Yesterday, Xobni, who recently released a new product suite called Smartr, announced the results from two online surveys conducted on its behalf in July & August 2011 by Harris Interactive. When you cut through all the statistical mumbo-jumbo, you learn two key take-aways.

  1. The majority of people with both business and personal contacts believe their business contact information had an average value of $20,000. Yet, nearly half of those surveyed still keep a paper address book.
  2. Despite the high value placed on contact information, online American adults with contact information for others are struggling to keep contacts centralized and up-to-date, which stunts productivity and accuracy.

Coincidentally, in a recent study Smart Selling Tools conducted, we found that 90% of business people preferred a root-canal to managing and updating their contacts across multiple devices. Okay, we made that up. But the point is, it sucks to have to deal with constantly changing contact information, and to make sure that data is the same no matter which device you use especially when you know how important (read valuable) the information is to you.

The Xobni product together with the Smartr products for Gmail and Android aim to solve the problem. Here’s how.

Xobni and Smartr create a profile for every person in your inbox complete with phone numbers, emails, photos and social network updates – and then rank them in order of importance.  Ranking is important because, while the average user has on average only about 350 people in their self-managed address book, Smartr uncovers and displays 4,800 contact profiles – including 93 John/Jonathans.  This underscores why it’s so difficult to find the contact you’re searching for without some type of automation.  Benefits of Smartr that help people manage their contacts include:

  • Automatic building and management of address books, ensuring they are complete and fresh.
  • Ability to search for a contact by first, last or even company name – or through the “shared network” tab of a mutual contact (e.g. find the name of Nancy’s assistant by looking at “shared networks” tab in Nancy’s profile).
  • Integration of relevant third party data, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Salesforce, in to your address book allows you to have a 360 degree view on your contacts at all times.

Smartr Inbox is a sidebar for Gmail and Google Apps mail that makes your inbox well, umm, “smarter”. It automatically discovers all the people you’ve ever emailed, called or SMS’d, and instantly provides a full view of each contact. The Smartr sidebar includes lightning-fast search to instantly show who your contacts are, how you know them, when you last talked, and who you have in common. In addition, you’ll see their photo, job title, company details, and updates from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Video for Smartr Inbox here.

Smartr Contacts is a free app for Android that brings not just smart contact management but smart relationship management to your phone. Contacts are easily searchable and Smartr ranks them by importance, not alphabetically. Each profile is complete with a photo, job title, company details, email history, common contacts and info from social networks. The app can be accessed on your phone home screen, via the main search bar, the widgets, or the Smartr app. Video for Smartr Contacts here.

Smartr Contacts for the iPhone is in private beta and expected to hit the Apple app store in Q4.

While the Harris study was able to quantify the value Americans feel their contacts are worth, we know it goes well beyond value. It’s about that gut-wrenching feeling that your life is getting out of control. It’s about the black-cloud that hangs over you when you don’t have a handle on an important aspect in your life. It’s about the desire to have things in order. It’s about reducing stress.  You’ve likely tried getting a handle on this issue before. Give it another go at the Smartr products are free and are downloadable now.