A few weeks ago a friend who uses CRM at their business called me asking, “I’m on my way back from a trade show, I have 12 business cards I’d like to add to CRM as leads – do I really need to key them in?”
Many of us have been there before, you’re leaving a trade show with a hearty stack of business cards, pleased with the number of connections you made, and then you remember - I have to enter all of these into CRM…ugh.
Options for quickly adding a stack of business cards to CRM as leads has long been a source of frustration. These unfulfilling options include:
· Keying business cards in on laptop or mobile device
· Scanning business cards using one of many mobile phone apps that create contacts on your phone – then converting them from Outlook contacts to CRM contacts – now they’re in CRM, but they’re still not Leads
· Scanning business cards into a text file and then importing them as Leads which is great for a technical power-user, but not for a busy sales rep
Fortunately, a better way recently became available. It takes a bit of time to set up, so I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step in this blog. Read on for a new way to import business cards into CRM and save yourself valuable time and effort.
The first step in this process is setting up accounts with Zapier.com and FullContact.com. FullContact does the scanning of the business cards and Zapier links the business card info from FullContact to your CRM instance. Follow the instructions below to set up accounts with these two sites:
Now, you are ready to import business cards into Dynamics CRM using FullContact and Zapier. Using these two websites, you can almost effortlessly import business cards into Dynamics CRM using your phone camera.
Although these tools greatly increase efficiency in getting business card information into CRM, they are by no means perfect.
The FullContact, service uses real people to transcribe business card data. That may help a bit with accuracy, but it comes at a cost - you only get 10 free cards per month, and it takes a few minutes for cards to be keyed after you upload them. So either you'll need to keep the total number of cards low, or pay a monthly fee.
Zapier is a cloud integration service. As you've experienced, you can map data from one application to another using Zapier. This service is extremely helpful in automating the transfer from FullContact to CRM; however, it comes with a price. When you create your free account with Zapier, you receive a 14-day trial that allows you full access to the service for the duration of the trial. After the 14-day period, you must pay to use “premium zaps” (which Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com fall under).
To my knowledge, this is the best currently available option. In the past there were some apps for using desktop card scanners directly to CRM, but those have not been upgraded to stay current. Here are a few other options that come close, but don’t quote do the trick:
Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.
Do you know of any other ways to quickly scan business cards in as leads in Dynamics CRM? Let me know! I'm hoping to publish an update to this blog in the coming months as new services become available.
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