Nimble CRM Ties Up All the Loose Social Ends
Jun 25, 2012 5:00 AM PT
A year ago, Nimble CRM launched with a simple idea: If one application could bring together a contact's social media profile, online comments, company information and other relevant data, the sales and marketing process would be much easier.
Other applications deliver on parts of this challenge, of course. The hardest piece though -- bringing in social media conversations -- has also been the most elusive, Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara, who previously founded GoldMine, told CRM Buyer.
"Look at how we manage our contacts and the way we communicate with people in general -- it is all over the place," he said.
"We have our in-boxes, our calendars and social media channels, but the biggest problem is that none of it is really connected," Ferrara observed.
"If I have a meeting scheduled with a prospect, maybe I can see a history of the emails that person has sent to me, but I can't see -- at least not without some digging -- what he has been saying about me or my company online," Ferrara said.
That is the premise of Nimble CRM, he continued. "I bring up a customer record in Nimble and see what he has said about me in a post, what he has emailed to me, what messages he has sent to me from LinkedIn and so on, what he has emailed me from Gmail. We capture it all and create a unified view."
Integration With Sales, Marketing
Nimble CRM also offers sales force management, forecasting, analytics and marketing automation features. They provide a good foundation, "given how long Nimble has been in existence and how long it takes to build out a full CRM suite," analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research, told CRM Buyer.
Functional areas that could be improved include features that would better support the differences between B2B and B2C sales and indirect sales methodologies that work better with partners, he suggested.
"All this comes over time," said Wang. "Much depends on where customers take you and where you as a company want to go."
Nimble CRM's sales functionality is enhanced with its rich social expertise and data, Ferrara maintained. "Users can better forecast how fast sales will move through the pipeline because of that data."
Nimble is preparing to release its second iteration next week, Ferrara reported, with unified social notifications and discovery, as well as new user enhancements and marketing features.
The unified social notifications feature consolidates all the likes, comments, friend invites and other social interactions from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. In the first version, users had to view five separate tabs to access this data.
There is also a new feature called "NimbleDaily," which provides an alert for such events as birthdays, promotions and job changes in a daily email.
"The idea behind this is that most people have at least 100 contacts touching their social graph on any given day," Ferrara said. "How do you decide who to interact with and what do you say when you do? With NimbleDaily, we show you the changes that have gone on in your network within the last 24 hours -- who has changed jobs and so on."
Other enhancements in 2.0 include new custom fields and tabs, improved navigation, and better data importing tools. There is also new integration with HubSpot to provide users with closed-loop marketing functionality. Integration with FourSquare is also expected to roll out soon.
Being able to interact with such channels has become essential for any CRM operation, Wang said.
"Today we are operating in a multichannel world, and customers really don't care what channel you, the company, are most comfortable with. They want to be able to interact with you seamlessly -- and as a person who is marketing or selling, you need to be responsive to what the customer wants."