Optimizing CRM Systems for Phone Number Validation

by | Jun 17, 2024

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are indispensable tools for businesses to manage interactions with current and potential customers. These systems streamline processes, enhance customer satisfaction, and improve profitability by organizing and automating communications, sales, marketing, and customer service activities. Despite their comprehensive functionalities, one critical feature often overlooked is phone number validation. Managers often find themselves frustrated as agents enter incorrect phone numbers into the CRM system, leading to communication breakdowns and wasted effort and resources. Accurate phone number validation is essential for ensuring effective communication and avoiding wasted efforts on incorrect or invalid numbers.

This article will explore the common issues related to phone number validation in popular CRMs—HubSpot, Zoho, and Pipedrive—and provide solutions using Numverify, an API service designed specifically for phone number validation. At the end of this article, we will demonstrate how you can link a CRM system to Zapier which then automates the OpenAI API, and Numverify to create a list of verified and unverified phone numbers on a Google Sheet that you can easily check and manage. By following a few simple steps, you can integrate these tools to automate the validation process, ensure accuracy, and save valuable time. The resulting Google Sheet will serve as a centralized and accessible record of all phone numbers, clearly indicating their validation status. This not only simplifies oversight but also enables quick identification and correction of invalid numbers, enhancing overall communication efficiency and ensuring your team always has accurate contact information at their fingertips.

Common Issues with Phone Number Validation in CRMs


Problem: Users face challenges with phone number validation, often leading to wasted time on invalid numbers.

Forum Reference: HubSpot Community

Solution: Implement a phone number validation service like Numverify to ensure that the numbers entered are correct and valid. This can help avoid wasted time and increase efficiency.


Problem: Zoho users report issues with input validation for phone numbers, where even letters can be inputted instead of numbers.

Forum Reference: Zoho Community

Solution: Use Zapier to send information back to the Zoho contact description field once the number has been validated. Note that Zoho CRM may require users to input the international format of the phone number, which can be enforced through user instructions or automated validation checks.


Problem: Pipedrive allows invalid phone number formats, including letters, which frustrates users.

Forum Reference: Pipedrive Community

Solution: Similar to Zoho, leveraging Zapier can automate the validation process. Although Pipedrive does not force users to input numbers in an international format, it’s recommended to train users to do so or use a validation tool to enforce it.

Implementing Phone Number Validation with Numverify

Numverify is a powerful API that can validate, format, and enrich phone numbers. Here’s how it addresses the three primary issues:

  1. Validating Phone Numbers: Numverify checks if the phone numbers entered are valid, reducing the chances of errors.
  2. Formatting Phone Numbers: It converts phone numbers into the correct international format, making them consistent and easy to manage.
  3. Enriching Phone Numbers: Numverify can provide additional information about the contact, such as the country, location, carrier, and line type.

Technical Challenges and Solutions

Integration with CRMs

Integrating Numverify with CRMs like Zoho, HubSpot, and Pipedrive can be challenging due to the flexible nature of these systems in accepting various formats of phone numbers.

  1. Using Zapier for Integration: Zapier can automate the process of sending phone numbers from the CRM to Numverify for validation. However, it requires ensuring the phone number format is compatible.
  2. Handling International Formats: CRMs should enforce or guide users to input phone numbers in an international format. For instance, in Kazakhstan, the international format (+7) is a must. Including instructions in the CRM form can help users input the correct format.
  3. Using OpenAI for Smart Validation: To overcome the difficulty of ensuring phone numbers are in the correct format, you can use OpenAI within Zapier to analyze the number and address fields. OpenAI can modify the number by adding the international prefix before passing it to Numverify for validation. This approach can automate the format correction process and ensure more accurate validation.

Example Issues and Solutions

  • Issue: Dropping the zero at the beginning of the phone number in Zapier. Solution: Ensure the number is prefixed with the country code before validation. Numverify requires the full international dialing number or the country code.
  • Issue: Alphabets in phone number fields. 
  • Solution: Implement validation scripts within the CRM to check for numeric input only.

Handling Validation Results

Due to challenges in passing the verification results back to the CRM, an alternative approach is to use a Google Sheet. This can serve as a centralized location for logging validation results and alerting managers about numbers that aren’t verified.


  1. Zapier Integration: Configure Zapier to log validation results from Numverify into a Google Sheet.
  2. Alert System: Set up an alert system within the Google Sheet to notify managers of any unverified numbers. This can be done using conditional formatting and email notifications.

Effective phone number validation is crucial for the efficient operation of CRMs. By integrating Numverify and ensuring numbers are input in the correct format, businesses can enhance their data accuracy and operational efficiency. While CRMs like Zoho, HubSpot, and Pipedrive have their unique challenges, solutions like Zapier integrations, OpenAI for smart validation, and using Google Sheets for logging results can mitigate these issues.

Next Steps

  • Implementation: Begin integrating Numverify with your CRM using Zapier to automate phone number validation.
  • Training: Train CRM users on the importance of using international formats for phone numbers.
  • Feedback: Engage with CRM user communities to share solutions and gather feedback for continuous improvement.

