AI Tool Captures and Updates Contacts Automatically

Nimble last week announced a deal to partner with CircleBack, which offers an AI-powered contact capture and cleaning tool that updates contacts and scans business cards automatically.

The CircleBack tool captures email signatures in Gmail and G Suite in real time, automatically adding new contacts to a user’s list. The tool photographs or scans business cards and adds the information to contact lists as well.

“By surfacing current contact information in Nimble’s profiles, we deliver broad social profiles, business insights, and up-to-date contact information everywhere people work on the Web — in Web applications and in Gmail,” said Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara.

Executives at the two companies have known each other for years, he told CRM Buyer, and since they considered their products to be complementary, they wanted to integrate CircleBack’s automated data collection capabilities into Nimble’s cloud-based social sales and marketing CRM as soon as CircleBack’s APIs became available.

The CircleBack tool captures everything from names, email addresses, mobile and work phone numbers, and job titles to the company website and social media URLs. Customers can enable CircleBack by installing the NimbleSmart Contact App browser extension in Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Edge.

Nimble screen shot

The business card scanning feature, which is currently available in iOS, allows users to photograph business cards and collect names, addresses, titles, company email addresses, and phone numbers. An Android version of the tool is scheduled for release later this year.

AI Growth

Nimble’s agreement with CircleBack highlights the growing use of artificial intelligence in customer relationship management. It allows enterprise users to automate the expansion and updating of key business contacts with less need for human intervention.

“There is a growing number of companies that are using AI combined with third-party data — either internally sourced or third-party crowdsourced for data enrichment — all focused on embedding intelligence into the sales process,” noted Sheryl Kingstone, an analyst at 451 Research.

CircleBack, in 2015, announced ContactCloud, an AI-based tool that updates contact information automatically when connected to Salesforce as well as to marketing automation tools like Marketo and Eloqua.

The CircleBack contact cloud uses a combination of AI and crowdsourcing from more than 1.4 million users, according to the company.

“All vendors are doing it slightly differently, and not all have sophisticated AI algorithms embedded yet,” Kingstone told CRM Buyer, pointing to rival systems from Datanyze, Fullcontact, Leadleaper, and HGData.

“AI is being embedded everywhere in the sales process, from virtual assistants to sales enablement to improved sales effectiveness,” she said.

Competitive Landscape

SugarCRM recently launched Hint, an AI-based tool that uses just the first few letters of a person’s name to scour various social media sites and other sources of public information to return potentially useful details about business prospects.

Hint — SugarCRM’s first Software as a Service product — may become available as a standalone service in the future, the company said.

LogMeIn recently unveiled Bold360, which makes use of AI and other technologies to consolidate data from multiple systems to provide a full picture of customer interactions.

David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain's New York Business and The New York Times.

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