I am very excited to announce our new partnership with Nimble, the next generation of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications. Nimble brings together not only the contact details of your current email contact list and your social media connections, it allows you to view conversations from your email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all in one panel. Then you can set tasks, reply, whatever you need to do to move that conversation to a sale for your business!
Since I started managing social media campaigns, our own as well as for clients, I felt the one thing that kept us from making sales rather than just networking, was the missing link between our existing CRM with prospect information and all the data online for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I searched and searched for a solution to this.
We first tried SugarCRM which had no social media focus at the time, then they added a Twitter account field which was populated from the name field — with a space between the first and last names. They obviously did not understand social. You can imagine my emails between support on that topic. What burned me was that they made me feel like a troublesome, ignorant client and didn’t seem to feel that this was an important issue. After two years with SugarCRM we never had our data in and clean as it wasn’t as integrated with existing systems so always an extra chore for someone.
Then we tried SalesForce. Now it was just a trial, so I may not be the best judge of the system, but can only tell of my experience in relation to what I wanted from the system. I hadn’t considered SalesForce before because it was more expensive, but when I was looking for an alternative to Sugar, there was a cheaper option. (I missed the small print that it was a special offer price, so after awhile the cost would go up — Sugar did the same thing.) Of course, with the cheaper option you don’t get all of the features that you really would need to use your CRM properly. I decided to give it a try as I had heard that they were adding social networking channels into the mix, but in my trial I couldn’t find this. So again frustrated after setting up the trial, uploading data, etc.
We had recently switched to using Google Apps with GMail as our main email application. I use other Google products heavily and we were looking for ways to reduce cost and also reduce the drag on our computers that applications like Outlook do. Frustrated from my interactions with these CRM applications — and especially the sales reps from these companies, I looked to see if there was a product that worked with Google apps that could at least help with sharing contact information across members of our team.
That’s when I found Nimble, which at the time was still in Beta with only a few of the features it has now. When I saw that it would truly integrate the information from my social networking contacts with the existing business contacts — and give the ability to share with the team — I was over the moon. I signed up for a trial straight away. I couldn’t wait to set up the account and upload and integrate the contacts, so excited to see all the information in once place! The interface was so easy! When I did have a question their support team was back to me very quickly and when I shouted out to them on Twitter, they were so cool too. I had a chat with Founder/CEO Jon Ferrara about his family connections to Cork — and that he better set up his EMEA office in Cork when the time comes! All of the Nimble team are on Twitter and LinkedIn, showing that they really get what social media is all about.
I knew I had made the right decision when I was able to get access to the new features they would be rolling out in the full version of Nimble with more control over sharing, better views of conversations and ability to make tasks out of them. When I started with the Beta version it was all free (which was a great incentive for me to try it), but with the roll out of the full version in January 2012 it will still be free for a single user, but $15/month/user for a multi-user account. Still not a bad price for a solution that is really going to increase your sales.
After a couple of conversations with the Nimble team I have signed up as a Solutions Partner, marrying up my social media marketing expertise with this excellent product. I only partner with and recommend products that I use and truly believe in and I believe in Nimble and that using Nimble will improve the effectiveness of social media campaigns. What’s even more exciting is that this is just the beginning for Nimble and as the first real SocialCRM product there will be new features rolling out. I will be sure to provide my feedback and suggestions along the way.
To get more results for your business from your social media activities, I recommend that you sign up for the free single user account and you will see how great it us, then upgrade to multi-user to share across your team.
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