By focusing on these steps, businesses can significantly improve the accuracy and reliability of their CRM systems, leading to better customer management and overall productivity.

Automate Contact Management with Zapier: From Zoho CRM to Google Sheets

The following guide is intended as a high level overview of how to connect Zapier with your CRM to get the benefits of automatically validating new contact phone numbers with the Numverify service and storing the validation check results to a Google sheet.

Before we begin, let’s look at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ screenshots below to show you what your are creating.


First setup your Google Sheets spreadsheet to receive fields such as: 

Firstname, Last Name, Email , Original Phone Number, Formatted Phone Number, Verify, Country, Carrier, Line Type, International Format.


Once the Zap automation is set up, every time a new contact is added to Zoho CRM, your spreadsheet will automatically update with:

  1. The customer’s first name, last name, email and original phone number from Zoho.
  2. The international formatted number, converted using the OpenAI API.
  3. Fields from Numverify indicating the phone number’s validity, country, carrier, and line type.

Are you ready to get started and automate verification of your CRM phone numbers using Zapier?

You should have:

  1.  Your Google Sheets spreadsheet should be setup ready to collect the phone validation check information. Signup for a Google Sheets account if you have never used one before. These fields should be setup in the columns: First Name, Last Name, Email , Original Phone Number, Formatted Phone Number, Verify, Country, Carrier, Line Type, International Format.
  1. You will need a Zoho CRM account, or another CRM account supported by Zapier.
  1. A Zapier account. Once you have signed up to Zapier use our Zap template on this link: Effortless Contact Management with Zoho CRM: Automate Phone Number Formatting and Validation.
  1. An OpenAI API account. You will need to generate an API key and find your Organization ID, those will needed in Zapier later.
  1. A Numverify account. You will need to have your API key ready to put into Zapier.

Using Zapier and Numverify to automate phone number verification checks is considered very secure, learn more about how secure this process is on this link. Both Zapier and Numverify use robust encryption protocols to ensure that data is protected during transmission. This means that your phone numbers and other sensitive information are encrypted as they travel between systems, preventing unauthorized access. Google Sheets also employs advanced encryption, ensuring that data stored in your Google account remains secure.

Getting Started with Zapier

If you have never used Zapier before, typically creating a Zap often involves using Zapier’s inbuilt AI assistant tool, and writing down what you would like to automate.

When describing to the AI assistant how to build your automation workflow (your Zap) you need to approach developing your instructions needed for the automation in a fairly methodical manner.

For example:

‘Trigger: When a new contact is added in Zoho CRM.

Action 1: Pass the contact’s phone number to the OpenAI API to convert it to the international format based on the contact’s country location in Zoho CRM.

Action 2: Send the formatted phone number to the Numverify API to validate it.

Action 3: Create a new row in a Google Sheet with the validation results from the Numverify API.’

In this approach, each step is clearly defined, starting with a trigger event that initiates the workflow. This is followed by sequential actions that involve specific tasks, such as using an API to format and validate data, and finally recording the results in a structured manner. By detailing each step, input, and output, you ensure that the automation is precise and functional, making it easier to implement and troubleshoot. This methodical approach also helps in identifying dependencies and potential points of failure, allowing for a more robust and reliable automation workflow.

Review the Copilot response

Once you submit your Zap idea to the AI assistant tool, Zapier Copilot will generate all the steps that the Zap should need to function.

The Copilot response in Zapier is usually a quick way to compile the workflow that you need, but in the screenshot above which has mostly interpreted our instructions correctly, it hasn’t followed our instructions precisely, and it has left APIs out such as the OpenAI API and substituted it. Remember, the AI Copilot is only AI and sometimes it is best to manually build the Zap yourself. While Copilot can be a helpful tool for quickly setting up basic workflows, it might not always capture the specific details or nuanced requirements of your automation. Therefore, manually configuring your Zap ensures that all necessary steps and integrations are included.

However, for ease of use, you can use our prebuilt Zap template:

Effortless Contact Management with Zoho CRM: Automate Phone Number Formatting and Validation

This Zapier automation integrates Zoho CRM, OpenAI, Numverify, and Google Sheets to handle new contact phone number verification seamlessly and store the result to a Google sheet.


We have designed this automation to help you quickly connect your Zoho CRM account (If you don’t have a Zoho CRM account click here to get started for free , additionally when you sign up to Zoho opt to import sample data to get started testing quickly). 

You could potentially adjust this automation to work with any of your preferred CRM tools supported by Zapier.

Click the blue ‘Sign In’ button to get started.

At the next step you will need to choose your Zoho CRM domain.

Click ‘Accept’ to authorize Zapier to connect to your Zoho CRM. This process will be similar for other CRMs supported by Zapier. 

You will now see your Zoho CRM account linked in Zapier, and there is the option to change it.

By clicking Change you can search for another CRM of your choice and connect it to the Zap, but there will be minor alterations that you will need to do in the rest of the workflow due to field name differences between different CRM systems.

