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Social as a Word is Going Away - And We’re Just Going to Get Back to Doing Business
Sep 13, 2017
Social as a Word is Going Away - And We’re Just Going to Get Back to Doing Business
Social as a Word is Going Away - And We’re Just Going to Get Back to Doing Business
Sep 13, 2017

Jon Ferrara of Nimble: Social as a Word is Going Away — And We’re Just Going to Get Back to Doing Business


You can listen to this episode here or read the summary below:

It’s hard for me to believe, but this conversation marks the seventh anniversary of this series. And there’s nobody more surprised than I am that this has gone on so long, as I thought I’d do this for a couple of weeks at the most. But the conversations with so many interesting, influential people have made these seven years fly by, and honestly, I never once thought about moving on from having these weekly interviews.

So, to mark the occasion I was really glad that Jon Ferrara, founder of Nimble (and before that GoldMine), was able to join me for this week’s conversation. Because it was Jon who was my very first guest in this series those seven years ago.

A Look at the Evolution of CRM, and Its Future

We cover a lot of ground as we reminisce about the past, dig into what’s changed over the past seven years in the CRM space, and eventually look at what is coming down the pike. So this is a bit longer than usual. But hey, it’s not every day you hit a pretty cool milestone like this!

Below is an edited transcript of our conversation. To hear the full interview click on the embedded SoundCloud player below. And thanks to all who have read/listened to the series the past seven years. And a BIG THANK YOU to Anita Campbell and the whole Small Business Trends team for giving me a platform for having these kinds of conversations over the years.

* * * * *

Small Business Trends: I recently realized that come September 3rd, I will have been doing this series for seven years, which is just mind blowing to me. This whole thing started out with a conversation I had with John Ferrara. As luck would have it, guess who’s back with me to celebrate the 7-year anniversary? Jon Ferrara.

Jon, thank you for joining me today, man.

Jon Ferrara: Brent, I am super excited to be here with you today. I cherish you as a friend.

Small Business Trends: At the time, back in 2010, you had already sold GoldMine. You had taken some time off and had just recently started this new thing that was called Nimble. Now seven years into Nimble, tell us a little bit about what it was and what it is.

Jon Ferrara: You bet. So it’s my feeling that after using social media back in 2008, ’09, and ’10 it was going to change the way we work, play, the way people buy, and the way we need to sell to them. I started looking at contact tools and CRMs and saw they weren’t social. Then I started looking at contact management and saw it was broken because email, contact, and calendar are three separate applications and that CRM isn’t about relationships. It’s about reporting. So I build Nimble to reimagine a CRM as a social relationship manager that layers on top of your email, contact, and calendar. Build the CRM for you, and it’s been an amazing journey because I think the market has woken up to the vision that I had about social CRM and social selling and now I think it’s become ubiquitous that we need to change the way we sell, because customers have changed the way they buy.

Small Business Trends: Here we are in 2017. You’ve seen a lot in terms of not just how customer relationship management has evolved over time, but also how businesses in general ( startups and small businesses) have begun their journeys over that two and a half decade period. Tell me, what’s the biggest surprising change that you’ve seen in relationship building today as compared to when you first got started with GoldMine?

Jon Ferrara: You know, the biggest thing I’m surprised about Brent is that nothing’s changed. I think today people are still, for the most part, doing business the old fashioned way. They’re sending out a quarterly newsletter and expecting people to come knocking on their door. They’re still doing business in the old way of giving a sales rep a CRM and telling them to go get ‘em, and not really helping that sales rep with engagement as opposed to using the CRM for reporting. I think that social is changing the way that we work, play, buy, and sell, and I think that just now today, the market is waking up to that fact and they’re looking for something different.

But I think that the biggest surprise I have is that the thing I fixed with GoldMine … I’m not even going to count how many years ago it was. Hang on. Dang. It’s 27 years ago when I founded GoldMine! GoldMine was the first program that integrated email, contact, and calendar into a team relationship manager with sales and market automation. Today, contact management is broken again and it needs a GoldMine, but more importantly, a social cloud-based GoldMine.

This is what I mean. Today your operating system of your business is the contacts you’re connected to, the conversations you’re having, and activities you’re driving. That’s email, contact, and calendar. Today you have two choices. You’re going to either do that in Office 365 or Gmail/G Suite. And both of those applications, all three of those components are three separate apps and every team member has a separate contact database, which means there is no system or record of relationship for your business, which means that everybody in your company can’t be on one [accord] with your contacts, let alone the history of interactions on email and calendar. And most importantly on social as well.

That’s what Nimble fixes today. The biggest thing is this, if you have to go to your CRM or your contact program to use it, you won’t do it. That’s the biggest cause of failure of CRM, is lack of use. The second one’s bad data, because even if you beat on your sales people to type stuff in the CRM, it’s going to decay so rapidly that it’ll become unusable and so I think that the fact that they call it Salesforce because you have to force sales people to use it, is a testimony to the fact that you work for their CRM. It doesn’t work for you. You have to go to it to work for it. It should work for you by building itself and then work with you wherever you are. You should be in the river with your customer, adding value on a daily basis to set yourself up as a trusted advisor so when they make a buying decision, they know they pick up the phone they call you, but they drag their friends with them.

Small Business Trends: Wow. You’re still talking about the Social River, man. I remember hearing that back in 2010.

Jon Ferrara: I am, but I’m going to tell you something about social, Brent. Social as a word is going to go away, and we’re just going to get back to doing business. Because if you think about it, the term Social CRM has already passed over the horizon and there will go social selling, because ultimately it’s just about CRM and selling. But social’s just a new way of having conversation.

Do you remember when the Internet first came out? Everybody talked about “I this” and” E that”… eToys and iContact. Everybody thought the Internet was going to change everything. And you know what? It did. But you don’t talk about the Internet anymore, because it’s just the plumbing and when you turn your faucet on on your sink, you don’t think about the re-circulation pipes. You just worry about there being hot or cold water.

And so yes, I am still talking about the social river, but we don’t need to talk about social selling or social CRM. We just need to talk about contact management and basic relationship management that still is lacking in the main tools we run our businesses on.

The cool thing is, Nimble now synchronizes with all of your existing business apps, becomes that unified system where I can work back within them, even if you already have a CRM. And so we will launch in 30 days a plugin to Dynamics CRM, that helps any CRM user engage more effectively and bring their Office contacts with them and then take their Office and their Dynamics contacts anywhere as they’re working, because your sales people should be out there in the field with the customers having conversations, not inside a database.

Small Business Trends: With the move to the cloud that CRM applications and their complementary applications have made, how do you look at CRM cloud applications meeting the expectations and needs of the modern business? From a scale of 1 to 10, how well are they doing that today?

Jon Ferrara: Let’s talk about the sales and marketing and social technology tech stack that a business needs in order to manage the customer lifecycle. So, if you’re a business, number one, you get a domain. You go to GoDaddy. Get a domain. Then what you do is you need to get a website. So you get WordPress or something. Then what you need to do is you need email, contact, and calendar. So you buy Office or Gmail or G Suite. The next thing you’re going to need is some place to take the eyeballs you’re driving to the website. So I call that MailChimp to Marketo, right? It’s marketing. So you need to capture a lead, whatever you got, email, name, phone number, whatever you get. Put in to a database, and then nurture that lead till it’s lead qualified. Once it’s lead qualified, whatever that means to the business, you then put it in the CRM and you tell all your sales reps to go get them. So now we got two applications at a minimum, marketing automation and CRM.

So the sales rep sitting there with this lead and the database, and they don’t know anything about that lead, so what do they do? They Google them. They look them up. That’s 60 percent time wasted, looking things up and logging what you know and then logging what you did in email, calendar, and social, and the CRM, and you have to go to it to do it. So instead of doing that, what you do is you buy sales intelligence software. So the sales intelligence software maybe enriches the CRM record with who that person is and what their business is about. Maybe that’s inside view, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, or Nimble, which happens to be number one in that category in sales intelligence. Once you have the intelligence, you need to engage. And so you think about market automation as the high level bombers of the battlefield bombing the leads with nurturing.

Once you get that done, you need to put boots on the ground. That’s sales people. Sales people need intelligence. That’s sales intelligence, and they need a rifle. The rifle is not market automation. Sales people don’t use Marketo. Sales people use some sort of hand to hand combat tool, which is email templates with tracking. So that’s Yesware, Tab app, whatever email tracking templating software. So at a minimum you got four components. You got market automation, CRM, sales intelligence, and sales enablement. Each of those tools costs $50 to $150 per rep per month, and you give all that to a sales rep, they’re not even going to be able to use it because it’s too complex. So you got to hire a sales administrator for $50,000 to $100,000 a year to run it.

Now, if you asked me how the CRM was doing regarding serving the needs of the customer, I’m going to say you’ve got to buy too many products and too many tools today. I believe you need a blend of social sales and marketing with a blend of marketing CRM, sales intelligence, and sales enablement. Then the thing needs to work with you wherever you work, and I think that’s why we continue to innovate in ways that are unique in the market, because we see that need of too much complexity, too much cost, and too many tools, and that for 99 percent  of the businesses out there, they’re not going to go buy Marketo and Salesforce and InsideView and Yesware, or some other email template program. It’s too much. That’s where we’re at with Nimble, providing that blend of social and sales and marketing to manage the customer lifecycle across an entire organization.

Small Business Trends: All right, so let’s talk about a couple of things that weren’t even a blip on this screen back when we first talked seven years ago and their importance. From a customer engagement perspective, being able to scale efficiently your ability to respond, or to provide a quick answer that could help convert. We hear a lot of talk about chat bots. Talk a little bit about what you feel the importance of chat bots are today to modern customer engagement strategy.

Jon Ferrara: I think if you are not providing a means for your customer to communicate on whatever channel, at whatever time, at whatever moment your customer wants to, you’re going to lose them. Because it’s the people that are doing that today that are going to win that heart and mind. Because let’s face it, you’re out there in the cloud, you’re in-app trying to evaluate some program. You might be doing it on the weekend, you might be doing it in the middle of the night, and you might be doing it wherever, and you want some help. And so chat bots — and I’m not just talking about a chat bot on a website — I’m talking about chat bots within the applications themselves as well, so that your customer can ask a question at any point, at any time, and be able to get an answer. And it’s not just a sales answer, it’s really a customer success answer.

I think that sales has become a four letter word and that service is the new sales, and that you should be empowering you customer base and business team members to be rewarded and focused on customer success. That comes through communication and listening and dialogue. And so yes, I think chat bots are amazing, and that’s why we incorporate them, not just on our own website, but inside our apps as well.

Small Business Trends: All right. Let’s talk about the AI, because chat bots and AI have got to go together.

Jon Ferrara: Yeah.

Small Business Trends: How important is AI? We hear a lot of talk about it. We’re seeing a lot of people say that they have it and they’re doing it. (A) Is it important? and (B) Are you actually seeing it being done?

Jon Ferrara: You know Brent, when we start talking about AI I start saying the more digital we get the more human we need to be. And that yes, you can use computers to discern information across disparate databases to tell you things you don’t know. And that these bots might be able to do some basic conversation, but in the end, you need humans involved through that process. But I’ll tell you what, my first introduction to computers was in the Pan Am building in New York City. It was a teletype that was running ELIZA. ELIZA was a list based AI system that you … It said, “Hey, Brent, how are you?” You’d say, “I’m doing good.” And it says, “Oh, great. You know it sounds like your day is going good. Tell me more.” You tell it more and it interacts with you. It was pretty good back in the day and it’s gotten better, but I don’t really know if there’s truly a program that’s doing AI today as opposed to just some inherent word parsing and suggestions at this point. I don’t think we’re there yet.

We’ll get there, but in the meantime, I think that no matter how much AI you put into it, I think the key thing for business success is to be able to deliver context and insights on the relationships that you’re engaging with, whatever you’re engaging about.

Nimble Disrupting CRM World with Microsoft Edge plug-in
Sep 06, 2017
Nimble Disrupting CRM World with Microsoft Edge plug-in
Nimble Disrupting CRM World with Microsoft Edge plug-in
Sep 06, 2017

Nimble Disrupting CRM World with Microsoft Edge plug-in

Contact management specialist Nimble has strengthened its presence in the CRM market with the release of its Smart Contacts App with support for Microsoft Edge, the web browser developed as the successor to Internet Explorer.

The new plug-in, offered free for the standard edition, makes available the social marketing and business functionality of the contact management app directly within the Edge browser. The add-in version is available for all users of Office 365, Outlook desktop for Windows and Mac and Outlook iOS. Nimble also offers plug-ins for the Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers.

A business edition, which provides access for team social sales and marketing functionalities, will be offered at $25 per user per month, and will be available for Outlook Mobile Android users within the next few months.

Jon Ferrara, CEO of Santa Monica, California-based Nimble, believes the plug-in could become a significant market disruptor by replacing market-dominating enterprise CRMs such as Salesforce as a tool for sales staff. He claims that most industry-leading products are better suited to executive-level managers and department heads than salespeople who spend their days communicating via e-mail and customer-facing social networks.

Ferrara argues that contact management should be at the core of CRM products designed for use by ordinary employees rather than managers. Instead, he says, they are really designed as reporting tools.

The Nimble app is intended to enable salespeople to call on their contact list on the go by synchronizing individual e-mails, calendars and contacts as well as social networks into a shared team relationship management system that can be accessed directly in the browser by users of Office 365 and Outlook.

This, Ferrara says, resolves the biggest deficiency of traditional CRM systems: the dispersal of information among e-mail, contact management and calendar apps and tasks.

Nimble’s features include social profile matching and enrichment, matching social profiles for contacts and companies and automatically incorporating additional business and social details; instant business insights on people and companies by automatically building live profiles; and identification of top prospects for follow-up.

Key Takeaways:

• Nimble believes mainstream enterprise CRM products are better suited to executive managers than ordinary sales staff.

• The Microsoft Edge plug-in makes the Nimble contact management app available to all users of Office 365, Outlook desktop for Windows and Mac and Outlook iOS.

• Ferrara says the system provides an answer to the dispersal of information among e-mail, contact management and calendar apps.

How Nimble Makes You More Agile
Aug 23, 2017
How Nimble Makes You More Agile
How Nimble Makes You More Agile
Aug 23, 2017

How Nimble Makes You More Agile

Jon Ferrara co-founded the pre-Facebook, pre-Internet, pre-LinkedIn CRM system called GoldMine. His motivation was to connect people at a more personal level—to let them build relationships that build real value. That’s still his mission at his newer company, Nimble. Their product is what many call the “world’s first social CRM.” More than a CRM, Nimble helps companies connect the tools, silos, and customer experiences that many find difficult. Its value goes way beyond CRM. It helps companies operate with greater agility.

Jon is a big customer experience fan and recently he and I had the opportunity to chat in depth about how technology can help (or hurt) the customer experience.

Our world has changed. Customers no longer want to be pushed through a sales funnel (like many CRM programs can lead them to feel). They’re humans and they value relationships, value creation, and good timing.

So I asked Jon about his views on these points. His ideas around deepening relationships by blending CRM into social conversations are worth your attention.

For those of you who haven’t seen Nimble yet, here’s a screen shot (for Atlanta-based Tope Awotona, founder of www.calendly.com,  whom I don’t know yet) showing how robust Nimble’s information curation capabilities are and some of the options it gives you to connect, comment, follow, annotate, save, remind, etc.:

nimble_tope-1200x1642

Storyminers: So, besides helping sales people keep track of their selling efforts, how can CRM be used to create more value for customers?

Nimble: Customer Experience is all about aligning the promises you make with the experiences you deliver. Unfortunately, your customer journey is broken whenever your customer-facing employees use disparate systems.  The CRM system is commonly used by salespeople and marketers for outreach to prospects, customers and influencers; front-line CX representatives and customer care teams work within their CX system; and accounting and everyone else in the office works in G-Suite or in Office 365.

What’s missing in most cases is a unified system on a single platform that unifies the six islands of information that surround every business:  sales, marketing, customer care, accounting, social media and email.  Granted, there are enterprise options available from Salesforce and Oracle which unify your engagements, but their complex, costly systems are not accessible to 99% of the business world.

What most businesses need is a simply smart, social CRM that generates people and company records automatically from the data that’s already in and around your business so every customer-facing employee can engage armed with business context and social insights.  This is what Nimble does, and it’s why we’re growing so quickly.

My take: That’s smart design. Once all of a company’s systems are connected, understanding customer intent and anticipating needs lets you deliver higher value service at lower cost. Until those connections are in place, products like Nimble can help you connect the dots, working around the common disconnects that lead to frustrated customers.

Storyminers: How can companies leverage CRM to serve before they sell? (i.e. emphasize creating value rather than just extracting it from clients’ wallets)

Nimble: Imagine this scenario. I am a sales rep and I’m on Twitter, in Outlook or in Gmail, on Instagram, Facebook, and the company’s CRM.  When I’m reading a post on StoryMiners, I want to know who Mike Wittenstein is and whether I’ve ever spoken to or connected with him in the past. I want to know if anybody on my team knows him. I want to walk in his digital footprint to get to know him and what he’s passionate about, and I want to be able to connect within him on whatever appropriate, relevant and authentic channel I can. That’s what Nimble helps people do, by surfacing a customer’s history of interactions with a person or business and displaying the important signals that can help facilitate a genuine connection.

Nimble makes it easy for people to engage authentically with a customer, prospect or lead about what he or she is passionate about, before engaging with them about business.

My take: Putting relationships and service ahead of sales is the difference between a valued experience and a merely functional transaction. As long as you use the information you find out about someone using Nimble to make an honest connection that doesn’t manipulate others, it’s helpful to everyone and contributes to value creation.

Storyminers: What are some of the most common CRM challenges a business needs to overcome in order to be much more responsive to consumers “whenever they want it, whereever they want it, and however they want it?”

Nimble: The biggest mistake companies make when implementing their CRM is asking employees to become data entry jockeys.  Most customer-facing employees continue to manage most conversations and relationships via email, spreadsheets and in social media — and not in a separate contact manager (which requires laborious documentation).  CRMs that require users to log what they did, whom they did it with, and what the possible outcomes could be every time they connect with external constituents are fundamentally flawed. They require a mountain of work that people simply aren’t willing to do.

There is a powerful stat released by Docurated stating: ‘Only a third of sales reps’ time is actually spent selling.  That means the other two thirds is wasted on day-to-day stuff like researching contact details and updating the CRM. With the right technologies and processes, you can easily cut this noise in half.

My take: The more time you give salespeople to sell, the more they’ll sell 😉 From my personal yet still limited experience with the product, I love the way Nimble seems to capture what’s current and relevant, then lets you do the ‘next right thing.’

Storyminers: How does Nimble overcome these challenges and fundamentally change the way CX teams engage with consumers?

Nimble: Nimble synchronizes individual emails, calendars and contacts as well as social networks into a shared team relationship manager that auto-generates dynamic social and business profiles for O365, Outlook and Gmail users everywhere people work.

Nimble delivers these social business insights within your work window so you can engage authentically on whatever channel your customers or prospects are using. Multi-channel support spans the Web (via Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge plug-ins); in popular Web applications (Microsoft Teams, Dynamics 365  and Skype) and in email, calendar and contacts, in the cloud with Office 365 or Gmail, on the desktop (Windows and Mac) and on mobile devices (iOS and soon on Android).

Using Nimble, customer-facing employees can engage authentically throughout the journey, from the time a contact is first identified to the time she becomes a repeat customer.

My take: knowing not only what you’ve done with someone online, but seeing what others on your team are doing with a company or contact is a brilliant feature. This way, one brand, regardless of how many people are in it, can act like and appear as one brand to customers. The left arm can finally know what the right arm is doing 😉

Storyminers: How much life does CRM have before it gets eclipsed with more multi-purpose and context-sensitive technologies (like Nimble)?

Nimble: In today’s over-connected, over-communicated world, it’s more important than ever to engage authentically. If you’re not listening and engaging with customers, prospects and influencers about their passions, you’re already dead.

Relationships may start on Twitter, where you can find areas of commonality, then switch over to LinkedIn, before moving to email, and ultimately to the calendar for an appointment or video call. If you’re doing it right, your relationship grows deeper, and you connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat as well.

Through these fluid connections, prospects and customers get to know you — not just your business persona — which is key, because the customer journey is largely driven by emotional connections.  That transcends business and moves into the what I call “the Five Fs”: Family. Friends, Food, Fun, and Frolicking. This is where relationships really solidify. The only way to maintain a real relationship with someone today is to stay top-of-mind, and you can’t do that with a monthly newsletter.  You do that by adding value to their journey to become their trusted advisor. They will not only pick up the phone, they will bring their friends with them.

