Here a contact, there a different contact. Everywhere a contact contact
February 4, 2014 5:40 PM   Subscribe

What is the sanest way of syncing contacts among CRM, Outlook, and LinkedIn?

I'm in a position where I meet a good number of people regularly - either via email, at an event or in a meeting. While I only directly share contacts (Outlook) with a colleague, I'm frequently in a position where I'm asked for a contact at Organization X and I'd like to be sure what's in my contacts is current. I've been with the organization for 6+ years and have amassed a good number of contacts.

I've mostly solved business card soup by immediately scanning business cards of those I meet into my iPhone with CardMunch (as recommended in a previous Ask). That keeps them updated within CardMunch and keeps me from having the Leaning Tower of Pisa in card format on my desk. This is good, because otherwise they'd also never get entered. However, this is my personal phone which doesn't sync with my Outlook contacts. CardMunch doesn't appear to sync with anything but OS contacts and LinkedIn. CardMunch doesn't sync with our CRM, which leads to different versions of often outdated contacts. OS Contacts are irrelevant for me as it's my personal phone and I don't use those for business purposes. While I like CardMunch for card scanning, I don't find it useful for contact management.

What currently happens is I'll either be asked for a contact, look at who I have and either know it's right or make a guess or a call. Or I'll know it's wrong and pull up a recent email - but that part isn't solveable by anything other than my needing to remember to update contacts when I email them. Occasionally I'll pull a report from our CRM (SimpleView) and make a face as I know some of those are woefully out of date and I proceed to audit the list as best I can. But by the time I'm done, it's out of date again. While I don't use the CRM contacts for daily business purposes (easier to use my own contacts), it's important they be kept current for others in the organization to use for contacts as well as invitations, etc.

Of the contacts I maintain, my LinkedIn is the most accurate (and it appears I can download that info), however it's not comprehensive since I don't always add those I meet with, nor do they me. However, it's probably the best starting point. The info that I need is: company, name, title, phone and email. I rarely need to send snail mail and can't recall the last time I sent a business fax. Social networking contact info isn't necessary as odds are good I already follow those who I would be interested in and others can be added case by case.

I'm sure an app isn't going to solve this, so in addition to app recommendations (OS please), I'd love your personal tips, processes, etc. that you've employed to manage your contacts. My sanity thanks you.

TL;DR: What's the best way in your experience to sync contacts between Outlook, CRM and LinkedIn so the info is current everywhere.
posted by TravellingCari to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've just discovered Full Contact. Still getting it setup, but liking what I see so far. It might meet your needs.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:41 PM on February 4, 2014

Whatever you do, don't give LinkedIn access to your mail contacts. They will spam every one of them, without warning (there's a warning, but they use deceptive UI design).
posted by zippy at 7:34 PM on February 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

First you get a live chicken, a large, sharp knife, one cup kosher salt, three cups bone ash finely divided. Bare your chest and construct the pentacle of Agrippa thereupon, using a small quantity of the ash...
posted by wotsac at 8:09 PM on February 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah I'm pretty sure nothing is going to top wotsac. Thanks for the laugh.

Zippy: thanks for pointer. NotMyself: looking into it, thanks!
posted by TravellingCari at 8:26 PM on February 4, 2014

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