Zapier supports a variety of other CRMs, including Hubspot Nutshell, Keap, Close CRM, Pipedrive, Salesmate, eWay-CRM, EngageBay, and Streak, which can be integrated with Zapier to automate tasks and workflows, enhancing productivity and efficiency in managing customer relationships.

For purposes of this tutorial we will only be demonstrating the screenshot workflow with Zoho CRM.

When you keep clicking to continue to next steps in this Zap you will get to a screen with ‘Test Trigger’ button. Click ‘Test trigger’ to continue.

Choose a contact record that Zapier retrieves from your CRM to test the workflow, and click ‘Continue with selected record’.

You have now successfully linked Zoho CRM to Zapier, and will automatically progress to the OpenAI module as you continue through the steps.


Continue through the next steps in the OpenAI module, you need to leave it on the Event setting ‘Send Prompt’.

You will need to click the ‘Sign in’ button to connect your OpenAI account to Zapier. 

You will be prompted to add your OpenAI API key and Organization ID from your OpenAI profile.

Login to your OpenAI account at

You will find the details that you need in OpenAI panel ‘Settings’.

View ‘Your profile’ and User API keys to create an API key for this Zap.

You will find the ‘Organization ID’ details that you need in OpenAI panel ‘General’ settings.

Continue in Zapier once the keys have been added.

The next screen in Zapier will give you an option to Change OpenAI for a different tool or account. Just ignore the option to change, and click the blue ‘Continue’ button.

You will now need to build your prompt. Your prompt should appear exactly as it has been built in the tested prompt in the screen below, which utilizes free text that you type and insert field data from the Zoho fields for Phone and Mailing Country.

Use and paste the following text to help you build your prompt and paste it into the Prompt section in Zapier. 

With the phone number provided __Zoho_Phone__ return it with its country prefix for __Zoho_Mailing_Country__ in international format.

When building the prompt you will need to delete __Zoho_Phone__ and __Zoho_Mailing_Country__ and replace those parts with inserted data.

When your prompt appears as below, close the insert data box, and scroll down the Zapier screen and click the blue ‘Continue’ button.

At the next screen click the ‘Test step’ button.

Check the Response on the next screen, by response should be a correctly formatted international number. Failure to get the correct response, may require a review of the way the prompt was phrased. The OpenAI API prompts work a bit like ChatGPT and can process natural language, you just need to find the best way to phrase the prompt to get it to return the Response you want. The prompt we have provided you has worked on our tests.

You have now successfully used Zapier to extract phone and country details from Zoho CRM, you have passed those to OpenAI API to generate a phone number Response in corrected international format, and you are now ready to click ‘Continue’ to pass the OpenAI response to Numverify API, to get the phone number validated.


At the first numverify step click ‘Continue’.

You now need to click ‘Sign in’ button to connect your Numverify account to Zapier.

You will now need to enter your Numverify API key into the next screen.

Your Numverify API key can be found in your Numverify dashboard

Now that you have connected your Numverify account, you are ready to click ‘Continue’ at the next step.

Delete the default number that appears in the Phone Number section and use the option that appears to insert data.

Insert the OpenAI API Response, i.e. the international format phone number OpenAI generated for you.

Click the ‘Continue’ button as soon as you have inserted the OpenAI Response field.

You are now ready to try the ‘Test step’ button and see if Numverify API phone number validation works on the phone number that OpenAI formatted for you.

In the screenshot below you will see that the test was successful, and the Valid field result is ‘True’, lots of other information is also provided about the phone number by Numverify such as line type and carrier, etc,

Click ‘Continue’ to go to the next step and pass the phone number to a Google Sheet.


In this step we will pass the Customer CRM data and API results retrieved by Zapier to Google Sheet spreadsheet.

Click ‘Continue’.

Connect Zapier to your ‘Google Sheets’ account by clicking the ‘Sign in’ button.

Follow  the process for choosing your Google account that you want to connect and click ‘Allow’.

You will now see that your Google account is linked to Zapier, click the ‘Continue’ button.

Search for your spreadsheet and worksheet in the dropdown menus.

Remember the columns you put in your spreadsheet, these are the fields that will appear in Zapier. Think about which API information from Zapier that you want to pass to them. For instance pass original customer information from Zoho, API results from OpenAI / Numverify.

When you have inserted the data that you want to pass to your spreadsheet, click the ‘Continue’ button.

Click ‘Test Step’ button to see this automation in action and check your spreadsheet for a newly created row.

If you are happy with this Zap automation click ‘Publish’ to leave it running. Your spreadsheet will now automatically update everytime a new contact is added to Zoho CRM.

Congratulations, you have now successfully automated the phone number validation process for your CRM system. 

We hope you enjoyed this guide on optimizing your CRM system for phone number validation. By integrating Zapier, OpenAI, and Numverify with your CRM, you can ensure that all your contact phone numbers are accurate and valid. This automation not only saves time but also improves communication efficiency and customer satisfaction. As you implement these steps, remember that the key to success lies in continuous improvement and user training. Stay engaged with your CRM user communities, share your experiences, and keep refining your processes. With these tools and practices in place, you can look forward to a more streamlined and effective customer relationship management system. Happy automating!

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