My take: Nimble is perfecting the bridge between professional and personal. We’re all humans. Finding the right human-to-human connection within a business context is something we all can all use to move our businesses forward. 

Storyminers: How do you see customer experience evolving over the next 10 years with AI, chatbots and new high-tech devices?

Nimble: I believe a social CRM that builds itself and delivers social business insights everywhere you work is key to making and managing authentic connections online. Siri may be in the offing, but it’s years away. As processes and systems become increasingly digitized and AI becomes more prominent, we’re focused on helping people be more human, authentic, and engaging when making connections online.

My take: The Kool-Aid® tastes good and I’d like to see Nimble become an early adopter of machine learning capabilities so that the way I like to work becomes ever more natural.

In Summary

Nimble is a product born from an intense focus on creating value for others. By design, it enhances relationships and brings authenticity to the forefront. My first experience with the product has been comfortable and natural. Knowing more about a person at the start does help you connect in more meaningful ways! Knowing when your important contacts are active on a topic that dovetails with your own interests is magically helpful. If your organization does have all its dots connected when it comes to  communications, Nimble is sure to improve the customer experience!

Making CRM for the Users with Jon Ferrara
Aug 18, 2017
Making CRM for the Users with Jon Ferrara
Making CRM for the Users with Jon Ferrara
Aug 18, 2017

Making CRM for the Users with Jon Ferrara

In this episode of CRM Rocks, Markus Erlandsson talks to Jon Ferrara from Nimble about making CRM for the users, the discussion starts with how CRMs started and how to get usability and usage. Jon continues to discuss how to sell and where to start with your selling.

Play Episode

Bio

Jon Ferrara is a serial CRM and Relationship Management entrepreneur and noted speaker about Social Media’s effects on Sales and Marketing. His most recent venture Nimble.com, has re-imagined CRM by building a Simply Smarter Social Sales and Marketing platform. Jon is best known as the co-founder of GoldMine Software Corp, one of the early pioneers in the Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software categories for Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMBs).

Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-in For Microsoft Edge
Aug 17, 2017
Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-in For Microsoft Edge
Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-in For Microsoft Edge
Aug 17, 2017
Posted Aug 16, 2017

Nimble today launched its Smart Contacts Add-In for Microsoft Edge, bringing Nimble’s social business insights capabilities to Microsoft Edge and enabling users to make and manage connections from within the browser.

“It’s getting harder and harder to remember who it is you’ve spoken to, or to do the research necessary to understand who somebody is and what their business is about whenever you’re engaging with them,” says Jon Ferrara, founder and CEO of Nimble. “If you have to Google somebody before a meeting or go to your contacts or your CRM to look [that person] up, you won’t do it. That’s what Nimble solves, [and] this plug-in for Edge gives you all the contact and company information you need to be effective at engagement wherever you engage.”

Nimble offers four key features under the umbrella of social business insights: (1) social profile matching and enrichment, which matches social profiles for contacts and companies and automatically enriches them with additional business and social details; (2) business insights on people and companies, delivering instant insights on people and companies by automatically building live profiles with details such as who they are, where they were, where they’re from, number of company employees, year founded, revenue, industry, CEO, location, social profiles, and contact info; (3) prospect segmenting, enabling users to identify the best prospects to tag for follow-up or engage with actions such as group email messages; and (4) social prospecting, which provides contexts and insights designed to promote smarter prospecting.

Nimble’s Edge plug-in enables users to unify their contacts with their communications and activities across platforms, including social media, Ferrara says.

“Today, you have your email, your contacts, and your calendar in either Office 365, Gmail G Suite, iCloud, or all of the above. So how do you manage your contacts when contact management is broken, because in all those platforms, email, contacts, and calendar are separate,” he says. “The plug-in for Edge helps you to use that wherever you’re engaging, so if you’re in your email inbox, if you’re in Twitter or LinkedIn, if you’re in a Forbes article, all you have to do is Nimble them: You turn the Nimble plug-in on in Edge, and it knows that you looking at, [for example], Jon Ferrara’s Twitter account, or his LinkedIn, or, if you hover on the name in a Forbes article, it will automatically build a record for that person.” 

Nimble offers plug-ins for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, in addition to Edge.  

Nimble Digs Deeper Into CRM Space with Smart Contacts App
Aug 16, 2017
Nimble Digs Deeper Into CRM Space with Smart Contacts App
Nimble Digs Deeper Into CRM Space with Smart Contacts App
Aug 16, 2017

By  | Aug 16, 2017

Nimble dug a little deeper into the customer relationship management (CRM) space with the release of its Smart Contacts App with support for Microsoft Edge.

Edge is the web browser developed by Microsoft and included in Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile and Xbox One. Edge replaces Internet Explorer as the default web browser on all kinds of devices.

The new plug-in is free for the standard edition and brings all the social marketing and business offerings of the Nimble contact management app directly into the Edge browser.

Designed For Sales People

Normally, the release of a plug-in would pass as something of interest, but not necessarily noteworthy.

However, this plug-in deserves a little bit more attention because it could conceivably replace big enterprise CRMs like Salesforce for sales people, for example, and also in light of the rapid growth Santa Monica, Calif.-based Nimble, a relative newcomer in the established CRM space, has made in short time.

Indeed, Nimble CEO and founder Jon Ferrara is pitching the Nimble Contact Management app as a disruptor in a space that is dominated by big enterprise-wide CRMs.

These big, enterprise CRMs, Ferrara told CMSWire, are more appropriate for C-Suite executives and department heads, than sales people who spend the days in email inboxes and customer-facing social networks.

“What is missing from most CRMs is relationship management — even though they are called CRM. CRM for these big apps really stands for Customer Reporting because they are really designed as reporting tools,” Ferrara said.

“Contact management, however, should be at the core of CRM but it is not. The big apps and platforms like Salesforce were designed for management and not for workers.”

Nimble Contact Management

The idea behind the Nimble app is a simple one. According to Ferrara, it brings workers’ contacts list with them wherever they go.

Nimble synchronizes individual emails, calendars and contacts as well as social networks into a shared team relationship manager enriched with rich social and business profiles everywhere they work.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 6.21.56 PM

The result is workers using Office 365 and Outlook will be able to manage their contacts directly in the browser.

This release is only the latest stage of Ferrara’s ambitions to take on the CRM marketand technologies that he describes as “broken.”

“My argument is that contact management is broken in G Suite and Office and the others because email, contact management and calendar are three separate tasks. In most cases to acess these tools you have to jump in and out of different apps which is not great for working,” he said.

“You need to be able to access these tools where ever you work, including inside your browser.”

Nimble’s Future

Ferrara founded Nimble in 2009 to give small-to-medium businesses the advantages of customer relationship management (CRM) that large enterprises enjoy, without the expense.

It’s not his first foray into CRM. He previously co-founded GoldMine, one of the earliest CRM software companies, in 1989.

Nimble comes in two versions today: a free Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in and Nimble Business edition at $25 per user per month. The Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in is available to all Microsoft Edge, Office 365, Outlook desktop Windows/Mac and Outlook iOS users.

The business edition offers access team social sales and marketing functionalities and will be available for Outlook Mobile Android users within the next few months.

While it is too soon to talk about the Dynamics and Nimble tie-in, Ferrara sees Nimble as the gateway app to Dynamics as organizations move to the cloud and start looking for CRM or enterprise resource planning. Dynamics will not be the end of the story either:

“I want to arrive at a point where organizations that buy Office will buy Nimble too. Every team needs a contact management, and they need simply social sales. I want Nimble to become the relationship system of record for the entire company not just the sales team.”

About the Author

David is a full-time journalist based in Paris, who spends his time working between Ireland, the UK and France. A partisan of ‘green’ living and conservation, he is particularly interested in information management and how enterprise content management, analytics, big data and cloud computing impact on it.

Nimble Launches Add-in For Microsoft Edge, Delivers Instant Social Business Insights on People and Companies
Aug 16, 2017
Nimble Launches Add-in For Microsoft Edge, Delivers Instant Social Business Insights on People and Companies
Nimble Launches Add-in For Microsoft Edge, Delivers Instant Social Business Insights on People and Companies
Aug 16, 2017

KAREEM ANDERSON

Microsoft’s Edge browser has a bit of a chicken and egg conundrum going for it as it’s relatively new presence on a relatively new OS hinders it from being a trusted name among internet browsers. Coupled with the fact that it’s predecessor in Internet Explorer has become the butt of many internet meme jokes (for mostly justified reasons) and its largest competitor continues to build enticing lock-in features, Edge has its work cut out for itself.

Fortunately, the developers of Nimble appear to be forward thinking developers who are placing some large bets on the future of Edge and how businesses will want to use internet browsers.

Nimble is the first Social Sales and Marketing CRM that works for you by building your CRM from your existing Office 365 data and then works with you, everywhere you engage. We’ve optimized Nimble to work seamlessly inside Office 365, Outlook, Skype and even Dynamics CRM. We help you easily deploy your CRM by syncing your team’s Office 365 contacts, emails, and calendars into a unified relationship manager enriched with the business insights you need to engage.

Nimble is a fairly comprehensive addition to Edge that pulls and displays a complete communication trail which includes shared emails, notes, and social media messages right from within the browser. Gone are the days of whack-a-mole-like professional communication tracking, thanks to Nimble’s ability to aggregate company CRM listings.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 6.21.56 PM

Furthermore, Nimble works outside of the confines of Outlook, Skype or Dynamics as it provides contact insights when surfing social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, AngelList, Twitter, CrunchBase and of course LinkedIn, to name a few. With Nimble, users can pull up relevant contact info while engaging with people on their favorite sites.

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 12.04.53 PM

Nimble also works for people on the go as it integrates with Outlook mobile to provide a similar communications flow as its desktop counterpart.

To try out Nimble and all of its version 4.0 features, Edge users can head over to www.nimble.com for a 14-day free trial, after which, the price becomes $25 per license, per month. Understandably, it’s the business CRM listings that help make Nimble the successful communications tool it is now, but hopefully, developers will see the benefits in a more consumer oriented version of the service in the future.

Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-In for Microsoft Edge
Aug 16, 2017
Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-In for Microsoft Edge
Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-In for Microsoft Edge
Aug 16, 2017

Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-In for Microsoft Edge

Nimble, the award-winning pioneer of Social Sales and Marketing CRM, announced the launch of Nimble Smart Contacts Add-In for Microsoft Edge. The new add-in delivers social business insights on people and businesses within Microsoft’s Web browser, thusly enabling Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook users to make and manage authentic connections far more easily everywhere they work.

Nimble synchronizes individual emails, calendars, and contacts as well as social networks into a shared team relationship manager, enriched with rich social and business profiles for Office 365 and Outlook users everywhere they work. Multi-channel support spans the web (via Edge, Chrome, Safari and Firefox plug-ins); and popular web applications (Microsoft Teams, Dynamics 365, and Skype) in addition to email, calendar and contacts, in the cloud with Office 365, on the desktop (Windows and Mac) and on mobile devices (iOS and soon on Android).

“Microsoft Office 365 customers need a simple contact management platform to add on top of Office 365 and Outlook to provide them what’s missing, a simple smart social sales and marketing relationship manager,” said Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara. “We founded Nimble to deliver what people loved about GoldMine, great team contact management that sales people love to use blended with social sales and marketing that automatically builds your CRM from your Office 365 data and then works with you inside of Microsoft Edge everywhere you work.”

“Until we found Nimble, our employees primarily managed contacts in their personal email and social media accounts,” explained Mark Fidelman, Managing Director of Fanatics Media. “Our legacy CRM system failed to deliver the business context we needed because employees didn’t have time to log each interaction with every constituent in an isolated CRM system and it was time-consuming to research someone’s digital footprint. With Nimble, we vastly improved our ability to build authentic relationships across the customer journey with dynamic, contextual information in Microsoft Edge and everywhere we work online.”

Pricing and Availability

Nimble is available for a free 14 day trial and offers a Business edition at $25 per user, per month. The Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in extension is available to all Microsoft Edge, Office 365, Outlook desktop Windows/Mac, and Outlook iOS users. The Nimble Add-in will be available for Outlook Mobile Android users within the next few months.

Nimble's New Add-In Takes the 'Cold' out of Cold-Calling
Jul 24, 2017
Nimble's New Add-In Takes the 'Cold' out of Cold-Calling
Nimble's New Add-In Takes the 'Cold' out of Cold-Calling
Jul 24, 2017

Nimble's New Add-In Takes the 'Cold' out of Cold-Calling
by David Roe

Microsoft wasn't the only company making announcements during its Inspire partner conference last week. 

Its partners got into the action as well, announcing a number of releases and additions for Microsoft products.

Of these, Nimble’s new add-in for Office 365 and Outlook stands out. While add-ins generally slip under the radar, Nimble Smart Contacts App is the latest in an ongoing strategy by Nimble to make itself an integral part of Microsoft's continued push of Azure in the enterprise.

The Nimble Smart Contacts App freemium add-in for Microsoft Office 365, Outlook desktop and iOS delivers business insights on people and companies.

The app doesn't aim to replace the face-to-face contact that drives any relationship, including sales relationships, according to Jon Ferrera, CEO of Nimble. Instead, the app aims to make it easier for people to connect, taking the cold out of cold-calling.

Putting Contacts in Context in the Inbox

Ferrara founded the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Nimble in 2009 to give small-to-medium businesses the advantages of customer relationship management (CRM) that large enterprises enjoy, without the expense.

Nimble is not Ferrara's first foray into CRM. He previously co-founded GoldMine, one of the earliest CRM software companies in 1989. The company later sold for a reported $125 million in 1999.

Nimble pulls together CRM, unified communications and conversations, social media tools and team collaboration in the same application.

The tool aims to create deeper context around your contacts and meetings within the email inbox.

The thinking here is smart. Because despite the rise of social media and networks, workers still spend many hours of their days in their inboxes. While the inbox provides a direct communication channel with contacts, it rarely provides information about them.

The new add-in combines calendars and contacts in the same place so that for every customer, partner or personal email exchange you have, the add-in will provide a wider context for that exchange.

In short, it surfaces social business details about your contacts and companies to help you engage in an effective and informed manner.

“What’s missing is connectivity between Outlook and the calendars and contacts that workers are using now. You don’t get any information from your calendar and social to that you can use,” Ferrera said.

“Nimble solves that by unifying your Gmail with G Suites, or iCloud or Office 365 with your calendar and contact list. It synchronizes individual emails, calendars and contacts into a shared team relationship manager enriched with rich social and business profiles available to users everywhere they work.”

The Coming 'Enterprise Cloud Turf War'

In a wider context, Ferrera noted Microsoft iterates, rather than innovates. It waits for other companies to build the market before moving in with its massive sales and marketing machine to dominate it, he said.

Nimble’s role here, he said, would be to introduce SMBs to the Microsoft products available through the Azure cloud.

Microsoft already provides Nimble to its entire partner channel and will also distribute Nimble's freemium edition to Office 365 users worldwide. Microsoft also named Nimble a Microsoft Gold Certified ISV (Independent Software Vendors) Partner.

“The next enterprise cloud turf war will be decided flat out by ISVs and enterprise developers and where they decide to build applications. So far, AWS is winning with ISV, Azure with enterprises, but that could change,” he said.

Nimble comes in two versions: a free Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in and Nimble Business edition at $25 per user, per month. The new Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in is available for Office 365, Outlook desktop on Windows and Mac and Outlook.

Why Siri is not the Answer to Making Online Connections
Jul 24, 2017
Why Siri is not the Answer to Making Online Connections
Why Siri is not the Answer to Making Online Connections
Jul 24, 2017

Why Siri is not the Answer to Making Online Connections
by Kevin Price

In its beginning, social was cutting edge. People thought it was THE way to communicate and would revolutionized the world. Social has certainly changed engagement and communication, the way customers make buying decisions, and the ways companies engage. Today, if your business is not engaging with social media, it’s game over.

Unfortunately, businesses are struggling to manage relationships in today’s over-connected world. Sending an introductory email to a potential client who just spent 3 hours with your CEO is embarrassing at best. The whole company needs to be on one page regarding all interactions with business constituents.

To understand social communication challenges and overcoming them, I recently connected with social business thought leader and Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara. Jon argues that a lightweight social CRM that delivers social business insights everywhere you work is key to making and managing authentic connections. Siri, he said, may be in the offing, but it’s years away. As processes and systems become increasingly digitized and AI becomes more prominent, Jon is focused on helping people be more human, authentic, and engaging when making connections online.

What is your history with CRMs, and why did you decide to create Nimble?

I created and co-founded the award-winning CRM, GoldMine, in 1989 with the aim to help people in fast-growing small- and medium-sized businesses connect, share and collaborate across business functions. This was long before Outlook, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Hootsuite, Hubspot, and similar contact, CRM and social business tools existed. Over the next decade, we partnered with Microsoft and its massive network to help grow the company into a multi-million dollar enterprise, which I sold in 1999 for $125 million. I then put CRMs in my rear view and moved on to other ventures.

During my absence, most CRM vendors moved upstream to focus on the enterprise, leaving many SMBs under served - unless they were willing to spend hundreds of dollars per user on elaborate systems.

The realization that roughly 1% of the 225 million businesses worldwide actually use a CRM system – led me to recognize a fatal flaw in the industry: today’s CRM products are fundamentally broken. Most people’s CRM today is their email inbox, spreadsheets and now social media.

As people face information overload, we continue to manage most of their conversations and relationships via email and social media — and not in a contact manager that requires laborious documentation.

I founded Nimble to resolve this dissonance by becoming the world’s simple, smart and social contact manager for individuals and teams.

What does Nimble do and why is it necessary?

People claim that CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management.” I disagree as today’s CRMs are used to track what a salesperson or marketer did, whom they did it with, and what the possible outcomes could be; not to manage relationships. Today’s CRM’s are more Customer Reporting Managers.

Real relationships are formed where people connect and communicate; today, this happens via email, on social media, and through similar channels; places that CRMs are largely unaware of. With so many interactions, it’s impossible to retain a relational history with most clients and prospects.

Nimble is the first CRM that builds itself by connecting the features of Office 365, Outlook, Gsuite or Gmail into an easy-to-use social sales and marketing CRM, bringing individual email, calendar, and contacts into a shared team solution, and enriching contact and business profiles with social insights so you can build rapport with someone before reaching out.

How will Nimble change the way business is done?

Nimble helps you make digital connections, personally and at scale. For example, I was recently asked to speak at Microsoft Inspire.

As a means to market my business, we imported a Twitter list of the previous year’s conference attendees into Nimble, identified the top 200 influencers based on their Klout scores and interest area, and began doing one-to-one outreach.

By Nimbling individuals social footprint and history of interactions, our efforts generated a 50% email open rate and 25 total meetings. The campaign targeted executives, product managers, and people that managed the different parts of the business.

Because of this, Nimble landed a sizable deal with Microsoft; the company is bundling Nimble with 50 million Outlook mobile handsets and 100 million Office 365 users as the new add-in to Office and Outlook.

Today, we are in the process of rolling out Nimble Smart Contact Manager across all Office 365 productivity applications; the Web (Edge, Chrome and Firefox); in Web applications such as Microsoft Dynamics, Skype and Microsoft Teams; as well as on mobile devices (iOS and Android).

What does the shift to AI mean for making digital connections?

The more digital we get, the more human we need to be. Because we are all over-connected, we need help as stuff falls through the cracks.

Imagine if someone could look at all your email and social signals, apply business intelligence on that person and their company, and then surfaced the most important signals to; you can then do that human thing.

The problem is there’s no one system of relationship management for a business. I think that’s where we’re going; a universal relationship that “automagically” builds itself and works with you wherever you work.

I want to know who Kevin Price is wherever I am online. I want to know if anybody on my team knows him. I want to walk in your digital footprint, and I want to connect in whatever channel I can. That’s not necessarily AI.

It’s just more effective bringing these things together. AI’s coming, but not quite yet.

—-

Jon has already struck gold once in the CRM market. With Nimble, he is clearly on a mission to re-imagine how customer relationship management platforms are bringing a true sense of authentic connection back into customer relations, an essential part of any brand’s longevity and efficacy in an over connected landscape.

Nimble News from Microsoft Inspire
Jul 24, 2017
Nimble News from Microsoft Inspire
Nimble News from Microsoft Inspire
Jul 24, 2017

Nimble News from Microsoft Inspire

Thomas Wieberneit   | Jul 24, 2017

MS Inspire, the annual Microsoft partner event, has just ended, wrapping up a flurry of news and announcements from Microsoft and its channel partners.

