Any leader wants to have information in real-time. That's important because then you can get direct feedback about events and interfere before it is too late. But getting data in real-time has always been expensive. But this is not entirely true now.
In this article, we wanted to show how a Sales or Demand Gen leader can build automation in less than an hour to have a real-time dashboard of the incoming leads by using information from business cards only.
What we will do:
Use a simple business card as a source of information
Setup a form to upload business card photos
Setup automated data extraction from a business card to our CRM/PM tool
Then we will classify the lead based on the company name and position to fit our ideal customer
Configure dashboard to see all incoming leads in real-time
Setup openAI to get us list of conversation starters for that company+position about our product
The tools that we will use are:
Dropbox or Google Drive
TL: DR; Video
Do business cards still work in 2022?
Yes, they do work. For one reason - simplicity.
As Annie Button shares in her article from CEO Today,
“However, the simplicity and effectiveness of traditional business cards are hard to argue. Despite not being a tech solution, well-branded printed cards may in fact have unexpected advantages over internet-reliant media. They can be used in any situation and are accepted practices in business cultures across the world – you simply can’t go wrong with a business card”
No matter how many tools you have, the gesture of exchanging business cards is symbolic and gives you permission to start a conversation later.
Part 1: Collecting information from business cards
The key activity when dealing with business cards is to ensure that the information appears in the relevant tools. We will create a process that your team will use to load the business card photo. Taking a photo is the simplest way to store it.
Thus, these are the easiest ways to submit the information:
Save the photo to a cloud folder in Dropbox/Gdrive/OneDrive
Forward a photo to a special mailbox
Submit a photo via the form
Save the photo to a cloud folder
It is very simple - when you make a business card photo, you can immediately upload it to a folder called “Business cards” and then take a photo and load it there:
This step already creates a single source of information in your company or team.
Forward a business card photo to a special email address
You can also create an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org and then forward photos there. This solution would allow you also to get the information about the person who sent the business card photo and the time. This way you can sort events based on the time who was there.
After the photo arrives in a mailbox, you can also save it as a file in the same cloud folder.
Submit a business card via Form
If you use tools like monday.com or ClickUp to manage your event leads, then you can setup a form for your team to load the business card photo to:
Right, now we are ready to do some automations. Business card photos now flow to a single location and we can move to automating business card data extraction.
Part 2: Extracting data from business cards
In this part, we will set up automated data extraction from business cards. We will use Make and Zapier as our main workflow management tools. You can replicate a similar scenario in other tools like Microsoft Power Automate or N8N.
We will use a trigger (New Email, New File or New Form Submission) to detect that something has been uploaded:
The next step is to use Bitskout Template called “Business Cards” to automatically get data from a business card photo:
Simply, click on “Use template” and then follow the steps to set up the output and you are ready to go.
Now let's add the Bitskout module in Make and Zapier, choose Run Plugin for a File, and select our plugin.
The next step would be to test the file. Load one photo to the Dropbox and run the scenario:
Thus, now anytime a new file is uploaded to a folder, the scenario will run automated data extraction.
Part 3: Qualifying the lead
Now, we have the data that we can write into a Google Sheet, Airtable, Monday.com, ClickUp, or even the HubSpot app. The next step is to build a lead qualification or targeting to allow us to focus our resources in a more efficient way.
Typically, based on your ideal customer profile, you can break down leads into three categories:
“Rabbits” - small customers (1-10k ARR)
“Deers” - medium size (20-100k ARR)
“Elephants” - big & enterprise customers (>500k ARR).
The target of any process is specialization thus your current setup is optimized towards a certain ideal profile that fits into that categorization. Thus, before you start sending materials to the leads and assign teams, you need to categorize those.
This is where A.I. steps in. We will create a lead-targeting plugin using our own criteria of a lead position and the company name. We'll do that by adding examples.
Let's add our own examples:
With the help of examples, you tune the output. Instead of getting a standard answer, you will get an answer tailored to your case. For instance, traditionally, Network Engineer from Cisco will be classified as an “Elephant”, but because this is not your ICP, you can classify it as a “Rabbit”. To avoid spending lots of time on leads that are not your core audience.
Let's add our plugin to the scenarios - in this case, we analyze the text - a combination of company name and position:
To spice up our scenario, let's also add another plugin to categorize a person's position according to a business unit. We will use the Bitskout template for that:
And now let's add it to our scenario as well:
There are other things you can set up and add:
Categorize companies into industries using the company name
Categorize addresses into a region (EMEA, APAC, etc.)
Categorize into potential based on the company name, person position and industry - upgrading targeting from simple gradation to projected contract values based on previous performance.
Now we can move to the last part of visualizing our data in a dashboard.
Part 4: Creating the leads dashboard
The next step is to create a dashboard where we see all the leads coming. The idea is that once a BDR/SDR or anyone meets a person, they should take a photo of a business card and a leader will see the new lead on a dashboard.
The lead will be automatically categorized and based on the category you will be able to send a relevant package or topics in real-time to the BDR.
ClickUp, monday.com, and many other tools allow you to create dashboards like this:
This way you will be able to visualize information in a real-time manner.
And because the data arrives in the SaaS tool, you can add extra automations to assign various users based on lead category or company name, move leads between boards for a proper specialization and etc.
Adding these steps to Make.com scenarios:
Now, every time the business card appears in the Dropbox folder, we get a nice formatted lead information, update on a dashboard. By having lead categorized we can send tailored information and case studies.
Bonus: Using openAI to send conversation topics in real-time
Let's improve our scenario and send to a BDR a list of topics to discuss (it can also be a correct URL to relevant slides or case studies or the best SWOT analysis for that particular customer).
This way you make sure that your marketing and business development functions are aligned and standardized across your organization.
To do that we will use openAI GPT-3 module in Make and Zapier. openAI works with prompts, thus, what we are doing is asking to create a list of the Top 3 challenges for certain positions in a company. This way our list is tailored to a certain position. And then we send it as a Slack message to the BDR.
This will generate a prompt and the following message:
In this example, we wanted to show how having just a single source of information you can build a very sophisticated and efficient process. You need just four tools for that and 1-2 hours of your time.
And you will be able to absolutely transform your outbound and events efforts creating a standard and efficient process.
You can also use such automations to provide a real-time reaction and materials to your teams that sometimes enter a room and find lots of new people there. By scanning their business cards, you can receive a whole package of materials tailored per each person.
And most importantly, you can do it by yourself.