Domain” field from your CSV import.
- On the Match Field, select the field in your CRM 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 your CRM.
- If no matching Company is found, an association will not be created. In these cases, you can choose to automatically create a new Company record based on what is in the CSV. Check the Create new Companies when no matching is found box to enable.
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.
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.
After you've seen the results in the CRM 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.
You can select more than one Identity Field in Step 2, however, Insycle will check all the fields to match. If one single field does not match, a corresponding company CRM record will not be identified.
Using the Update existing and create net new setting, Insycle will fail to match many records and instead will create a new record.
With the Only update existing setting, you will identify far fewer existing records and much of your CSV data will not be imported because Insycle will not be able to find the correct record to update.
If you're using a field that is not truly unique as an Identity Field, it's likely that Insycle won't be able to identify one single record to use. For instance, there could be many companies with the Industry, "Education" in your CRM, this wouldn't help you ensure you are pulling data from the correct company. This is why uniqueness is key.
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 create relationships 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 Using the Magical Import Module section above.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Then save a template and set up automation to ensure the company hierarchies automatically remain consistent from here on.
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.
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.
Magical Import Module
Under Step 4 of the Magical Import module, check the Create when no matching is found checkbox to enable.
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.
There are a few options for resolving this issue:
- 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.
- 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.
- Or, use the filter in Step 2 of the Associate app to narrow the records to be associated.
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."
An "Unmodified, no matching record found (use 'Grid Edit' to troubleshoot)" result occurs when there aren’t any records that meet your matching specifications.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Insycle does not automatically know what company the parent is. 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, you can create a custom field and manually tag parent companies before bulk associating with relevant child companies.
Yes. If no matching record is found, you can choose to automatically create a new record based on what is in the source record.
In the Associate app, under Step 2, check the Create new [record] when no matching is found box to enable, then select the field to use for naming the new record.
In the Magical Import module, under Step 4, check the Create when no matching is found box to enable.
Yes. See the Associating Child-Parent Companies from a CSV Using the Magical Import Module section above for information about making child-parent associations from a CSV file.
Yes, you can make child-parent associations in bulk using the Associate app.
Related Help Articles
- App Overview: Associate
- Link and Associate People to Companies
- Associate Contacts, Companies, Deals from CSV by Matching Property Values
- Lead to Account Matching and Association Best Practices
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