Most announcements were interesting; some more than others, especially when considering these items together. I’ve been following Nimble CRM and its founder Jon Ferrara for a while now, so I was particularly interested in hearing about the launch of its global reseller program and its social relationships insights add-in for Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook Desktop/Mobile. Nimble made its announcements within the context of Microsoft’s increasing its emphasis on partner success, as evinced by its One Commercial Partner initiative to bring together partner-focused teams from across the company and its new ISV Cloud Embed services offerings for partners.

Why is this interesting?

Microsoft’s lifeblood is its partner ecosystem.  In all likelihood, the company has the biggest, most robust partner channel around. Microsoft basically sets, and resets, the gold standard with their constantly evolving partner strategies.

A case in point is Microsoft’s announcement to incentivize its partner-focused teams to sell   3rd party partner solutions with Microsoft first party solutions, Microsoft is making it even easier for MSP/CSV and ISV partners to leverage synergies and add value to customers, profits to partners and stickiness to Microsoft products.

We also see Microsoft’s Azure co-sell program taking further steps with ISV Cloud Embed. This new program allows partners to embed Dynamics 365, Power BI, Power Apps, and Microsoft Flow into their front- and back-office solutions. (I wouldn’t be surprised if LinkedIn were also integrated into this mix in the near future). If you think about it, this co-sell program looks a lot like Microsoft’s embedded Visual Basic for Applications on steroids.  Lots of steroids.

This combination of initiatives allows MSP/CSP/ISV’s (Microsoft Solution Partner/ Cloud Solutions Provider/ Independent Software Vendor) partners to develop value faster and, through the partner-to-partner ecosystem, sell with common benefits.

Nimble is following an ecosystem strategy, too. The company has been co-developing its light-weight social CRM with Microsoft and integrated into the  Microsoft stack for well over a year now. The latter is showcased by the new social insights add-in for MS Outlook and Office 365, the former by launching its  own global reseller program in combination with becoming a Microsoft Gold ISV Partner.

At the same time. Nimble stays committed to the Google stack it was originally developed on, therefore running a two-pronged technology strategy.

My Take

This is a thing.

As I have written a few times, Microsoft owns a technology stack that should worry other business application vendors. Microsoft strives to, and has the potential to, become the fabric that connects enterprises of all sizes with their stakeholders. In cooperation with its partners, Microsoft’s reach spans everything from the hardware powering cloud-based and on-premise data centers to the hardware in the hands of users and customers.

Microsoft also has the software to connect the two. After nearly missing the SaaS wave, the writing’s on the wall: Azure will surpass AWS as the infrastructure of choice for businesses big and small.

From my point of view, there are only two concerns (three, if you count the possibility of a  major strategic stuff-up, which seems to be highly unlikely):

First, I still do not see a Microsoft  e-commerce platform that has the potential to compete head-on with the likes of SAP Hybris, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, or Oracle’s ATG. With the world going more digital almost by the minute,  I don’t understand why this gap remains.

The second concern stems from the innovator’s dilemma. Microsoft is well on its way to crossing the chasm, meaning that it is drifting (or has drifted) into the Enterprise market from Axapta and Navision, the SMB ‘roots’ of Dynamics.

This is where Nimble comes into the picture. With its strong Microsoft-centric strategy and solid credibility with small businesses,  Nimble opens the door to SMBs adopting Microsoft’s business applications. Many, if not most, of them are running Microsoft Office and/or Microsoft Outlook already. Nimble is an easy entry point into the business applications market, which in turn offers Microsoft and its partners the opportunity to grow small business customers into the Dynamics offerings as they grow.

By leveraging Microsoft’s partnering programs while simultaneously setting up its own reseller program, Nimble is attempting  to create a triple win for Microsoft, its channel partners and for itself. Given that Jon accomplished this previously with GoldMine (GoldMine has over 5 Million customers and 5,000 Reseller Partners, and it was Microsoft’s #1 ISV partner in the 90s), I don’t see any reason why this strategy wouldn’t succeed here as well. .

Nimble’s strategy is bolstered by its continued support of the Google stack since both Microsoft and Google are the operating systems of businesses. Google and Google Apps are especially interesting for smaller businesses.

The only shadow that I see in this rosy picture is Nimble’s current pricing model.  They shed their free tier a while ago and settled for a $25 per user, per month model. The free Nimble Social Insights Add-In for Microsoft Outlook and Office 365 alleviates this to some extent. However, the free edition is still limited, and, considering Nimble addresses the SMB market with a capital S, there is a sizeable jump from free to $25/month/user. Jon hinted that Nimble will address this with an upcoming edition of a Nimble Contact Manager for Teams without advanced features, which will be priced at around $10/month/user.

So, in summary, Nimble is pursuing a sound strategy here, albeit one with a final question mark: Amazon. It will be interesting to see what moves Amazon makes in the Cloud Productivity Platform market over the next years.

Nimble CRM, Startup That Bulks Up G Suite And Office 365 With Social And CRM Data, Launches Channel
Jul 12, 2017
Nimble CRM, Startup That Bulks Up G Suite And Office 365 With Social And CRM Data, Launches Channel
Nimble CRM, Startup That Bulks Up G Suite And Office 365 With Social And CRM Data, Launches Channel
Jul 12, 2017

by  on 

The software developer based in Santa Monica, Calif., is recruiting partners looking to boost the capabilities of Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite by seeding those popular productivity suites with data from social media sites and leading CRM platforms, said Jon Ferrara, Nimble's founder and CEO.

Office 365 and G Suite have become "the operating system of a business," said Ferrara, who played a pioneering role in the development of CRM technology through his previous venture, GoldMine Software.

To prepare his company to support a formal channel, Ferrara hired Kevin Turner to be his director of strategic partner development. Turner founded Boss Systems, a leading GoldMine VAR back in the heyday of that groundbreaking vendor; a later channel venture, Model Metric, was acquired by Salesforce.

Nimble's offering culls data from productivity tools such as email, calendars and contact lists, then integrates data from social platforms like LinkedIn and sales and marketing platforms like Salesforce to put comprehensive customer profiles in front of users.

It's an easy add-on for partners who want to enhance their Office 365 and G Suite practices, Ferrara said, one that many solution providers could benefit from using internally before training customers.

"We have a team of people and programs that will help the VAR modernize their own sales and marketing tools, and then start doing it for the customers themselves," he said.

Ferrara said he sees "many VARs using Autotask or ConnectWise and not using modern software."

Nimble CRM, which started selling its offering back in 2013, already has 100 partners through an informal channel.

"Now is the time we're ready to invest in the resources, scale what we're doing, and also invest in our new partners for their success," he said.

Ferrara points to GoldMine, which swelled to more than 5,000 partners, as an example of a software vendor that didn't in any way compete with VARs, but instead saw those partners as an extension of its own business.

"It's one thing to sign someone up," he said, "and another thing to work hand-in-hand with them to help them grow their business."

Trials sold through Nimble's website all become leads for VARs to convert, he said.

Nimble's channel program was introduced at the Microsoft Inspire conference in Washington, D.C. The startup recently became a Microsoft Gold Certified ISV.

At the Microsoft partner conference, Nimble also unveiled a new freemium feature for Office 365 called Smart Contacts. The app, which also works through Outlook desktop and iOS, synchronizes emails, calendars and contacts with a team relationship manager enhanced by social and business profiles.

Van Murray is CEO of NeoCloud, a solution provider based in Raleigh, N.C., that's added Nimble's solution to its Office 365 practice.

The add-on "helps us create more value for our customers, differentiates us from our competitors and increases profitability," Murray told CRN.

"Nimble is our Trojan horse into businesses to connect with decision-makers and make Office 365 sticky in customer accounts," he said.

Nimble Launches Add-In for Microsoft 365 and Outlook
Jul 11, 2017
Nimble Launches Add-In for Microsoft 365 and Outlook
Nimble Launches Add-In for Microsoft 365 and Outlook
Jul 11, 2017

Nimble Launches Add-In for Microsoft 365 and Outlook

Nimble, a developer of a social sales and marketing CRM solution for individuals and businesses, has introduced Nimble Smart Contacts App, a new freemium add-in for Microsoft Office 365, Outlook desktop, and iOS that delivers instant social business insights on people and companies.

The Smart Contacts App enables users to create instant live profiles from team and personal email messages, contact list, calendar appointments, and social engagements. The profiles also include company insights such as industry, number of employees, revenue, and more. The add-in provides engagement tracking, reporting, and the ability to assign follow-up tasks and schedule reminders. Multi-channel support delivers people and company sites across the Web (via Chrome, Safari, and Firefox plug-ins), in Web applications such as Microsoft Dynamics, Skype, and Microsoft teams, in addition to email, calendar, and contacts in the cloud with Office 365, on the desktop, and on mobile devices (iOS and Android).

“The biggest cause of business communication failure is lack of knowledge of who someone is or what their company is about,” says Jon Ferrara , CEO of Nimble. “Nimble has reimagined relationship management with a simply smarter relationship manager add-in that works for you, delivering critical contact background details right inside your Office 365 and Outlook inbox.”

Nimble is available in two versions: a free Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in and Nimble Business edition at $25 per user per month. The new add-in is available to all Office 365, Outlook desktop Windows/Mac, and Outlook iOS users. Existing Outlook users can use Nimble to get insights on contacts and companies and upgrade to the business edition to access team social sales and marketing functionalities.

 

CRM Talk Bonus Episode: Jon Ferrara of Nimble on CRM Switch Podcast
Jul 11, 2017
CRM Talk Bonus Episode: Jon Ferrara of Nimble on CRM Switch Podcast
CRM Talk Bonus Episode: Jon Ferrara of Nimble on CRM Switch Podcast
Jul 11, 2017

CRM Talk Bonus Episode: Jon Ferrara of Nimble on CRM Switch Podcast

A discussion with Jon Ferrara about managing relationships where you can have conversations.

Jon’s passion is to build relationship platforms that help other people achieve their goals. Since starting GoldMine in the late 1980’s, Jon has believed that the more people you can help grow, the more you’ll grow.

In this episode, Jon identifies the many types of people beyond customers and prospects who businesspeople should be connecting with on a regular basis.

Jon reveals how to stay top of mind with people in many different roles and what you should do to get people to call you rather than you calling them.

We also discuss today’s announcement of Nimble Smart Contacts App, a new freemium add-in for Microsoft Office 365, Outlook desktop and iOS.

Listen to the episode now: https://soundcloud.com/crm-switch/crm-talk-bonus-episode-jon-ferrara-nimble

Nimble Launches Add-In for Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook
Jul 11, 2017
Nimble Launches Add-In for Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook
Nimble Launches Add-In for Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook
Jul 11, 2017
Free Nimble add-in delivers contact and company background details to Office 365
Posted Jul 11, 2017

Nimble, a provider of social sales and marketing CRM, today released Nimble Smart Contacts, a freemium add-in for Microsoft Office 365, Outlook desktop, and iOS that delivers instant social business insights on people and companies.

Nimble synchronizes individual emails, calendars and contacts into a shared team relationship manager enriched with rich social and business profiles for Office 365 and Outlook users everywhere they work.

Nimble's add-in for Outlook includes the following:

  • Live Profiles from team and personal email messages, contacts lists, calendar appointments, and social engagements;
  • Social Contact Profile Matching with rich contact and company insights;
  • Contact Insights, including the person's name, company name, title, biography, location, keywords, work experience, education, and social identities;
  • Company Insights, including biography, industry, number of employees, year founded, keywords, company type, revenue, ticker, CEO name, address, and phone number;
  • Engagement tracking, reporting, and the ability to assign follow-up tasks and schedule reminders within context enhance personal and team productivity;
  • Multichannel support that delivers people and company insights seamlessly across the Web (via Chrome, Safari and Firefox plug-ins), in Web applications such as Microsoft Dynamics, Skype, and Microsoft Teams in addition to email, calendar and contacts, in thecloud with Office 365, on the desktop (Windows and Mac) and on iOS and Android mobile devices.

"The biggest cause of business communication failure is lack of knowledge of who someone is or what their company is about," said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble, in a statement. "Nimble has reimagined relationship management with a simply smarter relationship manager add-in that works for you, delivering critical contact background details right inside your Office 365 and Outlook inbox."

"Nimble is a welcome addition to the Office ecosystem as they clearly have an understanding of the needs of business users in a social, global world," said Rob Howard, director of Office product marketing at Microsoft, in a statement. "Providing contextual information about contacts helps business relationships flourish, so connecting that capability through the new Nimble add-in for Outlook is a logical step."

Nimble comes in two versions: a free Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in and Nimble Business edition at $25 per user per month.

Nimble Launches Partner Program to Address Growing Market Demand for its Award Winning Social Selling CRM
Jul 11, 2017
Nimble Launches Partner Program to Address Growing Market Demand for its Award Winning Social Selling CRM
Nimble Launches Partner Program to Address Growing Market Demand for its Award Winning Social Selling CRM
Jul 11, 2017

Nimble Launches Partner Program to Address Growing Market Demand for its Award Winning Social Selling CRM

Provides Resellers and Distribution Partners with an Affordable Social Sales and Marketing CRM Add-on Solution for Office 365 and GSuite

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 12, 2017–

Nimble, the pioneer of Social Sales and Marketing CRM, today announced the launch of the global Nimble Solution Partner Program to address the growing market need for a simple, affordable contact manager and CRM for Microsoft Office 365 and Google Gsuite users. The program provides resellers, distribution partners, consulting firms and systems integrators with the materials and support they need to deliver a leading small business social sales and marketing CRM solution or service to their customers. Nimble also announced that Kevin Turner has joined Nimble to lead Strategic Partner Development.

“According to Gartner, CRM growth is being driven by SaaS cloud service revenue and small businesses are looking for local technology solution partners to optimize their social sales and marketing business needs,” said Jon Ferrara, CEO, Nimble. “Nimble’s new channel program and products will provide our resellers the social sales and marketing solution and training they need to help small businesses using Office 365 and GSuite grow sales and customers.”

Nimble Hires Kevin Turner, CRM Veteran to Lead Partner Program

Showing a strong commitment to a world class partner program Nimble brings on CRM industry veteran Kevin Turner to lead Strategic Partner Development. Before joining Nimble Kevin Turner was one of the principles at Model Metrics, a Salesforce Consultancy company with over 1,000+ Salesforce deployments that Salesforce acquired.

“Resellers who join the Nimble Partner Program will get in early on a great opportunity to deliver the next generation of social sales and marketing CRM for small and medium fast growing businesses,” says Kevin Turner, Strategic Partner Development at Nimble. “Nimble Solution Providers are supported by sales, marketing, and technical support services, and receive industry-leading product commissions.”

“As a top CSP Partner, it is our job to deliver solutions to our customers that drive results and solve real business problems,” says Michael Spoont, CEO of IV4 – 2016 Microsoft SMB Cloud Partner of the Year for the Northeast. “We strongly believe using Nimble will help enable our customers to achieve transformative results just as it has IV4.”

Nimble Named Microsoft Gold ISV Certified Partner

We are very excited to announce that Nimble has recently become a Microsoft Gold Certified ISV Partner. A Microsoft Gold-Certified partner is a company that has agreed to collaborate and establish a close working relationship with Microsoft. Having this title means that Nimble has earned the highest standards of Microsoft’s widely-recognized partnership program. Such a status means Microsoft has recognized that Nimble has committed itself to evolving Microsoft technologies for the interests of its own needs as well as those of its clients.

“The only way to scale a company is to build and grow partners. That’s how we grew GoldMine CRM to nearly 5 million users and 100 million in revenue,” says Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble and founder of the pioneering CRM, GoldMine. “We are building a world class reseller program to help our Nimble Partners modernize their own social sales and marketing and then do the same for their customers.”

Pricing and Availability

Nimble comes in two versions today: a free Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in and Nimble Business edition at $25 per user per month. The new Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in is available to all Office 365, Outlook desktop Windows/Mac and Outlook iOS users. Existing Outlook users can use Nimble to get insights on contacts and companies and upgrade to the business edition to access team social sales and marketing functionalities. Nimble will be available for Outlook Mobile Android users over the next few months. Nimble delivers relationship insights everywhere you work including G Suite, Outlook, Chrome, Safari,Firefox, Hootsuite, iOS and Android.

Resources

Blog Post, Partner Program Overview, Nimble Partner Sign-Up, Kevin Turner Headshot

Nimble Named Market Leader and #1 in Overall Satisfaction in CRM/Sales Intelligence

Nimble has been named best CRM in Market Leadership, Ease of Use and Satisfaction by many experts including: Nimble Named 2017 CRM Watchlist Winner, Nimble Named a Winner in 2017 CRM Watchlist for a Third Year, Joining Salesforce and Microsoft, Nimble Named #1 CRM by G2 Crowd for Customer Satisfaction in Latest 2017 CRM Rankings for the Fourth Year in a Row, Nimble Tops Satisfaction Ratings in G2Crowd’s Spring 2017 Small-Business CRM Software Grid Report.

ABOUT NIMBLE  Nimble is the pioneer of social sales and marketing CRM for individuals and teams. It allows people to intelligently nurture relationships across email and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Nimble combines the strengths of traditional CRM, classic contact management, social media, sales intelligence and marketing automation into a powerful social selling solution. Nimble was founded by Jon Ferrara, the co-founder of GoldMine, a pioneer of SFA, CRM, Relationship Management and Marketing Automation. For more information, visit www.nimble.com. Nimble can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Located in Santa Monica, CA, Nimble is in the heart of the Southern California Silicon Beach tech community. Nimble Voted Most Loved Santa Monica Tech Startup of 2017.

It Just Got a Lot Easier to Build Contact Lists in Microsoft Products
Jul 11, 2017
It Just Got a Lot Easier to Build Contact Lists in Microsoft Products
It Just Got a Lot Easier to Build Contact Lists in Microsoft Products
Jul 11, 2017


Microsoft users now have one less reason to launch Excel — thanks to a new integration by Microsoft itself.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) has partnered with Nimble to offer the Santa Monica, California company’s Smart Contacts App as a freemium add-in for Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook desktop and iOS.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 9.26.45 AM

The app delivers instant social business insights on people and companies, creating live profiles from team and personal email messages, contact lists, calendar appointments and social engagements — without having to leave Office 365 or Outlook.

No more Googling new contacts. No more combing LinkedIn, Twitter and company websites for information about them. No more painstakingly adding all that info — name, company, titles, location, experience, education, connections or shared interests — into a spreadsheet.

Instead, Nimble finds all that stuff, enabling users to spend less time on menial research and more time on meaningful outreach directly from email messages, calendar appointments and their mobile phones.

“The biggest cause of business communication failure is lack of knowledge of who someone is or what their company is about,” Nimble founder and CEO Jon Ferrara said in a statement. Nimble delivers this contact info “right inside your Office 365 and Outlook inbox.”

“Providing contextual information about contacts helps business relationships flourish so connecting that capability through the new Nimble add-in for Outlook is a logical step,” added said Rob Howard, Director of Office Product Marketing at Microsoft Corp.

Some of the business insights Nimble delivers include

  • Social Contact Profile Matching with rich contact and company insights
  • Contact Insights including the person’s name, company name, title, biography, location, keywords, work experience, education and social identities
  • Company Insights including biography, industry, number of employees, year founded, keywords, company type, revenue, ticker, CEO name, address and phone
  • Engagement tracking, reporting and the ability to assign follow-up tasks and schedule reminders within context enhance personal and team productivity

In addition, multi-channel support delivers these insights seamlessly across the web.

The Nimble Smart Contacts App is available in two versions: a free add-in available to all Office 365, Outlook desktop and Outlook iOS users, and a Business edition for $25 per user per month offering team social sales and marketing functionalities.

Nimble will be available to Outlook Mobile Android users in the next few months.

Microsoft Office 365 has 100 million users and Outlook mobile has 40 million users globally.

Nimble, which closed a $9 million Series A this spring, has grown to 30 team members worldwide and has more than 100,000 subscribers with more than 10,000 paying customers. The company is currently operating at near-break-even in terms of costs versus revenue, Ferrara told me.

The CEO further discussed Nimble and its deal with Microsoft via email, including why Nimble is needed, what Microsoft invested in the company, and how Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers inspired the company’s name.

Why is Nimble needed?

People are on absolute communication overload. With so many contacts, touchpoints and interactions, people need a true social relationship manager that builds itself from email, contacts and calendars and social networks — which are people’s de facto contact managers — and helps every person on a team engage with customers, partners and influencers armed with business context and social insights so they can develop a rapport before sales or marketing outreach efforts are even made.

