A Couple of Good Contact-Grabbing Apps: Tech Tool Tuesday for Salespeople

In the dark ages, we had a Rolodex. It was stuffed with business cards, which we collected everywhere we could.

When we had time, we entered the contact information manually into our computers.

Rolodex -- an obsolete sales tool

Photo by Stockninja/dpc


Automation has come to this process, and smart salespeople use it. For several years, I had two tools the got the job done:

  • CardMunch, a LinkedIn product that was, in its prime, an excellent business card scanner for the iPhone.
  • I used Gwabbit to pull contact information from emails.

Unfortunately, LinkedIn stopped supporting CardMunch, and it was eventually shut down. Meanwhile, Gwabbit never got around to supporting Outlook 2013, which ultimately made it useless. I have been looking for alternatives ever since, and have found a couple that get the job done.

A Very Good, But Spendy, PC Tool for Salespeople

I’ve been using AddressGrabber Standard for a couple of weeks on my laptop, and like a great deal. It is very simple to use – when you receive an email from a new contact, you highlight the information that needs to go into your contact manager (for me, Outlook 2013), click an icon to transfer the information, proof it, and save. It’s quick, simple to use, and pretty darn accurate. Occasionally information will go into the wrong fields, but the corrections are easy to make.

This is a huge timesaver when you start working with multiple contacts in a new company. When I start a revenue initiative with a new TV station, I ask all of the account executives and sales managers to send me an email. Then I go through the emails and drop the contact information in Outlook. The whole process for a 10-person sales staff might take me three or four minutes.

Two minor drawbacks: it will not recognize contact information from images, and if your contact doesn’t include their email address in their signature line, you have to enter it by hand. One major drawback: at $69.95 for a single machine license, AddressGrabber is expensive. But it works.


A Pretty Good Free Smartphone Tool For Salespeople

Evernote has had business card scanning built into its smartphone app for quite some time. Earlier this year it released a separate app called Scannable, which has many uses. For me, the most common use has been business card scanning.

Scannable is very simple to use – put the card on a contrasting background, and it will automatically detect the card and snap a picture. If you are an Evernote user you can upload the card to Evernote, and if not you can email or message the information. If you authorize a connection to your LinkedIn account, you can even make a LinkedIn connection right from the app.

Scannable’s major drawback is accuracy. Where CardMunch used actual human beings to double-check everything, Scannable is completely automated, and in day-to-day use I would rate it about 60% accurate. Once the information is entered, you need to proof it carefully, and it is not uncommon to need to clean up a few things. For a single card, entering by hand may be just as fast.

But if you have multiple cards to process it once, Scannable is a much faster option even when you take into account the necessary proofing. While there is significant room for improvement, Scannable is the best tool I have found since CardMunch went away.

One other note: as of this writing, Scannable is not available for Android. Evernote does have a business card scanner built into their main Android app, and there are certainly other options available.


In 2015, you shouldn’t have to enter contact information by hand. Automate the process, and use the time you save to sell.

Question: What are you using to capture contact info? You can leave a comment by clicking here.



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