FullContact Automates The Tedious Task Of Adding Business-Card Data Into Salesforce

Business cards. They’re not exactly sexy, but they can turn into good leads and help to make some sales. Unfortunately, they are often long forgotten because, let’s face it, the manual work to punch in business card info can be, at best, tedious.

TechStars alum FullContact has a new service for integrating contact information from business cards into all versions of Salesforce.com. Customers can now take a picture of a business card with the FullContact reader and see the leads in Salesforce Group, Enterprise or Professional Edition.

There are dozens of companies that offer readers. LinkedIn, for example, offers CardMunch but only on its platform. And Evernote Hello, NeatMobile and the Shape Business Card reader are other services to check out.

But it is the automation of contact data into a platform like Salesforce that gives FullContact the edge for now.  First the reader scans the data on the business card and puts it in its database. That data is then sent to Amazon Mechanical Turk, where it is manually transcribed. When the task is completed, the contact data is delivered to Salesforce and added to its database. The process takes about 15 minutes.

The capability comes with FullContact’s entry into the Salesforce ISV program. Previously, a Salesforce customer might be running a different version than colleagues. With the new service, the business card lead data is accessible no matter which version they’re on. FullContact estimates that 9 percent of cards actually make it into a CRM system. The service is available on iOS, and the company says it plans to launch an Android version in about two months.

FullContact plans to offer the business-card updating service to other platforms, as well. They want to integrate the data anywhere it makes sense, whether it’s a CRM, email client, personal spreadsheet or anything else.

The company provides an API that software developers use inside their services and applications to provide users complete and up-to-date contact information. It lets developers tap into its database to complete partial, out-of-date contact records. Information includes phone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, name, title, company, social profile URLs, an image, birthday, instant messenger handles, and more.

FullContact has deep expertise in collecting social data and integrating for individuals and third-party platforms. Once in the system, it is up to the companies to do the analytics using other tools. Data integration is important but the value that comes with adding analytics capabilities is what companies find increasingly valuable as they strive to make their businesses more data-driven.