Imagine this: If I am in Twitter, if I am in Outlook or Gmail, Instagram, Facebook, the company's CRM, if I am reading a post [on L.A. Biz], I want to know who Annlee Ellingson is and if I’ve ever spoken or connected with her. I want to know if anybody on my team knows her. I want to walk in her digital footprint to get to know her, and I want to be able to connect on whatever appropriate, relevant and authentic channel I can. That’s what Nimble helps people do, by surfacing a customer’s history of interactions with a business and displaying the important signals that can help facilitate a genuine connection.

Why is Microsoft a good partner for the integration of Nimble’s tools?

The email inbox is still the most widely used de facto contact manager, and Office 365/Outlook is used by billions of people who all need to better manage relationships. There are estimations that more than 80 percent of companies worldwide do not use any contact manager or CRM application at all.

With this step of integrating deeper into the Microsoft fabric, Nimble comes far closer to my vision of becoming the world’s simple, smart and social contact manager for individuals and teams. Our partnership with Microsoft gives Nimble access to a huge number of potential business users who need a universal relationship manager and for whom Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn Sales Navigator are too expensive and too clumsy, or just plainly not useful to people with simple needs.

What other Nimble-Microsoft integrations are in the works?

We are in the process of rolling out Nimble Smart Contact Manager across all Office 365 productivity applications; the web (Edge, Chrome and Firefox); in web applications such as Microsoft Dynamics, Skype and Microsoft Teams; as well as in email, calendar and contacts in the cloud with Office 365, on the desktop (Windows and Mac) and on mobile devices (iOS and Android).

What is the difference between the free and Business versions of the Nimble Smart Contacts Add-In?

People can start using instant Live Profiles on contacts and companies from email messages, contacts lists, calendar appointments and social engagements using our freemium add-in. Nimble works for you by building the profiles automatically as you work, and works with you by delivering these insights across multiple platforms.

Businesses upgrade to the business edition to access team social sales and marketing functionalities including team contacts, engagement tracking, reporting and the ability to assign follow-up tasks and schedule reminders within teams.

What is the financial nature of Nimble’s agreement with Microsoft?

Microsoft has signed a reseller agreement whereby they will soon start to bundle Nimble and Office 365 to be resold by Microsoft resellers through a Microsoft Partner portal to Microsoft customers. Microsoft has also funded parts of our Nimble product development, specifically our development of Nimble integrated with Microsoft Azure.

Is the deal exclusive, or will Nimble strike similar partnerships with other software providers?

Nimble’s platform is agnostic. Our add-ins support Gmail and G-Suite users equally well.

What inspired the company name?

In our over-connected and over-communicated world, everyone needs or wants to be more effective at managing critical personal and business relationships, yet it's getting harder and harder everyday. People talk about how Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were such “nimble” and graceful dancers. They also talk about how “nimble” small businesses are. When we came up with the name Nimble, we envisioned empowering people to be able to dance with their relationships like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. To be able to be nimble like a small business, no matter what their size.

Nimble Launches Add-in for Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook, Delivering Social Business Insights on People and Companies
Jul 11, 2017
Nimble Launches Add-in for Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook, Delivering Social Business Insights on People and Companies
Nimble Launches Add-in for Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook, Delivering Social Business Insights on People and Companies
Jul 11, 2017

Nimble Launches Add-in for Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook, Delivering Social Business Insights on People and Companies

Free Nimble Add-in Delivers Contact and Company Background Details to Office 365

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 11, 2017–

Nimble, the pioneer of Social Sales and Marketing CRM, today announced Nimble Smart Contacts App, a new freemium add-in for Microsoft Office 365, Outlook desktop and iOS that delivers instant social business insights on people and companies. Based on the premise that it should be easier for people to connect authentically in today’s over-connected world, Nimble synchronizes individual emails, calendars and contacts into a shared team relationship manager enriched with rich social and business profiles for O365 and Outlook users everywhere they work.

Nimble’s add-in for Outlook Delivers Business Insights Everywhere You Work

  •  Nimble creates instant Live Profiles from team and personal email messages, contacts lists, calendar appointments and social engagements
  •  Social Contact Profile Matching introduces rich contact and company insights
  •  Contact Insights include the Person’s Name, Company Name, Title, Biography, Location, Keywords, Work Experience, Education, and Social Identities
  •  Company Insights include Biography, Industry, Number of Employees, Year Founded, Keywords, Company Type, Revenue, Ticker, CEO Name, Address and Phone
  •  Engagement tracking, reporting and the ability to assign follow-up tasks and schedule reminders within context enhance personal and team productivity
  •  Multi-channel support delivers people and company insights seamlessly across the Web (via Chrome, Safari and Firefox plug-ins), in Web applications such as Microsoft Dynamics, Skype and Microsoft Teams in addition to email, calendar and contacts, in the cloud with Office 365, on the desktop (Windows and Mac) and on mobile devices (iOS and Android)

“The biggest cause of business communication failure is lack of knowledge of who someone is or what their company is about,” says Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble and founder of the pioneering CRM, GoldMine. “Nimble has reimagined relationship management with a Simply Smarter Relationship Manager add-in that works for you, delivering critical contact background details right inside your Office 365 and Outlook inbox,” adds Ferrara.

The new Nimble Smart Contacts is designed to help Office 365 and Outlook professionals spend less time on menial research and more time on meaningful outreach directly from their email messages, calendar appointments, and mobile phone.

“Nimble is a welcome addition to the Office ecosystem as they clearly have an understanding of the needs of business users in a social, global world,” said Rob Howard, Director, Office Product Marketing at Microsoft Corp. “Providing contextual information about contacts helps business relationships flourish, so connecting that capability through the new Nimble add-in for Outlook is a logical step.”

Nimble’s Smart Contacts Add-In for Office 365 & Outlook provides my team and our customers the insights we need on people and companies for us to be able to engage in a relevant, informed and authentic way,” said Ralph Keipert, President/Managing Director at Tahoe Partners, a Nimble Solutions Partner. “Having contextual information from social streams and digital footprints helps build business relationships. Having all of this information in our inbox as we’re talking with customers has transformed how we do business.”

Pricing and Availability

Nimble comes in two versions today: a free Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in and Nimble Business edition at $25 per user per month. The new Nimble Smart Contacts Add-in is available to all Office 365, Outlook desktop Windows/Mac and Outlook iOS users. Existing Outlook users can use Nimble to get insights on contacts and companies and upgrade to the business edition to access team social sales and marketing functionalities. Nimble will be available for Outlook Mobile Android users over the next few months. Nimble delivers relationship insights everywhere you work including G Suite, Outlook, Chrome, Safari,Firefox, Hootsuite, iOS and Android.

Resources

Blog Post, New Nimble Add-in For Outlook Video, Nimble+Office 365 Video, Nimble Outlook Add-In Video, Screenshots, Overview FAQ, Install FAQ

Nimble Named Market Leader and #1 in Overall Satisfaction in CRM/Sales Intelligence

Nimble has been named best CRM in Market Leadership, Ease of Use and Satisfaction by many experts including: Nimble Named 2017 CRM Watchlist Winner, Nimble Named a Winner in 2017 CRM Watchlist for a Third Year, Joining Salesforce and Microsoft, Nimble Named #1 CRM by G2 Crowd for Customer Satisfaction in Latest 2017 CRM Rankings for the Fourth Year in a Row, Nimble Tops Satisfaction Ratings in G2Crowd’s Spring 2017 Small-Business CRM Software Grid Report.

ABOUT NIMBLE  Nimble is the pioneer of social sales and marketing CRM for individuals and teams. It allows people to intelligently nurture relationships across email and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Nimble combines the strengths of traditional CRM, classic contact management, social media, sales intelligence and marketing automation into a powerful social selling solution. Nimble was founded by Jon Ferrara, the co-founder of GoldMine, a pioneer of SFA, CRM, Relationship Management and Marketing Automation. For more information, visit www.nimble.com. Nimble can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Located in Santa Monica, CA, Nimble is in the heart of the Southern California Silicon Beach tech community. Nimble Voted Most Loved Santa Monica Tech Startup of 2017.

Microsoft Soft-Launches SaaS Marketplace Connecting ISVs Directly To Its Channel
Jul 10, 2017
Microsoft Soft-Launches SaaS Marketplace Connecting ISVs Directly To Its Channel
Microsoft Soft-Launches SaaS Marketplace Connecting ISVs Directly To Its Channel
Jul 10, 2017

The B2B platform, called Third Party Offers, was introduced in a soft launch in the Office 365 section of the exhibition floor of the partner conference in Washington, D.C. The new cloud software marketplace aims to make it easier for solution providers to bundle third-party products with Microsoft offerings like Office 365.

Third Party Offers delivers to partners a catalog of ISV products they can purchase, deploy and manage for customers.

"Third Party Offers helps ISVs with SaaS-ready apps connect and sell through the Microsoft partner channel," reads a Microsoft brochure distributed at the event.

Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., will beta-test the commerce portal over the next six months with select partners, according to the brochure.

The soft launch includes channel partners with MSP or CSP business models and roughly 20 ISVs, including popular offerings like Zendesk and DocuSign.

Third Party Offers will greatly enable ISVs to leverage the channel to extend their reach, freeing resources to invest more in their sales and marketing capabilities, said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble CRM, a Microsoft technology partner based in Santa Monica, Calif., that's participating in the trial program.

What Microsoft's AppSource marketplace did to ease selling SaaS directly to the end user, Third Party Offers will essentially do for channel partners, Ferrara added.  

Currently, ISVs that want to sell SaaS solutions through an online marketplace must build custom integrations with a hodgepodge of commerce platforms offered by 2-Tier CSPs—large Microsoft resellers that distribute solutions to other partners.

Many are offered by large distributors, like Ingram Micro, which purchased Odin Services Automation in 2015 to power its own cloud marketplace. Others come from telecoms or web hosting companies that have built their own commerce platforms or embed ones from vendors like AppDirect.

Microsoft will streamline that process to drive sales of comprehensive solutions through its channel. Once in general release, Third Party Offers will be available to all Microsoft technology and channel partners, Ferrara said.

ISVs will only have to on board once to the Microsoft platform, Ferrara said, and "once we're in there, we can start selling through any part of that channel, or all of it."

Smaller CSPs will be able to provision Microsoft and third-party solutions directly from that cloud commerce portal. And the 2-Tier CSPs can connect their own marketplaces to the portal through APIs, avoiding the time and expense common in developing an integration with every third-party vendor.

"They [Microsoft] know that when you mix third- and first-party offerings, it makes them both more sticky and gives VARs more ammunition for making additional margins on services," Ferrara said.

Products from ISVs like Nimble CRM are underpinned by Microsoft technology and drive adoption and continued use of Microsoft offerings like Azure, PowerBI, Dynamics and PowerApps, Ferrara said.

The commerce platform will make it much easier for Microsoft's channel to sell solutions to business decision-makers from the front and back office, Ferrara told CRN.

The CSP or MSP will get a line-item bill from Microsoft including all the solutions they sell through Third Party Offers.

"Microsoft is very good at this. If they make a commitment to the market and to the channel to build this, I think it's going to be huge," Ferrara said.

Behind the project is Ron Huddleston, commercial vice president of Microsoft's One Commercial Partner organization, who previously played a major role in developing the Salesforce AppExchange.

Is It Ever Too Late to Use a CRM? With Jon Ferrara of Nimble (Podcast)
Jun 30, 2017
Is It Ever Too Late to Use a CRM? With Jon Ferrara of Nimble (Podcast)
Is It Ever Too Late to Use a CRM? With Jon Ferrara of Nimble (Podcast)
Jun 30, 2017

Is It Ever Too Late to Use a CRM? With Jon Ferrara of Nimble (Podcast)

In episode 54, hosts Elizabeth Larkin and Gene Marks are joined by Jon Ferrara of Nimble and answer the following question:

“I have owned and run a yoga studio for 20 years and I’m wondering if it’s too late to start using a customer relationship management system. Is there a downside to starting after you’ve launched your business?

TO VIEW PODCAST CLICK HERE :
https://sba.thehartford.com/?powerpress_pinw=18029-podcast

 

Who is a Social Customer?
Jun 27, 2017
Who is a Social Customer?
Who is a Social Customer?
Jun 27, 2017

Who is a Social Customer?
by Margie Gradwohl

In our last blog, Jon Ferrara, founder and CEO of Nimble, and I discussed what a social business is, and it all came down to talking and connecting with social customers. Today I’ll be sharing Jon’s story-telling approach to describe who the social customer is and how to connect with social customers throughout their journey.

Deep-dive into the new customer journey

To be a social business today, you must be digitally connected with the social customer, because as Jon puts it, “They’re not walking through the front door of your business on Main Street, USA anymore. Much of the buyer journey is done digitally. For instance, there are many times when I’m surfing on Twitter or Instagram, and I see something that catches my eye, and I find myself looking at that product or service.”

Imagine billions of conversations going on around you every second of every day right outside your front door... these are happening within what we introduced last week as the “social river”. There are all these conversations, all these social customers, and even other social businesses flowing in this river. Jon passionately explains,

“Put on your galoshes, get out in that river, and start participating in conversations and interactions out there!”

Last week we touched on the shift in the new customer journey, referencing McKinsey & Company’s published article about the consumer decision journey. Today, however, I’m going to share with you a story that Jon shared with me to take a deep-dive into understanding that change:

“I personally like Sony TVs, but I recently had a couple Sony products that died within the first two years. I call this infant failure, because they really should not die that early. So, I set out to buy a new 40-inch flat-screen TV to replace this one, which at the time was a rather large sized flat-screen. However, I didn’t go to the store or company website to begin my journey. My trigger was that my TV died; my initial consideration set was built by going to a variety of places and participating in conversations with other people about what products they like, what services they consider to be some of the best, and what their evaluations are after making purchases. So, I built my active evaluation set, and at that point I had already completed 60% of my buyer journey.”

You see, your customers are doing their own homework. They are not going into stores, talking to sales people, reviewing marketing materials, and so forth to initiate their decision-making process. Instead, they’re having conversations with others like them about the products and services they’ve been triggered to pursue on forums, websites, social media platforms (like Twitter), or Apps (like Yelp). Jon adds, “They might go to your website or store at the moment of purchase, but you need to be prepared to serve them at this point, not sell them.” This might mean giving a recommendation to somebody else’s product to meet their needs; if you truly take care of somebody and focus on meeting their needs rather than pushing your product/service, then down the road they will not only consider you, but they’ll trust you and tell their friends about you, too! Jon’s TV buying story continues …

“So here I am, I’ve compiled a list of Samsung, LG, and all these other brands; I’m not even considering Sony. I go into the store, my moment of purchase, with an idea to consider these other brands, look at the TVs, and I stop to listen to the sales rep. He wasn’t pushing me on any particular brand or TV and took the time to genuinely listen to what I needed. For this, he became my trusted advisor. In the end, I bought a Sony, even though I told myself I wouldn’t. The sales rep demonstrated clear understanding of my needs, articulated the benefits of the Sony and how it met my needs, and demonstrated that it was the best product, best price, and best combination of features. Even after the sale, the post-purchase experience, I continued to do my research and considered possibly buying something else, but, in the end I loved it and bought another for my bedroom. What’s more, I now tell people this story all the time!”

Jon told this story of his consumer decision making process not to make you take a hard look at Sony, but to really paint the picture of the new social customer and how they make their buying decisions. With 60% of their journey complete before they connect with a company, it’s clear that companies now need to focus on participating with social customers and getting involved in the initial and active consideration phases. 

Participate with the new social customer

The key to participating with the new social customer has already been provided. Think back to our previous blogs, Building Your Brand and Network & What is Social?As you focus on building your own personal brand and professional network, you must also think about your company brand and network. Your company is becoming a social business, which means you need to empower your social employee— in Jon’s words,

“Share inspirational and educational content, stay top-of-mind with the 5 Es on a daily basis, and become part of the new customer buying journey.”

This will set you and your teammates up to be your customers’ trusted advisor, so they will not only come to you when they are making a buying decision, but more importantly as Jon points out, they will invite their friends along with them.

You can kiss away the days of participating with customers by cold calling and mad-men marketing. Your new focus needs to be:

  • Establish relationships and change the perception of sales people to trusted advisors
  • Transform the idea of selling into serving

Jon concludes, “This might sound a little 1970s, but ultimately I believe that social media is transforming the way we buy, the way we sell, and the way we interact into a ‘small-town culture’, where the brand that a store or business has is built solely on the promises made and experiences delivered. We do this by being present, listening to their 3 Ps of life, and ideally adding value. Good luck selling!"

Recap

To quickly recap Jon’s thoughtful commentary on who is a social customer:

  • The buyer journey has gone digital, and you and your business need to, too!
  • Understand the new customers’ new decision making process to get involved.
  • Empower your social employees to build their brand and network, and in turn reap the benefits to your company’s brand and network.
  • In essence, everyone has become a social customer.

Tune in on Thursday for the last blog to complete this collaboration series and learn What is Social Selling?

How Does
Jun 22, 2017
How Does "Social" Apply to Your Business?
How Does
Jun 22, 2017

How Does "Social" Apply to Your Business?
by Margie Gradwohl

Earlier this week I shared with you how to Develop Your Personal Brand and Professional Network teaming up with Jon Ferrara from Nimble. The third part of this collaboration series will cover what a “social business” is and how it applies to you. 

Old Customer Journey

According to Jon, “The world is changing radically around us every single second; every minute of every day there are billions of conversations, what I call the “social river,” going on outside your business. A typical business has a storefront, and the hope is that people will walk in. But, many times they don’t. Social business applies to you and everyone else because you need to get out of the store, get in the middle of the digital social river, and start having conversations with potential customers. Begin to participate in your customer’s journey!” In the old days of marketing and sales, Jon described the customer journey as essentially consisting of the following steps:

  • Yell at the customers about how great your products and services were
  • Expect customers to line up at your door
  • Sales people “bag ‘em and tag ‘em” and get their order
  • Send them to the customer service line, where conversation would be minimized

Several people and departments were involved in the process, but each department had walls between them—sales had walls between marketing, marketing had walls between support, support had walls between sales—and information was just thrown back and forth over the walls, creating a siloed effect. Each department assigned responsibilities to other departments for lead generation/capture, and many customers were lost.

New Customer Journey

“I truly believe the experience that you deliver at your company is critical to your business success." In fact, Jon uses this "equation" to describe the new age of the customer journey:

Company Brand = Promises Made + Experiences Delivered

In today’s landscape, the funnel of the old days is long gone and we are finding ourselves in more of a pretzel, where much of the experience is delivered digitally and each step of the journey interweaves with the previous and the next. This brought to light the consumer decision journey article published by McKinsey & Company. In short, the new decision making journey of customers falls within these steps:

  • There’s a trigger to make a sale
  • Initial consideration set is built-- “This is not done by visiting company websites, rather it’s by going where the conversations about products/services/offerings by people like you, or influencers of people like you, who will help to gather the initial set, do evaluations for you, ultimately make that moment of purchase, and then still evaluate whether you made the right decision.”
  • Loyalty loop occurs-- At this point you not only might buy it again, but now you’ll tell your friends about it too!

This new journey is one that you, as a social business, can participate in on a daily basis, “by getting outside into the social river to stay top of mind to your customers. As Mae West put it so well, ‘Out of sight is out of mind, and out of mind is out of money, honey.’”

Staying Top of Mind

As is typical, we compared staying top-of-mind in the old days versus now. In the old days, this was done through quarterly or monthly newsletters that would blast new prices and products. This type of marketing, however, doesn’t work anymore. Jon explains, “Go to your local newsstand…oh wait, you might not even be able to find it anymore because they’re disappearing and going digital. Thus, in these new days to participate in the customer journey and become a trusted advisor as a social business, I recommend you teach people to fish. If you teach people to fish, then they’ll figure out you sell fishing poles.” What he meant by that is giving knowledge away is business.

Jon broke down the 5 Es of “teaching people to fish” and staying top-of-mind as a social business:

  • Educate–with great, creative content
  • Enchant–use relevant content
  • Engage–with authenticity and intent to help them grow
  • Embrace–with the intent to…
  • Empower–them to achieve their dreams

If you do these things, you will succeed in engaging in the new customer journey, remaining top-of-mind, and developing yourself as trusted advisor and social business. 

Be More Than a Faceless Corporate Business

“A social business isn’t built by providing inspiration and education just on your company brand and social media channels. Ideally, you are empowering each of your team members to build their brand as well,” Jon told me, hence why we developed the first blog as a how-to for individuals (i.e., your employees). Think about Jon’s previous statement that a company’s brand is built on the promises it makes and the experiences that it delivers. So, where is much of this experience delivered? Through customer-facing team members! By enabling and empowering your team members to build their brand and engage in the 5 Es themselves, you’ll humanize your brand. Jon so beautifully tied it all together:

“When they (your employees) share inspirational and educational content through business and employee avenues, each employee will be established as an expert in their field, reaching customers and influencers. People will identify and connect with this human identity that people identify and connect with, rather than a faceless corporate business.”

