You are working with Gmail or G Suite and you need users in your organization to share new contacts with their colleagues, in the same way that they share Google Docs or Calendars.
Here are the different ways to do it efficiently:
The simplest way: Share Google Contacts Groups (a.k.a “Contact Labels” or “Address Books”)
The best practice is to organize your contacts into labels in Google Contacts Manager and share them using the Shared Contacts for Gmail Extension for Chrome. If you are not using Chrome as a browser, you can install their web application to share Google Contacts.
Step 1: Make sure you have contact groups
In Google Contacts, you have the possibility to organize your contacts into groups. They are called “Contact Labels” in Google Contacts interface. A Contact can belong to several labels.
Create one label for each category of contacts (such as, “Clients”, “Suppliers”, “Internal”, “Private” and so on).
Add the appropriate label(s) to your contacts.
Once the contacts you want to share are in a label, you’re all set to share this group with whomever you want!
Step 2 : Share your Google Contacts
To share a Google contact group (or contact label) with other G Suite or Gmail users, simply follow these steps :
- Make sure you have installed Shared Contacts for Gmail Chrome Extension (if you have Chrome) or Shared Contacts for Gmail web app for other browsers.
- Go to Google Contacts.
- Click on the Share icon next to the label to open the sharing settings.
- Select users or users groups you want to share this contact group with (the same way you add recipients of an email).
- Click on “Share”.
- Define the permissions (View Only / Can Edit / Can Delete / Can Share / Is Owner).
- You are all set! In a few seconds, the users will now see the shared label in their Google Contacts and in their Android phones.
- If they have at least “Can Edit” permission, they will also be able to update the shared contacts or add new ones in the label.
The tedious way: import/export csv files
Create Excel files with the contact information you want to be included. You can then export this as a CSV file and send this CSV file with your colleagues who can then upload the CSV file into their own personal Google Contacts manager.
The main drawback with this solution is that contacts will never be up-to-date in real-time.
The business way: Use a CRM
There are many of these on the market, such as Zoho CRM or Nimble. All of these are good if you’ve got a large sales/marketing team working in collaboration with each other.
The Google Contacts Delegation Feature allows you to let another Google user to access all your contacts.
How does it work?
- Open Google Contacts
- Click on “Delegate Access”
- Select the account to whom you wish to give access
- This person will then access to all your contacts
- Note #1: the delegated user will not have access to your labels (contact groups)
- Note #2: The delegated user will not be able to access the shared contacts on their mobile, in Gmail autocomplete or in the contacts search bar.