Cannot scan business cards into CRM as leads

It all started when…

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.

This isn’t a new struggle

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. and

The first step in this process is setting up accounts with and 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:

FullContact Microsoft CRM Lead Scanning Instructions

Using FullContact to Scan Business Cards into Dynamics CRM

  1. Go to
  2. Click “APP SIGN UP” in the top right corner, and fill in your email address and password to create a free account.
  3. Once your account is created, you will be taken to your FullContact homepage. Once here, click “Business Cards” on the menu to the left of the screen. This will show you where your business cards can be viewed.
  4. In order to upload business cards through FullContact, you have 2 options:
    1. Personal webcam – from your current page, select “Capture Card” and allow FullContact access to your webcam to directly capture business cards
    2. FullContact app - download the FullContact app through your app store and login using your FullContact credentials to capture business cards using your phone camera
Zapier Microsoft CRM Lead Scanning Instructions

Zapier Creates Leads in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  1. Go to
  2. Click “SIGN UP FOR FREE” in the top right corner and fill in your information to create a 14-day trial account.
  3. Once your account is created, you will be taken to your Zapier homepage. Once here, click “Make a Zap.”
  4. Search “FullContact” and select the app for Step 1
    1. Click “Save + Continue” for the trigger.
    2. Connect your FullContact account in the next step and click “Save + Continue”
    3. Click “Fetch + Continue” to test the connection with FullContact. Once this is successful, click “Continue.”
  5. For the Action step (Step 2) search “Microsoft Dynamics CRM” and select the app.
    1. Select “Create new lead” and click “Save + Continue.”
    2. Connect your CRM account following the instructions and click “Save + Continue”
    3. In this next step of “Editing Template” you are connecting your Dynamics CRM fields with FullContact fields. For example, if your Dynamics CRM instance shows the field “Company Name” in the edit template section, you would click the plus button next to this field and select “Company Name” from FullContact. Additionally, you can type a selection as well. For example, if you have a Topic field in Dynamics CRM and you are importing business cards from a trade show you just visited, you would want to enter in the name of the Trade Show to identify the leads you are importing.
    4. Once you have saved and continued from the template step, you will be given the option to test the template you have created with your Dynamics CRM instance. This ensures that the fields you have linked from FullContact to Dynamics CRM will link correctly. Note: option set fields in CRM will error in Zapier if not entered correctly.

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.

FullContact and Zapier Shortcomings for Scanning Business Cards as Microsoft CRM Leads

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 fall under).

Other Options

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:

  • CamCard is probably the most popular card scanning application on mobile phones but, alas, there is no Zapier connection available for it.
  • If This Then That ( is similar to Zapier. But it only allows for very simple interactions (not data mapping like Zapier) so it does not work for this need.
  • Microsoft recently made a similar service, called Flow, available. However, it does not offer connectors to any card scanners, and is still in preview mode (so it is buggier than most other apps)

What do you think?

Yes Viriginia, it is possible to scan business cards directly into Microsoft Dynamics CRM as leads!

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.