So, rather than establishing yourself as a company that is trying to sell something, focus on establishing your company as asomebody who is trying to serve customers. Jon says, “After all, service is the new sales.”

Drive Sustainability

If you invest in your team members in the ways described, you will, in turn, stay top-of-mind with your customers and build a tribe around your social business. Jon brilliantly described how this can evolve when he told a story about his wife’s garden and how it relates to our businesses:

“My wife is not only an artist, but she is also a sustainable landscaper. She takes me out into the garden that she has built around our home and shows me some of the things she is doing. One day, she took me into the garden and showed me this Monarch butterfly caterpillar in our yard. I said, ‘Wow! I didn’t know Monarch butterflies were even in southern California.’ She explained that they indeed are in southern California, and that she plants milk thistle in order to attract these Monarch butterflies. They then put their caterpillars there, and these caterpillars eat the aphids and other things that could negatively affect the garden. So, in all, she is planting things in the garden that will attract other plants and insects that will help to build the garden into a self-sustaining garden, alleviating the need to water, spray, weed, etc. In short, the garden begins to take care of itself. Isn’t this what we are trying to do with our businesses? To attract people around our businesses to help us grow?”

Just as this garden example demonstrates, building your business goes far beyond just connecting with prospects and customers to grow business sales. There is a dire need to transform simple connections to relationships and integrate everyone who participates in the journey into one complementary and sustainable network. Jon finished with:

“You need a central relationship platform that everybody in the company can participate in the conversations with the tribe and community that you’re building around your business. Go beyond connecting with prospects, customers, and influences, and connect with other businesses who can help you grow…much like Nimble partners with Microsoft as a company, with Microsoft solution providers, and other Microsoft ISVs. Create your own self-sustaining environment that will help you achieve your goals in your business. This is, ultimately, what a social business is about.” 

Recap

To quickly recap this information-rich blog, below are the five key points:

  • Demolish the siloed effect by breaking down those traditional department walls
  • Understand the customer decision journey
  • Engage daily to stay top-of-mind (using the 5 Es)
  • Empower employees and reap the benefits as a company
  • Grow your tribe to encourage a self-sustaining social business

Wow! I’m loving this content and can’t wait to share next week’s blog Who is a Social Customer. Be sure to tune in!

How to Build Relationships That Grow (It's Not Through Marketing)
Jun 22, 2017
How to Build Relationships That Grow (It's Not Through Marketing)
How to Build Relationships That Grow (It's Not Through Marketing)
Jun 22, 2017

How to Build Relationships That Grow (It's Not Through Marketing)
by Drew Neisser

"I really believe that marketing won't help you grow your business," says Jon Ferrara.

A dangerous lead given the audience of this column. But suspend your disbelief just for a moment. As the founder of Nimble, a relationship management app for those of us with thousands of contacts and no time to nurture them, Ferrara gathered 100,000 Nimble users and converted 15% of them to paid subscribers -- with no marketing budget at all.

How? By building value-adding relationships -- not with customers, but with the individuals that your customers trust. In other words, a more sophisticated take on influencer marketing. "Relationships drive everything on this planet, and if you can identify people that matter, reach out and build relevant and authentic pay-it-forward relationships, you can change the world," says Ferrara, who calls this "social selling."

In today's world, nurturing value-based relationships at scale is next to impossible for individuals and brands alike. Even marketing automation can't do it effectively. "We're all bombarded by messages that are not one-to-one, authentic, and relevant," Ferrara says. "So we throw those away and we toss them aside. If you can effectively enrich the contacts you have, segment properly, outreach in a one-to-one way, then you can drive your opens, your clicks, and your results through the roof."

Giving away your knowledge
The first tenet of Ferrara's model, which may seem counterintuitive, is to give away your knowledge. Many believe that their expertise is their secret sauce, and that divulging the recipe relieves them of any leverage for profitability. To the contrary, Ferrara says. With Nimble, he offered services for free, to build up a user base, before establishing a paywall. "You need to provide immediate value whenever you're building and delivering to the customer," he says. It's the first of his five E's: "You educate, enchant, engage, embrace, and empower your customer."

Understanding your people
To better know your other half, it's important to do your due diligence, which Ferrara says many companies skip entirely. Start with your records: "Ultimately every business has a goldmine in their accounting system. Who did you sell to before? What did it look like?" From there, scale up. "Who do you have in your CRM or your lead list that looks like those best people? And then, net-new leads that look like that person, and then outreach to them in some way that's different," and focus on optimizing your channel, message, audience and schedule.

And because relationships take two, you must participate in the other parties' due diligence. "If you want to build relationships, open up your shirt, roll up your sleeves, share a little bit about yourself. Don't just share a bunch of quotes and business crap in your social. Share what you're passionate about," Ferrara says. "I'm passionate about family, food, and outdoors. If you want to get to know me, spend five seconds on my Instagram and you'll learn a lot better how to connect with me than five minutes on my LinkedIn."

Aligning promise to experience
Relationships also require integrity, which means ensuring that the knowledge you share leads to tangible results. "What will help you grow your business is aligning the promises that you make to the experience that you deliver," Ferrara says. At scale, this requires a group effort. "Much of that experience happens through your customer-facing business team members. So if you can empower them to deliver a delight at every point of contact, I think that you can be really, really successful."

Tactical differences
Ferrara acknowledges that marketing does serve a purpose -- for consistent messaging and business development, for example -- but that it's not the most effective approach to growth. "Marketing is at that high level, where you're dropping bombs at scale in order to soften up the battlefield. But to win that war, you need to put boots on the ground," he says. "The boots on the ground are your customer-facing business team members, and for them to be effective, they need intelligence, and they need to be able to engage at scale."

Studying scale
Finally, to bring Nimble to scale, Ferrara became a student of history, and recommends that every marketer do his or her industry homework. His team recognized that Microsoft was winning the productivity war against Google with Office 365, and built an integration that Microsoft currently gives to 100 million Outlook users.

"Microsoft is having me teach their VARs social sales marketing, and they're starting to gift their VARs Nimble," Ferrara says, referring to value-added resellers. "Well, guess what? People sell what they know, and they know what they use. So history is going to repeat itself, and we will be at, I think, $100 billion-plus in revenue, and tens of millions of users, in the not-too distant future."

A ringing endorsement for relationship management if ever there were one.

Build Your Personal Brand & Professional Network
Jun 20, 2017
Build Your Personal Brand & Professional Network
Build Your Personal Brand & Professional Network
Jun 20, 2017

Build Your Personal Brand & Professional Network
by Margie Gradwohl

In last week’s blog, I introduced Jon Ferrara, founder and CEO of Nimble. He shared his experience as a successful entrepreneur, the challenges sellers face, and the changing sales landscape which drives the need for social sales and marketing. Today’s blog will deep-dive into what Jon believes is the first step in social sales: how to develop your personal brand and professional network. At first it seemed a little odd to start the discussion around building a personal brand and network, but Jon quickly explained that he likes to begin the journey on this topic for a reason— we can easily understand how this applies to us as individuals, but we will quickly begin to reveal how it affects and applies to the business aspect as well.

In the old days, a network was built on promises made and products delivered. Relationships were formed by getting to know people through face-to-face encounters in the office, looking at diplomas and awards hanging on the walls, identifying books they read on their bookshelves, and so on. All of these provided clues as to how you might be able to spark the relationship and help them achieve their purpose. Jon describes the new age, if you will, as social media bringing us back to that ‘small town,’ where your reputation is built by each connection or contact that is made. Each of us is getting to know people electronically through a number of networks, which is overwhelming and leading to being over-connected and over-communicated.”

Relationships are the key to business success (and personal success in life), yet we are over-connected to the point of having thousands of people in our networks. So, if your network is your net worth, what are the steps to getting this right? Well, Jon described it perfectly when he said,

“It’s like this, Margie: Your Personal Brand + Your Professional Network = Your Professional Net Worth.”

Build Your Personal Brand

The first step to developing your professional net worth is taking control of your personal brand. Perhaps my favorite part of this discussion was Jon’s first action item— clearly figure out and articulate your 3 Ps: Passion, Plan, and Purpose of life. He says, “Ideally that passion and purpose is helping other people grow, because service is absolutely the new sales.” In order to be seen, he says, “Think about it…do a Bing search of yourself. What shows up?” Prioritize your brand development across all critical networks that prospective customers and influencers frequent, and amplify this development by sharing content that is inspirational and educational around how you might help people become better, smarter, and faster. At this point you will establish yourself as someone who can help them grow, and you can expect them to contact you!

“Your goal should be to be seen by people (online) in a way that your 3 Ps are effectively communicated when you are searched for online.” 

Invest in Your Relationships

Relationships are the key to business success. Identify who matters, reach out to build a relevant relationship, and become a trusted advisor. Up to this point, it’s been clear that the shift in social selling has created this issue of over-connectedness. So, if theories such as the Dunbar Limit exist, arguing that we can only successfully manage 100-200 people in our network, I asked Jon how one can manage their network on a daily basis? He stated that first and foremost you shouldn’t be yelling about how great you, your products, or your services are. Instead, “you should be teaching other people how they can be great. Doing this on a daily basis establishes you as a trusted advisor and sets you up to participate in your customer’s journey.” Second, he explains that you need the right tools.

“The goal is to be top-of-mind to people who matter. You need tools for this…tools that integrate into key business signals such as contacts, conversations, email, and calendar. We live in Microsoft Office 365, our cloud-based productivity platform, but we need something that unifies and enriches it with the people and company data. That way we don’t have to Bing-search everybody.

I have a background in relationship management, having built a platform that was the first relationship platform to blend sales, marketing, and contact management into a single platform (called GoldMine). This, in fact, predates Outlook. Now, I’ve created Nimble, not to replace existing contact platforms, but to enrich and add value. Office 365 is your business operating system, the foundation of contacts and conversations via email, calendar, address book, but what you need is something that unifies it all into a singular platform so when you look at a contact record, you have the context—history of interactions on email, calendar, and social for that person and their company. That database cannot be static. It needs to get updated daily and be capable of being taken with us into every engagement. It’s your job to be prepared for every engagement before you ever connect with another person. You need to know who they are, what they’re about, and how you might be able to serve them daily.”

Developing relationships requires investments of time and energy, as well as having the right tools to make this step easier. In this changing sales world, it’s imperative that you take control of building relationships to grow your professional network and nurture them daily. In fact, Jon described relationships as being similar to a garden. “If you go out to your garden and tend to it daily, it’s so much easier to tend to that relationship. If you ignore your garden for a period of time, maybe a week, it becomes more work to repair it. If you let it go too long, the garden is going to look so irreparable that you’re going to think the easiest thing to do is rototill the garden and start over. That’s not what you want to do with your network. That’s not what you want to do with your relationships. So, go out there on a daily basis and tend and nurture them. If you can do that, you’ll achieve your 3 Ps in life.” 

Recap

Let’s quickly recap the key points from Jon:

  • Your network is your net worth
  • Your personal brand + your professional network = Achieve your goals in life
  • Follow-up on what you say
  • The easiest way to achieve these goals is to figure out how you can help other people become better, faster, stronger
  • Set yourself up as trusted advisor by giving knowledge away

If you complete these points regularly, you will build your brand and network of prospects, customers, and influencers…who will then do your marketing and sales for you. This wraps up our thought provoking blog with Jon this week. Tune in laster this week to learn about what a social business is and how social applies to business. In the meantime, get started on building your personal brand and professional network!

What is Social?
Jun 15, 2017
What is Social?
What is Social?
Jun 15, 2017

What is Social?
by Margie Gradwohl

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble, to talk at a high level about his expertise in relationship management and social sales and marketing. His journey began with struggles to manage contacts, sales follow-ups, and marketing within a technology company before Outlook or Salesforce existed. He pioneered contact and relationship management as a co-founder of GoldMine Software, one of the early innovations in CRM and marketing automation. Jon, a highly successful software entrepreneur, is now the founder and CEO of Nimble, the #1 rated social sales and marketing CRM add-in to Microsoft Dynamics 365. Read our conversation below to gain insight to Jon’s journey with social selling, and how it can help you transform your business.

M: Jon, what do you see is one of the key problem sellers are faced with today?

J: The evolution of social media has forever changed the way we work, play, and communicate in business and everyday life. We all feel over-connected, over-communicated, and overwhelmed. Just look at your inbox … we’re being buried with conversations and communications. But, ultimately, we need to become part of those conversations and stand out because

Our Network + Our Personal Brand = Our New Net Worth

This transformation has affected the customer journey, and in response, we must change the way we listen and engage with our buyers. We have to change engagement and relationship management behaviors, because the world has changed around us.

If the world has changed the way they communicate, then that means the buyer has changed the way they buy. You now need to work with buyers that are different than the old-school marketing of yelling at people about how good your products and services are. Rather, you need to add value to your customers’ journey to build a relationship and establish yourself as their trusted advisor.

The concepts I am talking about are much more than just social selling. It’s really:

Social Business, which equals Social Marketing + Social Sales + Social Service

And ultimately we stop talking about social and start talking about a new way of doing business where our focus has shifted to customer-service/experience oriented-- helping others to succeed rather than “bagging, tagging, and getting orders.” Service is truly the new Sales.

M: Let’s pause for a moment. Would you mind giving an overview about yourself? Who is Jon?

J: I am a product of the space era (the 1960s) and grew up on my father’s car dealership. I was inspired by his entrepreneurial sales and marketing abilities, but at the same time decided I never wanted to do that. I wanted to become an astronaut and computer scientist. I studied computer science and my mentor was my uncle, who helped invent the radar microwave at MIT in the 1940s and later built satellite communication systems for NASA. That’s why I studied computer science, got my first job in aerospace, and after two years at a big corporation I discovered I liked smaller businesses so I went to work for a startup. 

I became an entrepreneur by chance and necessity because I evolved into working for a technology startup in sales. Back in the day, there was no sales automation. I was given sheets of papers called leads, and I had to cold-call them to get an appointment and start a conversation with customers. I said, “there’s got to be a better way,” but I couldn’t find a program that integrated email, contact, and calendar with sales and marketing automation.

At age 29, I was too young and dumb to know any better, so I quit my job, and started a company called GoldMine that helped pioneer what is known today as contact management and CRM. I really believe the reason people loved GoldMine was because it blended your Outlook and Salesforce. Ultimately your conversations and relationship tracking should all be in one place.

M: Wow, very cool! How did you take your start-up to market?

J: We identified the influencers of our prospects. Influencer marketing is not a new thing; it actually goes back generations. If you can identify the influencers of your prospects and engage with them, they will then recommend you to their trusted customers. We went after the people who sold the network to those businesses and began to integrate into the products that the customers used.    

M: So now you’re the founder and CEO of another great company. How did Nimble come about?

J: I was able to learn a lot about relationships, engagement, and social media in its early days of 2006-2008. I immediately saw an opportunity, because social media was going to change the way we all work and play. I looked for a tool that would integrate my social list of engagements from my contacts, but I couldn’t find it. When I began to look at contact management, I saw that it was quite broken. Email, contacts, and calendar weren’t linked together; they were three separate tabs in your browser. Today, you need to include social media and integrate these pieces to give contacts some context. Before you engage with someone, you should know what their business is about. Today you Bing them, tomorrow you’ll Nimble them because your relationship options should automatically work for you by building itself, and then work with you wherever you work. Nimble will layer in your email, contacts, and calendar, infuse it with people and company data on contacts and companies, and then work with you where you work.

That’s what a computer should be doing for you -- unifying all the contacts from not only your your Outlook address book and Google contacts, but also from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, Google+, AngelList, Snapchat, and wherever you could be having conversations with customers.

If you want to stay top-of-mind with your customer, you need to set yourself up as a trusted advisor, and you can’t do that by talking about how great your products and services are. You should be talking about how you can help other people become better, smarter, faster.

M: I’m really looking forward to hearing and sharing your expertise, Jon. Give a quick run down on the blog topics we will be covering in the series and who should read these blogs.

J: Absolutely! We will cover:

  • How to build your personal brand and professional network
  • What is social business?
  • Who is a social customer?
  • What is social marketing, sales, and service?

This series is not just for sales people or just business owners. It is for any individual person or business who wants to learn how to stand out from the crowd, build their brand, build their community, and achieve business goals, which ideally will be helping other businesses and people grow.

Stay tuned for more valuable insights from Jon as we kick off this Nimble series. In the next blog, we will discuss how to build your personal brand and professional network, and how this will help you to stand out from the crowd.

My #1 Tool For Staying Organized
Jun 11, 2017
My #1 Tool For Staying Organized
My #1 Tool For Staying Organized
Jun 11, 2017

My #1 Tool For Staying Organized
By 

Bryan Kramer, has coined H2H connectivity, so I try my hardest.

 In an effort to try to ensure that I became better organized, about a year ago I started to actively use Nimble. Jon Ferrara, the founder, had been in contact with me several years ago regarding his product, and I listened and tried it out, but didn’t really embrace it. I felt that I could exist without it. It was only after several years of trial and error and looking at other products that I realized that this was the solution that I had been looking for to effectively manage my contacts and interact with them. I truly regret that I had not started aggressively using it several years ago.

 I can honestly say that Nimble has now become my #1 tool for staying organized and I use it daily.

 What is Nimble CRM?

 Nimble is a simple to use, inexpensive CRM with a modern interface. More importantly, as someone who practices and teaches about social selling, I rely heavily on it and its social media interface and integration to make my life a lot more productive.

 I have the ability to automatically create, segment, outreach and engage prospects and customers. It works well with Google Apps and Office 365. In addition, it has some cool features such as: social segmentation, group messaging with tracking and analytics, Gmail tracking and Twitter list import which I have found to be quite helpful in what I’m doing.

 It Saves Me Time On Data Entry

I don’t know about you, but I hate typing things into the apps I use. Nimble has recognized the pain that people experience in this area and has tried to automate as much as possible. For instance, every time I add a contact into Nimble, it automatically adds all the information it finds about that individual from their social media accounts. Nimble does the Googling part for me and saves me a lot of time.

 The Browser Plug-in Allows Me To Use It Where I Work

 The browser plug-in for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, and Microsoft Edge allows me to take my database of contacts with me so that is accessible when I need it. I can simply hover over any name or a company name (i.e. in Twitter) on the internet, it gives me the context about my existing contacts or creates live profiles for people and companies I don’t yet have in my database. What’s great about this is that I can quickly look at a Twitter profile and determine if the person who has retweeted, liked, or commented on a post is really someone that I should be engaging with or following. If I feel that they are, I can quickly add them to my contact database via a one click process. If they’re already a contact, I can simply thank them via Nimble. What’s also great about this is that Nimble captures this information in its history, so I always know my history in communicating with that individual via social media.

 This same plugin also works within Outlook or Gmail, or any other web application. Regardless if I’m working in my inbox or browsing the web, Nimble allows me to see social profile streams, conversation history, event history, and more without having to switch tabs. 
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.39.46 AM
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.39.58 AM

Nimble Enriches My Contacts with Social and Business Data

 Business intelligence is critical for success and Nimble helps individuals such as myself identify which companies to connect with by delivering company details such as industry, company size, location, employee count, revenue, and more. When profiling a company on their website or someone’s social site, it will instantly map social identities and surface these background details from social networks and third party databases.

 It Allows Me To Build Advanced Segments

 Nimble’s Quick Filters provides me with the ability to build segments to take targeted group actions at scale. Nimble has eight quick filters to help easily identify important information on my contacts. The quick filters include Name, Company, Job Title, Location, Education, Bio (from Twitter, Facebook, Klout, AngelList, Google +, Foursquare, and contact info), and Interests synced from Klout.

 Utilizing these quick filters and segments, I have been able to take bulk actions like sending Group Email Messages which have proven to be a real time saver. I have also used it for Stay in Touch Reminders, and marking contacts as important.
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.40.11 AM

Group Messaging with a Personal Touch Makes My Outreaches More Successfull

 Nobody likes to receive a mass email blast. Nimble’s Group Messaging allows me to send personalized messages from my own email address to my contacts.

 Every message I have sent out has been received as a sincere one-on-one conversation rather than as a mass email blast. I save time with email templates and custom merge tags with the ability to reach out to up to 300 people per day.
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.40.24 AM

Gmail Templates, Tracking and Analytics Give Me The Insights I Need

 One feature I really like is the ability to track message opens and clicks to know exactly when my contacts have interacted with my emails, making it easier to identify those most interested in what I’m talking about. To be honest, it’s been both a blessing and a curse! Some of those who I thought would be responding to my emails very quickly have not done so. A little unnerving.
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.40.33 AM
In addition, I receive desktop notifications and detailed analytics on the number of times one of my contacts has opened or clicked on my message without leaving my Gmail inbox.
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.40.44 AM
Smart Mobile Calendar with Contact Insights Helps Me On The Go

 I, also, use Nimble’s mobile apps on my iPhone. It provides me with a smart calendar with insights that are always with me, as long as I have my phone. I have the ability to receive reminders before and after meetings to make sure that I never miss an important note and all of this information, including my address book is synced directly to Nimble.
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.41.04 AM

Nimble’s Twitter List Import Allows Me To Prospect Smarter

As a heavy user of Twitter, I’m a big believer in using Twitter lists to help me become better organized. What’s great about Nimble is that I have the ability to import any Twitter list on the web directly to it for lead generation and relationship management. From there, I use the power of Nimble’s Social Profile Matching to enrich your contacts with additional data points. Once new contacts are added to Nimble, I may use it to segment specific contacts to conduct outreach and organize follow-up activities.
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.41.19 AM
I have highlighted above just a few of the many things that Nimble has done for me. For full disclosure, I am a Nimble affiliate, but regardless, I can’t recommend the product highly enough. It’s been great in enabling me to be more productive, engaging, and focused. Without a doubt, it is my #1 TOOL for helping me to be better organized. I really hope that you try it, as I know that you’ll be equally as pleased with what it can do for you.

 

 

4 LinkedIn Tools that Will Change the Way You Think About LinkedIn
Jun 02, 2017
4 LinkedIn Tools that Will Change the Way You Think About LinkedIn
4 LinkedIn Tools that Will Change the Way You Think About LinkedIn
Jun 02, 2017

4 LinkedIn Tools that Will Change the Way You Think About LinkedIn
Author: Ian Cleary

If you are in B2B marketing or otherwise tasked with sourcing leads for your company, LinkedIn is one of the most powerful platforms you can use to grow your business. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that they have a presence on LinkedIn, but they’re not seeing the results they’re after. If you’re one of those people, then you probably don’t have the system and the tools in place to attract new prospects and build quality relationships. I’m going to help you change that!

Let me show you some interesting statistics that will demonstrate how effective LinkedIn can be for lead generation. A recent report from Hub Spot found that 43% of marketers have sourced a customer from LinkedIn. The opportunities are there, you just need the right way to find them.

Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn doesn’t support a lot of third party tools but there are still ways to speed up some of your key activities, such as finding the right leads, gathering customer data, building connections, and kickstarting your sales process.

We reached out to LinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen, to ask her about the tools she uses daily to maximize the results she gets from LinkedIn.

Let’s explore the four tools Viveka recommends.

  1. Add Tags & Notes To LinkedIn Profiles with Dux-Soup

If you’ve used LinkedIn for lead generation, you were probably using Tags and Notes to better manage relationships with your connections. Those were some really useful features that LinkedIn shut down earlier this year when they removed the Relationship Section from user profiles.

Luckily, there’s an alternative called Dux-Soup, a Chrome plug-in that keeps track of the profiles you visit and lets you tag and take notes on any LinkedIn member’s profile. You can download it for free from the Chrome web store, and there’s also a paid upgrade ($15/month).

With the free version, you can automate the process of viewing profiles (100/day), add tags and take notes, while the paid version will allow you to export data (profiles visited, profile notes, and profile lists) and configure the number of profile visits per day.

How Viveka uses Dux-Soup: “Since I actually use LinkedIn when prospecting and engaging with my network, it’s important for me to have a way to keep track of my connections on LinkedIn. Dux-Soup allows me to create tags and take as many notes as I want for free! I can export them and do other things for a small monthly fee. This has been a life saver for both me and my clients.”

  1. Keep Track of Your LinkedIn Prospects with Nimble

Nimble is a social CRM tool that packs some really powerful features for only $25/month. It’s by far the most reasonably priced CRM system out there and it can really help organize and manage your LinkedIn lead generation efforts.

There’s also the Nimble Contacts Widget that allows you to save contact details to your Nimble account while on LinkedIn with one click. You can then tag saved profiles, make notes, or reach out to them.

linkedin tools nimble

Here’s how Viveka uses Nimble: “While I like to have a way to manage my connections on LinkedIn – I strongly believe in the power of a CRM tool. The one I choose is Nimble. Not just because it is super affordable and has some GREAT features, but also because it’s Chrome extension allows me to easily save my LinkedIn prospects to Nimble. From there I can also tag and take notes on their profile, put them into my deal funnel or schedule a follow up call or email.

  1. Find Missing Contact Info with LeadGrabber Pro

LeadGrabber Pro is a great tool to help you get contact details of your LinkedIn contacts. It scrapes the web to obtain email addresses that people have shared publicly and features list-building tools that can save you a lot of time. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but if you use it to support your sales efforts, it may pay for itself many times over.

How Viveka uses LeadGrabber: LeadGrabber is my go to tool for pulling the missing information from my contact’s profiles (like email addresses and phone numbers.) It also allows me to make lists which I can then use to follow up with my key prospects off line.

  1. Improve LinkedIn Social Selling with Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator is LinkedIn’s premium sales account and it is a great tool for prospecting. Here’s what it can do for you:

  • Uses a proprietary algorithm to create a list of leads tailored to your business and your product or service
  • Filters searches to a specific industry, location, company or title
  • Helps you find and save your contacts in business accounts (ABM)
  • Let’s you track and engage with your saved leads through updates, messages, and in mails.

linkedin tools sales navigator

This is a pricey tool, but here’s what Viveka has to say about it: “I absolutely believe it is worth the $79/month price tag. But you have to try it to believe it. Fortunately, they have a 30-day free trial.”

Those were the 4 tools that a renowned LinkedIn expert uses every day, and I’m sure that they’ll work for you and help you get the most out of LinkedIn!

If you’d like to learn more about LinkedIn marketing from Viveka, check out her website Linked into Business.

What other tools would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

Seven Tools to Revolutionize Your Small Business
May 19, 2017
Seven Tools to Revolutionize Your Small Business
Seven Tools to Revolutionize Your Small Business
May 19, 2017

Seven Tools to Revolutionize Your Small Business
By Drew Hendricks - Contributor, Inc.com 

Marketing technology can often be seen as a black box for a small business, and while marketing tech has been focused heavily on the enterprise, yet companies with less than 500 employees make up 99% of employers. There are many new techniques and terms to know thanks to the generous marketing community, and marketers are finding themselves consistently more present in every aspect of small businesses, changing the business itself in some cases from the inside. Even old-school marketing techniques are on the rise again. Whatever you do, it's a good idea to start simple, and one of the ways to do so is to revisit exactly where you're spending your marketing dollars, be it on software, ad spend or even content.

Here are the tools that will make that a lot easier to do this year:

Nimble

If you're starting out on a small budget handling a web-based business, Nimble is the perfect tool. Priced at $22 a month, Nimble features more than you would expect from an average CRM. As well as basic features (syncing with contacts, relationship management), it also includes a powerful task management system, as well as sales intelligence that automatically provides information on each one of your contacts. It also has a robust marketing automation system, such as the power to build email templates quickly and easily and track clickthroughs on the go. It integrates with most third party software packages you might otherwise be using, and is a great choice for frugal companies.

Marketing360

Developed and run out in Colorado by Inc 5000 company Madwire, Marketing360 is an all-in-one marketing suite combining everything a small business marketer needs, uniquely fitting both brick and mortar and online businesses. This includes paid search management (as well as click fraud protection), web design, retargeting, SEO software and CRM, along with tools that can connect actual phone calls in a store to the CRM. The same dashboard reports on (and intelligently advises you) on the success or failure of your marketing, and can let you order organic content like videos and blog content from the in-house Madwire team.

Optimizely

Depending on how you have built your small business' e-commerce website, you may not know if you're losing customers to bad design. You may also have a great idea to sell a new product, or want to cater to a new device. Optimizely's tools let you experiment with different design choices without shutting out every customer, or personalize pages based on someone's location. For example, Optimizely can show a clothing shopper in Alaska a different website to someone living in Florida, making sure that light shirts aren't being evangelized to someone battling below zero temperatures. It also provides one of the easiest to use recommendation engines on the web, letting you play with their algorithms to get more revenue from every customer.

MailChimp

The incredibly popular MailChimp's growth is owed to how incredibly easy and effective it is to use. Though it's the world's largest marketing automation platform, it's perfect for small businesses. On the surface, you can create a customized, branded email marketing campaign for any sized list of customers, with a few lines of code to your website allowing users to subscribe. The more you use it the more powerful it gets, allowing you to surprise new subscribers with specific emails and offers, target long term subscribers with specialized content, or even track those who aren't opening emails regularly to get them interested. MailChimp is unique in that it can be adapted for anyone, from content writers who want to keep their fans informed to e-commerce businesses of any size.

Unbounce

Depending on the type of business you are running, you may not have the need for a huge web presence. Unbounce specializes in providing (as opposed to a Squarespace or Wix) a platform-based approach to creating a business landing page, treating the web address as a destination for the customer to travel to specifically to get information. It does so by using the fast and efficient web development combined with a marketing conversion platform that can A/B test designs, swap out keywords based on what people are searching for on your website, as well as numerous conversion-focused tools to get customers signing up or purchasing. Like many web development platforms, it also automatically creates a mobile version of whatever site you've built.

CoSchedule

If you're running a content-focused business, or at least one with a strong content marketing side, CoSchedule is for you. It centers your marketing strategy around one large calendar, letting you schedule social and blog posts based on the highest engagement and traffic points in a day. It also includes the simple yet effective ReQueue system to repost your most popular content without becoming boring. It also integrates with popular platforms like Wordpress to post your content, or even with Google Documents and Evernote to import in information to post.

Sproutsocial

Where CoSchedule focuses on content and marketing, Sproutsocial adds a layer for consumer engagement and happiness and a total focus on social. The platform includes the expected social and content publishing tools, as well as analytics reports that are built to be presented to your boss, as well as sales-focused social monitoring tools that can sniff out qualified leads. Something useful for small businesses, especially those that live and die by word of mouth, is the customer care center built into what they call a "Smart Inbox." It contextualizes conversations happening with your company, and can create in a few clicks a helpdesk ticket and tasks to get your customer service team on the line with an angry Facebook or Twitter user.

Nimble and Microsoft are Getting ever Closer
May 11, 2017
Nimble and Microsoft are Getting ever Closer
Nimble and Microsoft are Getting ever Closer
May 11, 2017
Nimble and Microsoft are Getting ever Closer

It has been three months since I last talked with Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble. Back in February, he introduced me to their Nimble Smart Contacts add-in to Outlook Mobile. It delivered people and company social relationship insights for free to over 40M Outlook Mobile users. Since then, he and his Nimble team have been pretty busy working with Microsoft, as one could see from his Facebook posts – having one coordination session in Seattle after the other.


Nimble will soon announce that they extended the Nimble freemium Smart Contacts for Outlook Mobile add-in to become a free plugin into Outlook Desktop Windows/Mac and Office 365. This move recognizes that the world is going cloud and mobile and that the Microsoft stack of productivity applications is the most widely used set of applications in Enterprises of all sizes. Google applications, with the notable exception of Google Mail, do not stand a chance here. The same holds true for Salesforce, which acquired the productivity tool startup 
Quip in August of last year, or Zoho’s Docs, or any other smaller vendor tools.

The logical next step is to …

… integrate Nimble into Outlook Desktop and Office 365.  I already speculated about this in my 
February post:

Imagine the following: The Smart Contacts App, or rather Nimble becoming part of the Office365 fabric, working with the full Microsoft application stack, like Outlook, Skype, Team, Dynamics, Office365, LinkedIn, PowerBI and Azure. Add the fact that many smaller businesses are still working without a CRM system, but merely use their mail clients and spreedsheets – and MS Office. Continue the thought with: Salesforce, SugarCRM, SAP, Dynamics are too expensive and too ‘clumsy’, user-unfriendly. Add the idea of a deep integration into the Office Graph/LinkedIn graph, and all of the sudden there is a powerful and affordable social sales and marketing solution for Microsoft Office365 users.

Mind you, there still would be gaps on the service, especially on the marketing side, but this is a story for another day. For now I do see huge potential in this partnership.
And unsurprisingly, this is exactly what Jon and his team did over the past three months. With this new integration the Nimble Smart Contact Manager comes up within all Office 365 productivity and business applications, plus Outlook, Skype, Teams, and etc., giving users the rich contact information that Nimble gather in real time. This is fully in line with Jon’s vision of Nimble “becoming the world’s individual and teams’ simple, smart and social contact manager”.


My Take

This is Big, for both parties!

The E-Mail inbox is still the most widely used de facto contact manager. There are estimations that more than 80 percent of companies worldwide do not use any contact manager or CRM application at all.
With this step of integrating deeper into the MS fabric, Nimble comes far closer to Jon’s vision by getting access to a huge number of potential business users who need just a bit more than just e-mail and for whom Dynamics365 and LinkedIn Sales Navigator is too expensive and too clumsy, or just plainly not useful to people with simple needs. By staying connected to Google, Nimble rides on the two most prevalent e-mail platforms.

But what’s in it for Microsoft, you ask?

Microsoft, as the other Enterprise CRM vendors (Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, SugarCRM, etc.) face increasing pressure by vendors that started off by addressing the SMB market, especially the lower end of it. Salesforce itself concentrated first on smaller companies or departmental solutions that brought them a foot in the door. With this sales approach, based upon the subscription and cloud software models, they disrupted the market – and moved on to become an enterprise player. SAP is clawing its way down with different solutions that target smaller companies than their usual clientele. Microsoft so far did the same upward move that Salesforce did. The origins of Microsoft’s business applications (Axapta and Navision) have been SMB-oriented. Now they are targeting Enterprises, of which there are only so many. SugarCRM currently moves similarly.

In brief, these vendors are vulnerable to aggressive SMB vendors like Zoho and others, which can disrupt them from below.

Microsoft needs a solution to address this vulnerability.

In comes Nimble to add simple social sales and marketing to Office365. At a reasonable price point, Nimble is likely to provide eighty to ninety percent of the functionality that small company salespeople need to grow their business. And this in a very usable way, automating a lot of the data gathering in the background. Not having to collect this data and enter it manually into the contact database adds immediate value. In comparison to learning to ride a bicycle, Nimble “will be like the training wheels” to Dynamics365 and LinkedIn Sales Navigator says Jon, “we will onboard millions of people to Microsoft Enterprise Apps and many will not need more than that”.
In summary, Microsoft gains the ability to attract a lot of smaller companies that might otherwise consider another vendor’s CRM, to their platform. With the foot in the door, Microsoft then has the possibility to easily upgrade these customers to Dynamics365 business applications.

Let’s see what the next steps are in this partnership. It has the potential to be very symbiotic. It also has the potential of Nimble becoming Microsoft’s entry solution to CRM.
Modernization for All: How Nimble is working with Microsoft to modernize the partner community
Apr 06, 2017
Modernization for All: How Nimble is working with Microsoft to modernize the partner community
Modernization for All: How Nimble is working with Microsoft to modernize the partner community
Apr 06, 2017

Modernization for All: How Nimble is working with Microsoft to modernize the partner community

Born and bred in the cloud

Nimble is a born in the cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider. Their flagship product, a CRM sales and marketing platform, is a proven tool for transforming small to midsized customers, giving them the tools to succeed and thrive with a modernized social sales and marketing engine.

Nimble’s journey began as a part of the Google Apps ecosystem, but the company has since pivoted towards Office 365 to grow their reach. Nimble integrates tightly across Microsoft products, with leading cloud productivity solutions, and is ideally suited to customers who often find themselves hamstrung by traditional, manual sales and marketing processes.

Nimble’s decision to join the Microsoft partner community was motivated by factors beyond product integration. Nimble believes that reseller partners are uniquely positioned to benefit from the value Nimble provides and ultimately, to extend that value to their own customers. This approach enables Nimble to effectively grow while evangelizing their product.

The impact of WPC

When Dwight Foster, Vice President at Nimble, attended WPC 2016 (now Microsoft Inspire), he heard a call for modernization that resonated with Nimble’s product and approach.

“During one of the keynotes the speaker presented a slide highlighting the 4 pillars of modern sales and marketing. The message advocated for partners to modernize sales and marketing techniques and resonated with the value we provide. What we didn’t hear was a roadmap partners could follow to get there. We sent a mail during the keynote itself to let the speaker, Gavriella Schuster, know that we had the product to help partners make this a reality, and we were willing to provide that product to the entire Microsoft partner ecosystem at no charge (similar to Microsoft’s internal use rights or IUR).”
– Dwight Foster, Vice President, Nimble

This offer stands for any Microsoft partner looking to modernize their sales and marketing systems using Nimble’s flagship product.
Michael Spoont, the CEO of IV4 - 2016 Microsoft SMB Cloud Partner of the Year for the Northeast – also attended WPC in 2016. Foster and Spoont made a connection at the event and, knowing that IV4 would be a perfect fit for Nimble’s offering, quickly got to work on a proof of concept.

Nimble is a simple, easy to use CRM/Social Sales and Marketing platform that eases the transition for customers looking to modernize their sales and marketing tools. The platform readily integrates with Office 365 and Nimble’s team provides comprehensive training and demonstrations to help customers best realize the value of the product.

For many small and midsized customers, their attitude towards modern marketing and sales techniques is aspirational – an ideal place they know they would like to be.

The issue lies in taking this aspiration and marrying it to a powerful product and a team with the ability to guide partners through the first steps. Nimble’s mission is to help the entire Microsoft partner ecosystem take this step towards modernization, giving small and mid-sized customers the tools to compete and scale their businesses beyond the capacity afforded by traditional marketing and sales techniques.

In addition, Nimble is a great first CRM step for Microsoft partners and customers to experience the power of CRM and provides an onramp for migration to Dynamics CRM as their needs and sophistication grows.

Social selling and campaigns

Small partners commonly aspire to incorporate some form of social selling to their sales and marketing approach. Foster has spoken to many of these customers and partners and understands that, in many cases, they simply need a better tool to do the job.

One of the challenges we see for a lot of traditional resellers is they know they want to leverage social selling but they just don’t know how best to do it. Many companies hire social media managers whose only requirement is they are young and familiar with social media and they simply don’t get any return on their investment.”
– Dwight Foster, Vice President, Nimble

Social Selling leans on the massive amount of data generated by customers’ social media properties. By leveraging this information, companies can target likely customers and use actionable insights derived from social data to develop targeted marketing campaigns that speak intelligently to customers’ needs.

Nimble’s platform is built with social selling in mind. Nimble automatically enriches contacts with details from public and private databases, including social profile information and company demographics. The social section of Nimble then allows for quick segmentation and searches based on social profile information. Targeted campaigns and group messages then enable quick and simple outreach.

After WPC 2016, Nimble engaged with IV4, a mid-sized Microsoft Gold Competency Partner, to demonstrate how they can enhance their Social Selling and Marketing capabilities. Working with IV4, Nimble ran a trial of their solution with Spoont and VP of Sales Tony Harris, loading IV4’s existing customers into Nimble. The two teams then developed a webinar, set a date, created the messaging and began a campaign using Nimble’s solution. The Webinar generated 50 RSVPs which resulted in 25 attendees and 3 sales.

"One of the challenges we see for a lot of traditional resellers is they know they want to leverage social selling but they just don’t know how best to do it."

- Dwight Foster, Vice President, Nimble

Integrating social selling with Outlook and Office 365

Nimble’s platform is designed to work seamlessly with Office 365 and their add-in for Outlook is emblematic of this integrated approach. The add-in enriches contacts within Outlook with social data, automatically matching social and public details for people and companies. Insights on individual contacts include their company name, title, biography, location, work experience, education and social identities.

Nimble is offering the add-in to all Office 365/Outlook commercial users and it is available today. By integrating their social selling functionality tightly with the value already present in Office 365, Nimble succeeds in extending the value of Office 365 for their customers.

A repeatable approach to opening the door

Foster has been working with partners across the Microsoft partner ecosystem to empower resellers with a simple, modern CRM system – provided at no charge (similar to Microsoft’s IUR). This calculated risk is backstopped by Foster’s faith in the dramatic results his product can have on Microsoft partners’ sales and marketing results.

“We are offering Nimble to any Microsoft partner at no charge (similar to Microsoft’s IUR) and we will train their employees and get them up and running. We can do this because we are confident that once partners have used Nimble to modernize their sales and marketing, they will want to do the same for their customers.”
– Dwight Foster, Vice President, Nimble

Ultimately, Nimble’s approach to working with Microsoft partners is founded in an idea that a rising tide will lift all boats. Nimble’s play – to provide their product up front, knowing that the value partners see will translate to their own customers – is a testament both to their faith in the product and their commitment to partnership.

“At the end of the day, all of our partners and all of their customers need to grow their businesses to succeed. As people become more connected and the quantity of information grows, users and resellers alike want a single solution to run their business. We have the solution, and we want to be the partner to make good on the promise of sales and marketing modernization for the entire partner community.” – Dwight Foster, Vice President, Nimble

"As people become more connected and the quantity of information grows, users and resellers alike want a single solution to run their business. We have the solution, and we want to be the partner to make good on the promise of sales and marketing modernization for the entire partner community."

- Dwight Foster, Vice President, Nimble

Nimble lands $9 million Series A to simplify contact management in the cloud
Mar 20, 2017
Nimble lands $9 million Series A to simplify contact management in the cloud
Nimble lands $9 million Series A to simplify contact management in the cloud
Mar 20, 2017

Nimble lands $9 million Series A to simplify contact management in the cloud

30+ Top Tools for the Self-Employed Entrepreneur
Mar 20, 2017
30+ Top Tools for the Self-Employed Entrepreneur
30+ Top Tools for the Self-Employed Entrepreneur
Mar 20, 2017

30+ Top Tools for the Self-Employed Entrepreneur

03/20/2017 03:11 pm ET

When you’re a self-employed entrepreneur, you wear many hats. In some cases, you wear ALL of the hats. In my case, I’m wearing a KC Royals ballcap right now, while in Tokyo, representing Kansas City. Why? Because I have no boss and I wear what I want! But I digress.

When you are self-employed, you are responsible for everything within your business.

It’s no surprise the number of people in the gig economy is exponentially growing. According to Intuit’s latest study, Dispatches From the New Economy: The On-Demand Workforce, the number of people working on-demand jobs will grow from 3.0 million Americans to 7.7 million in 2020, and will reach a whopping 9.2 million by 2021.

Being self-employed can be a challenge.

I reached out to several self-employed entrepreneurs to gauge which tools they use to help them manage their small business, venture, or career.

I asked Joel Comm, a live video expert and 12-time NY Times best selling author of the upcoming book, “Self-Employed”, his thoughts on being Self-Employed and he said, “As a perpetually (and unavoidably) self-employed businessman, I can’t imagine operating without the freedom to manage my own schedule. Being self-employed means I live my life on my terms!”

Personally, I’ve been self-employed a few different times, and I am currently the cofounder of a digital agency, CCP.Digital, based out of Kansas City. Even though, we have a growing team of marketing & growth hackers, I still view myself as self-employed.

Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Accounting, Invoicing, Communication, PR and others. You name it, you’re responsible for it.

Here are some tools that may help you manage all of your hats.

FILE MANAGEMENT

When it comes to the day-to-day business/admin functions, one of the tools mentioned overwhelmingly was Google GSuite. Having Google Drive, with Docs, Spreadsheets, Forms, Presentations and of course, using Google to power your company business email, this tool is a no-brainer. Dropbox and Box are also great solutions.

CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT

Nimble is a social customer relationship management platform that allows you to keep track of all of your contacts social activity to build relationships with them.

Nimble has an amazing Chrome extension that allows you to roll over anyone’s name and add them to your Nimble database. You can then connect with them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks. It’s a solid tool to have in your arsenal.

ORGANIZATIONAL TOOLS

A great productivity tool for the self-employed is Evernote. Evernote has stand alone native apps for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. They work great and allow you to keep notes on virtually anything. I personally use it to keep track of my to-do tasks.

And it was instrumental in planning and research for my book, Digital Sense, the Common Sense approach to Social Business Strategy, Marketing Technologies, and Customer Experience.

Without Evernote and Google Docs, I would have never been able to write a book.

FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS

One of the companies at the forefront of the self-employed movement is Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks. Intuit has a specific version called QuickBooks Self-Employed that can be a valuable tool in your arsenal. From automatic mileage tracking, to easily separating business and personal expenses and along with invoicing and accounting features, in many cases, it is the master control for the financial health of your business.

Every single entrepreneur that I asked mentioned QuickBooks – even a pro golfer! Yep, you read that right. Intuit was a sponsor of the recent AT&T Pro-Am and I had the chance to hang out a bit with pro golfer Matt Jones who mentioned, “I’m a self-employed golfer, and I use Quickbooks to track all of my expenses.”

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Next on the list is Trello, Asana, and Basecamp. These are project management tools to help you stay organized and on task. As mentioned, I use Evernote for personal to-dos, but for my agency, we use Basecamp 3, which helps keep everyone on the same page with each project that we are working on.

SOCIAL MEDIA DASHBOARD

For social sharing and management of your social media, there are many tools. Hootsuite and SproutSocial are great tools for SMBs and the self-employed, who are responsible for sharing news about your business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

WEBSITE TOOLS

If your business is digitally savvy, you have a website. Make sure it definitely has Google Analytics on it at a minimum. With GA, you’re able to track your web traffic, see which pages are driving traffic, your conversions, the bounce rate of your pages, and gain many other valuable insights.

You would also be wise to have the Facebook custom audience pixel on your site, as well. If you are driving people to your website with social media, you will definitely want to retarget them and market to them later on.

TIME TRACKING

If you are working on multiple projects and need to bill certain clients for various amounts of time, you may need something like Toggl. It helps you manage all of your daily time.

Also, if you are wanting to be more productive overall, consider using a pomodoro timer to keep you on task!

CALENDAR & MEETING SCHEDULING

Scheduling meetings can sometimes be a CHORE! 17 emails back and forth until a time is decided on is a blatant waste of time. Consider using a tool like Calendly or Gigabook to help you schedule your meetings more effectively.

I couldn’t manage my business without one of these tools.

CREDIT CARD READERS

Changes are, if you are self-employed, you will need a way to take credit cards with your mobile device. Square and Paypal are perfect for those tasks. Unless you have an iPhone 7, and you no longer have the headphone jack to plug in the dongle.

Thanks Apple!

BUSINESS TRAVEL

If you are a road warrior, then it is imperative that you have some great travel apps to help you navigate. I like Skiplagged to find the best priced flights. Hotel Tonight, AirBNB for lodging. FlightTrack Pro and Tripit are also good choices.

And of course, Uber and Lyft. Duh. (Unless you’re in Austin, TX)

OUTSOURCED TALENT

As a self-employed person, you are typically an army of one. What do you do when you need to ramp up or need some bench strength to help get you over the hump? Personally, I use virtual assistants and outsourced talent. There is a ton of services out there, you just need to look in the right places. Upwork is a community of over 12m freelancers available to help you. Fiverr is a great place to get cheap tasks done. Growgig is another site for small recurring marketing tasks for your company.

And if you are looking to hire talent to help full-time, consider using a service like Staff Virtual, they have a ton of qualified full-time people in the Philippines, who can help your business while you are sleeping at night. I’ve used them extensively in my business, as they all speak great english, and they are all college educated.

Nimble CRM’s New Add-In for Outlook on iOS Will Deliver Unique Social Relationship Insights
Feb 13, 2017
Nimble CRM’s New Add-In for Outlook on iOS Will Deliver Unique Social Relationship Insights
Nimble CRM’s New Add-In for Outlook on iOS Will Deliver Unique Social Relationship Insights
Feb 13, 2017

Nimble CRM’s New Add-In for Outlook on iOS Will Deliver Unique Social Relationship Insights

MarTech companies are increasingly focusing on making the enterprise collaboration tools more user-friendly. As email marketing gets more personalized and mobile-centric, marketers chose from a wide range of third-party apps for task management. Outlook, easily the most preferred email app for iOS, now gets more integration in MarTech than other third-party apps. One of the latest platforms to offer Outlook for iOS is Nimble, the leading CRM solutions provider for social sales and marketing.

Nimble is a pioneer in SaaS-based CRM solutions for web and social media. By offering seamless integration with a new add-in for Outlook for iOS, Nimble CRM users will receive instant social business insights on people and companies. The new Nimble Smart Contacts add-in for Outlook on iOS will allow Outlook users to benefit from Nimble’s full and detailed view of any contact – directly from their email messages.

“We’re all over-connected and over-communicated by too many email messages,” said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble.

“By putting Nimble’s powerful social contact insights right into Outlook, we will help millions of business users to no longer flying blind with relationships and engagement.”

MarTech companies are increasingly focusing on making the enterprise collaboration tools more user-friendly. As email marketing gets more personalized and mobile-centric, marketers chose from a wide range of third-party apps for task management. Outlook, easily the most preferred email app for iOS, now gets more integration in MarTech than other third-party apps. One of the latest platforms to offer Outlook for iOS is Nimble, the leading CRM solutions provider for social sales and marketing.

Nimble is a pioneer in SaaS-based CRM solutions for web and social media. By offering seamless integration with a new add-in for Outlook for iOS, Nimble CRM users will receive instant social business insights on people and companies. The new Nimble Smart Contacts add-in for Outlook on iOS will allow Outlook users to benefit from Nimble’s full and detailed view of any contact – directly from their email messages.

“By putting Nimble’s powerful social contact insights right into Outlook, we will help millions of business users to no longer flying blind with relationships and engagement.”

“We’re all over-connected and over-communicated by too many email messages,” said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble.

UNIQUE ASPECTS OF NIMBLE SMART CONTACTS

Nimble’s new add-ins for Outlook on iOS rolled out new features –

  • Automatic matching of social and public details of customers and B2B users
  • Instant business and social insights for people and companies in Outlook Mobile
  • company insights including biography, industry, number of employees, year Founded, keywords, company type, revenue, CEO name, address and phone
  • People insights like person’s name, company name, title, biography, location, keywords, work experience, education, social identities
  • Social contact profile matching to create rich contact details
  • Social company profile matching to create rich company details

MarTech companies are increasingly focusing on making the enterprise collaboration tools more user-friendly. As email marketing gets more personalized and mobile-centric, marketers chose from a wide range of third-party apps for task management. Outlook, easily the most preferred email app for iOS, now gets more integration in MarTech than other third-party apps. One of the latest platforms to offer Outlook for iOS is Nimble, the leading CRM solutions provider for social sales and marketing.

Nimble is a pioneer in SaaS-based CRM solutions for web and social media. By offering seamless integration with a new add-in for Outlook for iOS, Nimble CRM users will receive instant social business insights on people and companies. The new Nimble Smart Contacts add-in for Outlook on iOS will allow Outlook users to benefit from Nimble’s full and detailed view of any contact – directly from their email messages.

“We’re all over-connected and over-communicated by too many email messages,” said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble.

“By putting Nimble’s powerful social contact insights right into Outlook, we will help millions of business users to no longer flying blind with relationships and engagement.”

UNIQUE ASPECTS OF NIMBLE SMART CONTACTS

Nimble’s new add-ins for Outlook on iOS rolled out new features –

  • Automatic matching of social and public details of customers and B2B users
  • Instant business and social insights for people and companies in Outlook Mobile
  • company insights including biography, industry, number of employees, year Founded, keywords, company type, revenue, CEO name, address and phone
  • People insights like person’s name, company name, title, biography, location, keywords, work experience, education, social identities
  • Social contact profile matching to create rich contact details
  • Social company profile matching to create rich company details
via Nimble CRM

via Nimble CRM

“The biggest cause of communication failure is the lack of knowledge of who someone is or what their business is about,” says Ferrara.

“Nimble has reimagined relationship management with a Simply Smarter Relationship Manager add-in that works for you, delivering critical contact background details right inside your Outlook inbox,” adds Ferrara.

Nimble CRM is one of the simplest SaaS-based marketing solutions for growing businesses. By offering the latest add-in features on a 14-day free trial, Nimble has extended its Social CRM platform across G Suite, Chrome, Outlook, Safari, Hootsuite, iOS and Android. Business accounts can add Nimble’s new add-in for Outlook on iOS at $25 per month.

“Nimble is a welcome addition to the Office ecosystem as they clearly have an understanding of the needs of business users in a social, global world,” said Rob Howard, Director, Office Product Marketing at Microsoft Corp. “Providing contextual information about contacts helps business relationships flourish, so connecting that capability through the new Nimble add-in for Outlook on iOS is a logical step.”

The way enterprises do business in 2017 has changed drastically compared to the scenario two years ago. Sales teams need powerful, real-time insights to make rapid decisions — much of it attributed to social media and mobile engagements. By adding CRM features to Outlook on iOS, marketers can create enriching customer experience through deeper engagement. Add-ins focusing on customer experience, like the one between Nimble and Outlook on iOS, also offer seamless collaboration with transformative experiences to every CRM user. Sales CRM integrated with social features provide a “leaping board” for simple customer management across mobile and web.

 

What to Do Now That We are Losing LinkedIn’s CRM Features
Jan 18, 2017
What to Do Now That We are Losing LinkedIn’s CRM Features
What to Do Now That We are Losing LinkedIn’s CRM Features
Jan 18, 2017

What to Do Now That We are Losing LinkedIn’s CRM Features 

(Free Nimble Training Below)
By 

You have probably heard rumors about all the changes being made to LinkedIn in the next few months. (If not, read this article). One of the biggest changes is that we are losing the Advanced search as well as saved searches, tagging, and note-taking.
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 10.40.45 AM

All CRM aspects of the FREE LinkedIn service are going away. Which is a HUGE bummer for people who have been actively prospecting using these tools with their free LinkedIn accounts. The solution within LinkedIn is to upgrade to Sales Navigator (which I personally love,) but at $79 a month, that is going to be outside of most people’s wheelhouse!

Another solution is to use the Chrome Extension Dux-Soup which has both free and paid version and works to create Tags and Notes for your prospects on LinkedIn (when using Chrome.)
Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 10.40.55 AM

But I think the best low-cost solution is to invest in Nimble at $25 a month. Nimble is not just a LinkedIn tool, but a whole Social CRM solution. Here is a training we did on January 19th - It's a little over an hour - so set aside some time!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noZNsq7YoJw[/embed]

Specifically, the webinar shows you:

  • How to Build a Golden “Rolodex” in the Cloud
  • Key Techniques to Identify People That Matter
  • How to Outreach at Scale in a Relevant and Effective Way
  • How to Take Your Contacts with You, Everywhere You Work
  • How to Put a System in Place For Effective Relationship Nurturing

 I also created a free checklist for those of you who want to use Nimble. You can access the checklist by clicking HERE

Why Use Nimble?

·     Nimble automatically builds your CRM by unifying all your conversations and interactions in one place – and gives you the context of the relationship and communications with them

·     Nimble allows you to segment your database and build smart segments based on enriched background details, making it easy to target the right prospects

·     Send personalized messages from your own email identity to any of your contacts. Every outreach appears as a sincere one-to-one conversation rather than a mass email blast. Measure your success with detailed open and click tracking reports. 

·     Track message opens and clicks to know exactly when your contacts interact with your outreach, making it easier to follow up with your hottest prospects. Receive desktop notifications and details analytics to see the number of times a contact has opened or clicked on your message without leaving your Gmail inbox.

·     Import any Twitter list directly to Nimble with our Nimble Smart Contacts App. Then use the power of Nimble’s Social Profile Matching to enrich your contacts with additional data points. Segment contacts based on these data points to conduct your outreach.

·     Nimble’s Mobile apps for iPhone and Android give you a smart calendar with insights with you, anywhere you work. Get reminders before and after meetings to make sure you never miss an important note and sync your phonebook directly to Nimble.

·     Nimble delivers simple CRM to Google Apps and Office 365 by unifying contacts, email, calendar and social history into a powerful contact manager enabling everyone in your company to work as a team. The Nimble Smart Contacts App for Chrome, Safari and Firefox delivers business insights on people and companies you work with to help you connect intelligently and take action inside Office 365, Google Apps and everywhere else you work.

·     Nimble gives you insights – keeping contact info and engagement up to date and storing history of communications

·     Nimble will automatically tag people according to their areas of Influence

·     You can also create custom fields of data to manually input contact info

·     Nimble also has a new Import Wizard that allows you to upload any CSV file you might have (Like LinkedIn’s Connections – including TAGS!)

·     Emails, Calendar and Social activity are all synced.

·     Sort by tag, keyword, company, name or relationship

 If you missed out webinar on January 19th, then click HERE watch.

 

Nimble Introduces Version 4.0 - Social Sales & Marketing Platform
Sep 21, 2016
Nimble Introduces Version 4.0 - Social Sales & Marketing Platform
Nimble Introduces Version 4.0 - Social Sales & Marketing Platform
Sep 21, 2016

Nimble Introduces Version 4.0 - Social Sales & Marketing Platform

Nimble has released version 4.0 of its Customer Relationship Manager social sales and marketing CRM platform with greater data sync capabilities.
Nimble, a provider of social sales and marketing CRM,has launched Nimble 4.0 with major enhancements to its Customer Relationship Manager. The updated platform blends social, sales, and marketing with capabilities to automatically create, segment, and engage prospects and customers. Nimble users can work between their desktops, browsers, and mobile devices to better manage relationships anywhere, anytime.

"The biggest cause of CRM failure is lack of use because salespeople hate working for the CRM," said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble, in a statement. "Nimble has reimagined relationship management with a simply smarter CRM that works for you, everywhere you work, and your team will love using it to help grow your business."

Among the additions to Nimble 4.0 are the following:

  • Sales and marketing embedded in Office 365 and Google Apps - Nimble adds CRM to Office 365 and Google Apps by unifying contacts, email, and calendar with people and company social insights.
  • Automatic sychronization of contacts, emails, and calendars into a unified relationship manager that works on any social network, web site, or business app.
  • Instant business insights for contacts and companies - Nimble enriches people and company records with background details from social networks and third-party business databases.
  • Smart social search and segmentation with new Quick Filters that let users build smart segments based on enriched background details.
  • Group messaging, with every outreach appearing as a sincere one-to-one conversation rather than a mass email blast. Users can also measure success with detailed open and click tracking reports.
  • Intelligent prospecting with Gmail templates, tracking, and analytics - Users receive desktop notifications and detailed analytics to see the number of times a contact has opened or clicked a message.
  • One-click Twitter lead generation - Users can import any Twitter list directly to Nimble with the Nimble Smart Contacts App, use Nimble's Social Profile Matching to enrich contacts with additional data points, and segment contacts based on these data points.
  • Smart mobile calendar with contact insights - Nimble's Mobile apps for iPhone and Android give users a smart calendar with insights and can issue reminders before and after meetings and sync phonebooks directly to Nimble.

Nimble is available for full trial for 14 days free of charge. Business accounts are offered at $25 per user, per month. All of the new Nimble 4.0 features are available within the current Business version of Nimble.

CRM Plus Social Plus Business Information Is A Winning Combination: Nimble Upgrades
Sep 21, 2016
CRM Plus Social Plus Business Information Is A Winning Combination: Nimble Upgrades
CRM Plus Social Plus Business Information Is A Winning Combination: Nimble Upgrades
Sep 21, 2016

As I travel cross the country, I’m amazed at the number of business owners who are still relatively new to the power of using content and “social media” to engage with their customers. Part of this rise is fostered and enabled by CRM companies integrating social dynamics into their platform.

Today Nimble announces a slew of new and updated integrations (Office 366 and Google Apps) into its software. In addition it’s enriching it’s social connections and business contact information.

Nimble Smart Segmentation

You can use Nimble to not only keep in touch with your customers and other contacts but also build and save profiles based on a variety of business information – such as industry size and location.

The power of CRM is a) everyone in your company can get the same snapshot of one customer b) everyone on your team can better collaborate about customers (or others)  c) you can glean public insights on each contact in your database d) you can segment customers and better market to them.

Nimble Unveils Evolution of CRM — Delivering Nimble 4.0 The Simply Smarter Social Sales & Marketing Platform
Sep 21, 2016
Nimble Unveils Evolution of CRM — Delivering Nimble 4.0 The Simply Smarter Social Sales & Marketing Platform
Nimble Unveils Evolution of CRM — Delivering Nimble 4.0 The Simply Smarter Social Sales & Marketing Platform
Sep 21, 2016

Nimble Unveils Evolution of CRM — Delivering Nimble 4.0 The Simply Smarter Social Sales & Marketing Platform

Nimble, the pioneer of Social Sales and Marketing CRM, today announced Nimble 4.0 with major enhancements to its award winning Customer Relationship Manager. The updated platform blends social, sales and marketing into a Simply Smarter CRM with capabilities to automatically create, segment, and engage prospects and customers. Nimble users can fluidly work between their desktop, browser and mobile device to manage relationships effectively anywhere, anytime.

“The biggest cause of CRM failure is lack of use because salespeople hate working for the CRM,” says Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble and founder of the pioneering CRM, GoldMine. “Nimble has reimagined relationship management with a Simply Smarter CRM that works for you, everywhere you work and your team will love using it to help grow your business!” adds Ferrara.

Summary of New Nimble 4.0 Features:

  • Sales and Marketing Embedded in Office 365 and Google Apps - Nimble adds simple, smart CRM to Office 365 and Google Apps by unifying your contacts, email, and calendar with people and company social insights.
  • The First CRM That Works for You Everywhere You Work - Nimble automatically builds your CRM for you by syncing your team’s contacts, emails and calendars into a unified relationship manager that works with you on any social network, website, or business app.
  • Instant Business Insights for Contacts and Companies - Nimble takes the pain out of data entry by instantly enriching people and company records with background details from social networks and 3rd-party business databases.
  • A Whole New Way to Search and Segment Contacts - Identify the best contacts and companies to target with Nimble’s new smart social search and segmentation. New Quick Filters let you build smart segments based on enriched background details, making it easy to target the right prospects.
  • Prospect Smarter with Nimble’s Group Messaging - Send personalized messages from your own email identity to any of your contacts. Every outreach appears as a sincere one-to-one conversation rather than a mass email blast. Measure your success with detailed open and click tracking reports.
  • Intelligent Prospecting with Gmail Templates, Tracking, and Analytics -
    Track message opens and clicks to know exactly when your contacts interact with your outreach, making it easier to follow up with your hottest prospects. Receive desktop notifications and details analytics to see the number of times a contact has opened or clicked on your message without leaving your Gmail inbox.
  • One-Click Twitter Lead Generation -
    Import any Twitter list directly to Nimble with our Nimble Smart Contacts App. Then use the power of Nimble’s Social Profile Matching to enrich your contacts with additional data points. Segment contacts based on these data points to conduct your outreach.
  • Be Prepared for Every Meeting via Smart Mobile Calendar with Contact Insights - Nimble’s Mobile apps for iPhone and Android give you a smart calendar with insights with you, anywhere you work. Get reminders before and after meetings to make sure you never miss an important note and sync your phonebook directly to Nimble.

What Analysts Are Saying
“The modern sales and marketing technology stack is too complex and expensive for most businesses,” said Michael Fauscette, Chief Research Officer, G2 Crowd.“Emerging social sales and marketing CRMs like Nimble blend Marketing Automation, CRM, Sales Intelligence, Social Insights and Email Tracking into a smart, powerful and affordable platform bridging the customer connection gap between social, marketing and SFA/CRM platforms.”

Social Selling Influencers Love Using Nimble CRM
“I’m hooked on Nimble’s Social Selling Platform. I wish I could plug it into my head like The Matrix,” said Koka Sexton, Noted Social Selling Pioneer. “I find myself excited to use Nimble every day, how many people can honestly say that about their CRM?”

"Simply put, I can't work without Nimble,” said Bryan Kramer, renowned global speaker, Digital Marketing consultant. “It's with me everywhere I go, and there every time I need it."

Nimble Named Best CRM and Sales Intelligence Market Leader Three Years Running!
Nimble pioneered Simply Smarter Social Relationship Management and has beennamed the best CRM for three years in a row. Their accolades are unique in the CRM market, in that they are the only vendor to be named a market leader in both the CRMand Sales Intelligence categories. It was named Market Leader and #1 Customer Satisfaction for CRM in the G2 Crowd Summer 2016 Ratings and has consistently been ranked #1 CRM across numerous third party sites over the past three years including GetApp, Technology Advice, and G2 Crowd.

Nimble Adopted Worldwide as Sales Goes Social
Nimble pioneered Social Selling CRM and has since experienced tremendous growth with over 100,000 registered users and over 10,000 paid customers in 122 countries.“We are grateful for the thousands of Nimble customers who have adopted our product and help us tell our story about how CRM should work for you, everywhere you work,”said Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara.

Pricing and Availability
Nimble is available for full trial for 14 days free of charge at www.nimble.com. Business accounts are offered at $25 per user, per month. All of the new Nimble 4.0 features mentioned above are available within the current Business version of Nimble. Nimble has been extending its pioneering Social Relationship Management Platform to work everywhere their customers work. Nimble delivers relationship insights everywhere you work including Google Apps, Outlook, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Hootsuite, iOS andAndroid.

Resources
Nimble 4.0 One Page Overview
Read the blog post
What’s New in Nimble
Nimble Demo Video
Screenshots

ABOUT NIMBLENimble is the pioneer of social sales and marketing CRM for individuals and teams to intelligently nurture relationships across email and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Nimble combines the strengths of traditional CRM, classic contact management, social media, sales intelligence and marketing automation into a powerful social selling solution. Nimble was founded by Jon Ferrara, the co-founder of GoldMine, a pioneer of SFA, CRM, Relationship Management and Marketing Automation. For more information, visit www.nimble.com. Nimble can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Located in Santa Monica, CA Nimble is in the heart of the Southern California Silicon Beach tech community. Nimble Voted Most Loved Santa Monica Tech Startup of 2016.

View source version on businesswire.com:http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160921005466/en/

Nimble Launches Version 4.0 to Fix Customer Relationship Management’s Biggest Issue
Sep 21, 2016
Nimble Launches Version 4.0 to Fix Customer Relationship Management’s Biggest Issue
Nimble Launches Version 4.0 to Fix Customer Relationship Management’s Biggest Issue
Sep 21, 2016

Nimble Launches Version 4.0 to Fix Customer Relationship Management’s Biggest Issue

And traditional CRM solutions are increasingly out of place in today’s mobile, social environment.

Today, Nimble is launching a major overhaul of its social CRM solution, in an attempt to drag the industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century, where the smartphone dominates everything and sales is more than ever about building real relationships.

Contacts and companies are enriched within your email platform and elsewhere on the web, such as when you’re viewing a LinkedIn profile, a news story, or a Facebook page. Most importantly, it solves the biggest issue with CRM solutions, the reason salespeople hate them so much.

Data entry.

nimble-smart-contacts-app-in-office-365

Because Nimble 4.0 instantly maps contacts to enriched data from social networks and third-party databases, you always have the latest contact information on hand. Company insights are also added automatically, including industry, size, location, employee count, revenue, and more. Nimble keeps all these contact details constantly up-­to-­date.

And it offers direct imports from anywhere. It knows if you’re in Gmail, LinkedIn, Facebook, or a news article that focuses on a contact, and it allows you to pull in data with a single click. That includes importing multiple contacts from Twitter lists.

As with everything in life, the rise of mobile has changed the sales game.

“Our Nimble Smart Contacts Mobile apps powers social selling relationships on the go by combining a phone’s contacts and calendars with our rich Nimble people and company insights,” Jon Ferrara, CEO at Nimble and cofounder of the original CRM, GoldMine, told me. “Before every meeting, Nimble’s mobile app provides a detailed dossier with contact and company insights on who you’re meeting with. Our mobile apps even remind you to follow up and follow through with your contacts via automated reminders to log notes, tasks, and deals.”

Of course, complex sales environments require multiple contacts in differing but connected roles. How does Nimble help you organize communications in a complex sale?

“Relationships are messy, and we are all over-connected and over-communicated,” Ferrara said. “The legacy enterprise platforms being used today for sales, marketing, and social are siloed, and they don’t integrate into the places our teams engage customers. They are not designed to cross departments, let alone communication channels. Conversations start on Twitter, shift to LinkedIn, then email and calendar, and finally, if you’re doing it right, get into Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. The power of Nimble is how it elegantly manages and empowers team communications and collaboration between a company’s team and its prospects/customers/influencers across all channels and in all places.”

Of course, pure B2B sales organizations will benefit from tools like Nimble, which competes with a vast array of CRM, contact database, and contact enrichment solutions, but which benefits from being able to augment contact data directly within your email client or while you’re browsing.

Nimble Browser Extension in Facebook

And outside of that environment, Ferrara believes Nimble 4.0 can offer useful information across many roles and business types.

“Nimble powers human-to-human relationships that drive personal and business success,” Ferrara said. “It’s not just sales people who need help with this, everyone does. I believe that everyone in a successful company communicates with the community of people outside the company required to help it grow. This includes prospects, customers, editors, analysts, bloggers, investors, advisors, integration partners, resellers, and more.”

In addition to contact augmentation, Nimble 4.0 provides email tracking, group email messaging, email templates, and analytics to help you create engaging content and then assess how well it is performing.

Nimble 4.0 is available from today. New customers receive a 14-day free trial, after which accounts are priced at $25 per user, per month. It works with Google Apps, Outlook, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Hootsuite, iOS, and Android.

Nimble - Managing Client Relationships Is A Lot Easier When You Let An App Do All The Remembering
Sep 20, 2016
Nimble - Managing Client Relationships Is A Lot Easier When You Let An App Do All The Remembering
Nimble - Managing Client Relationships Is A Lot Easier When You Let An App Do All The Remembering
Sep 20, 2016

Nimble - Managing Client Relationships Is A Lot Easier When You Let An App Do All The Remembering

Congratulations! You have so many clients you’re having trouble keeping them all straight. Now you just need to find a way to ensure each of them continues believing they’re still your top priority. If you balk at the thought of using a giant, overly complex CRM tool, Nimble might be the answer. It seamlessly syncs with your contacts and calendar while scouring the Web and social networks for additional information about the people you deal with. Before meeting with someone, the app pushes vital information about that person to your phone. It’s essentially an extension of your own memory focused on your customers that activates exactly when needed. Once your meeting is over, you can quickly input any tasks that you need to perform for specific clients (setting automated reminders, if you like) and update your personal notes. Back at the office you can browse reports and analytics at your convenience to help keep track of the larger picture.

Free to download; subscriptions are $25 per month | iOS, Android

Managing client relationships is a lot easier when you let an app do all the remembering

©istockphoto.com/monkeybusinessimages

The Marketing Tools That Can Help Fuel Business Growth
Dec 30, 2015
The Marketing Tools That Can Help Fuel Business Growth
The Marketing Tools That Can Help Fuel Business Growth
Dec 30, 2015

The Marketing Tools That Can Help Fuel Business Growth

Sujan Patel, CONTRIBUTOR

It’s no secret that growth is the key to business success. Without growth, profits remain flat, which is why we’ve seen so much interest in the process of ‘growth hacking’ among startups of all kinds over the past few years. But when it comes down to it, growth happens through marketing, and the best marketing happens when you use the best tools.

Here are 11 of the marketing tools you’ll want to take into consideration when it comes to fueling your business growth:

Maptive

These days, plenty of marketers talk a big game about big data, but few of them actually use the information they have to make meaningful decisions about their businesses. Maptive gives you an easy way to mine your data by allowing you to upload a spreadsheet of addresses and see them laid out on a custom map. Use this free tool to determine where your products are selling best, uncover the best spots for an upcoming marketing tour or answer any other question you have about the geography of your data.

Nimble

Keeping your relationships strong is an important part of business growth, andNimble makes this process easy. This relationship management program stores all of your records – including social contacts, email addresses, follow-up tasks and scheduled activities – allowing you to interact with all of your contacts from a single platform. You also be notified about any changes that occur in your network, including job updates, birthdays, and other important events. Use these alerts as catalysts to spark new conversations with your key contacts.

CrazyEgg

Want to know how visitors are behaving on your site? CrazyEgg shows you where they click, how far they scroll, what they watch, and more. In addition, CrazyEgg’s heat-mapping tools allow you to segment your traffic and determine whether certain design or content elements are resonating more with one group than another. This can give you plenty of meaningful feedback on your site, without having to run dozens of A/B tests. It’s an easy to use, affordable tool that will make a big difference in your messaging and growth.

Unbounce

Landing pages are extremely important when it comes to converting visitors into customers, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it can be difficult to build and test them thoroughly. Unbounce makes this process much easier. With a drag-and-drop interface, the program makes it easy to setup pages and create forms – even if you don’t know a line of HTML code. With the program’s wide variety of templates and seamlessly-integrated A/B testing, Unbounce is one of the best tools out there for turning shoppers into buyers.

Kit CRM

Small Business owners will quickly tell you that they are crunched for time and struggle with marketing. Kit frees small business owners from the burden of marketing and allows them to focus on what they do best.  Kit is the first automated Marketing Assistant that store owners text message with to run targeted ads, post updates to their Facebook Page and makes recommendations based on their stores activity. Pricing is budget sensitive, and starts at $10 per month.

LeadPages

LeadPages is another great resource for creating landing pages and the calls-to-action needed to grow your email list and sell products. With LeadPages’s collection of templates, landing page creation is quick and easy, and as an added bonus, the tool integrates fully with Aweber and Mailchimp. Recently , Tim Paige, a staff member at LeadPages, gave a great webinar on how one landing page enabled his team to add 15,000 customers in a single year. If that kind of growth sounds good to you, take the time to check out LeadPages.

We all know that engagement is a vital part of growth, as these interactions encourage repeat business (which is much cheaper than acquiring new customers). Optimizely helps you to optimize your site for engagement and track key metrics over time to determine how well your updates are performing. Using the tool, you can conduct both A/B and multivariate tests and implement your ideas in just minutes. There simply isn’t an easier tool for site optimization available today!

Typeform

Online surveys can be dull and robotic – and these dry forms certainly don’t encourage interaction. Instead, Typeform helps you create surveys that are fun, interactive, and enjoyable to look at. The user experience looks and feels great, allowing you to acquire more data through your forms, as well as make the data more useful. With Typeform, you can adjust survey questions fit your brand, as well as use the integrated analysis feature to reveal patterns and trends. Over time, this will help you adapt your message and your product lines so that you continue to grow.

ListBuilder

Anyone who says that having an email list isn’t important to a company’s growth is lying. Listbuilder will help you collect email addresses of your site visitors, while also integrating with other email services like Aweber and Mailchimp. The “smart popup” appears strategically after you have your visitor’s full attention, and the application works equally well for both desktop and mobile users. Considering that all these features are available for free, there’s no reason not to add Listbuilder to your growth arsenal.

Startup Threads

I’ve written before about how giving away free t-shirts helped me to generatemore than $500K in revenue at my former digital marketing agency, Single Grain. But if you want to use this tactic to drive your business’s growth, how should you get started? Where should you get your t-shirts, and how will you get them in the hands of the people that want them?  The answer is Startup Threads.

There are plenty of companies that will design and print shirts for you, but what makes Startup Threads unique is the web interface that lets you automate the process of shipping shirts to new customers (or to anybody that requests one on your website). The quality can’t be beat, and the rates are affordable – check out Startup Threads today!

Colibri.io

Everyone knows how important social listening is, but who has the time to monitor Twitter, Quora, Google, and the dozens of blogs in your industry? Colibri makes it easy to find and participate in relevant conversations online by producing a simple, actionable report letting you know where to go to participate in the larger online conversation about your business. As a result, you’ll gain leads and prospects, improve brand visibility, and improve your SEO by being at the right place at the right time – all of which are benefits that will fuel your growth.

No one can manage growth alone, which is why it’s so important that you have the right tools in your arsenal. These 11 programs will give you a great start when it comes to growing your customer base, managing your social media presence, and improving your conversion rate – virtually guaranteeing your company’s growth and success.

Do you use any of these tools (or any others) to encourage growth in your company? Share your experiences in the comments below!

I'm the VP of Marketing at When I Work and author of 100 Days of Growth. For over 10 years I’ve helped companies like TurboTax, BlueHost, and Sales Forceincrease traffic & revenue.

How Do I Know You?
Dec 30, 2015
How Do I Know You?
How Do I Know You?
Dec 30, 2015

How Do I Know You?

Dunbar's number proposes that humans can only comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships. Well I don't know about stable... but I'd say I interact with far more than 150 people every day. With interactions via email, chat, social networks, blogs, web sites, discussion forums, customer communities and a dozen other sources, it's a real challenge for me to keep up with who all these people are.

That's the problem Nimble is trying to solve.  Here's a quick look at some of what Nimble can do.

While several products are claiming to help you know who people are, Nimble is the first I've seen that instantly pulls in data from multiple sources, giving you a very complete overview. My first reaction was a mixture of awe and fear. Of course Nimble is only aggregating data that is publicly available, but by doing so it really reveals a lot about the digital footprints we're all leaving out there.

Staying In Contact The Smart Way
Dec 30, 2015
Staying In Contact The Smart Way
Staying In Contact The Smart Way
Dec 30, 2015

Staying In Contact The Smart Way

Rawn Shah, CONTRIBUTOR

Why is contact management too much of a pain to keep up? Frankly speaking, no one likes living in their contact or customer relationship management (CRM) system, even if their job demands this. Yet, most of us still need to lookup information about others regularly. The trouble is that these systems are often limited in when or where you can use them, and even more trouble in keeping such records up to date. It would be an enormous user benefit if this information could assemble itself. After all, isn’t there enough out there on the internet? What if it could?

One of the simplest and still most powerful actions in user interfaces is the rollover. On most web browsers today, simply holding your mouse pointer over an active object can show a description (if it is provided)—linked text default shows the URL behind the link or a description, if provided. Similarly, other objects like videos, images and so on can do the same. Also in the same vein, is to click on text and have some info or action to appear. Some sites use layered information to pop up in bubbles if you do so. You may have seen it on Apple computers: a click on a word can bring up a dictionary description.

The design is simple enough, but it has not been applied as simply and thoroughly as I have seen in Nimble, a cloud-based SocialCRM system for small and medium business. In their latest announcement, Nimble has released their Smart Contacts app for web browsers and mobile devices. You can now rollover-lookup anyone or any company, search across the web for any records related to that identity and build a profile. If you already know the person, it pulls together the existing CRM record. If you don’t, you can save that identity with a single click.

For example, Figure 1 shows how the widget (on the right edge) pulled together the complete public details on an executive based on only their Twitter identity. As a sales tool, this radically simplifies the amount of searches a salesperson has to perform to learn more about any prospect.

Nimble-Widget

Fig. 1. The Nimble widget for SocialCRM appears on the right edge (source: Nimble)

This works on any bit of text, not just an existing social site or a hyperlinked name to your existing CRM records. You simply click on the word, or hover over the text name you are interested in, and the profile appears in the Nimble widget window. This is instant access to records, wherever you are, whatever software, system or web page you are looking at. You can also update the information in the widget just as easily.

This achieves several things. Sales people and CRM users no longer have to live in their CRM, or keep it open all the time. If you are an email user, it can help you look up profiles on any of the names attached to a message. It can be in the header, or just written in the body of the message.

More so, there is no need to think about if the site or software is integrated with your company CRM to keep track. Obviously, it would require you to use Nimble’s software as the CRM, but there simply isn’t a need to integrate each new company site, or web app that IT deploys. It makes the life of IT departments easier—actually with this cloud model, it makes the IT department irrelevant.

As a social CRM system, it builds profiles using a combination of public social information, or if you have your social profiles (LinkedInFacebook, etc.) linked, the data of your connections or can search through your social profile. So, when I search on any name, it can examine Twitter, LinkedIn, my email and other sites to build an aggregate of all the data available to me about the person. Plus, it also shows each interaction I have had with the person. Beyond, that if anyone from company is also part of the system and chooses to share, you can also see whom from your company may know or has communicated with the target person.

When looking up companies, Nimble also brings in corporate information from Angel List and other public databases. From the company profile (see Figure 2), you can see fields such as the number of employees, industry, revenues, headquarters location and other such information.

Nimble-Widget-2

Fig. 2. Looking up a profile of an organization shows different info than people

Aggregated profiles are not new. I wrote about them as a model in my 2010 book,Social Networking for Business. But what strikes me is the super simplicity of the Nimble widget in being able to do these lookups whenever and wherever you want.

At one time, sales, marketing, support and service roles were the primary ones to work with customers. But today, this is a possible task for practically anyone in the organization. Companies are applying the power of networks to reach beyond their traditional channels. To do so, we need a system as simple yet powerful as what Nimble has created so that any member of your organization can work with your ecosystem of customers, partners and suppliers.

Rawn Shah is Director of Rising Edge, an independent consultancy. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Nimble’s new Smart Contacts App builds your contact database 'automagically'
Dec 30, 2015
Nimble’s new Smart Contacts App builds your contact database 'automagically'
Nimble’s new Smart Contacts App builds your contact database 'automagically'
Dec 30, 2015

Nimble’s new Smart Contacts App builds your contact database 'automagically'

Annlee Ellingson Staff WriterL.A. Biz

Let’s say you've got a business meeting with a new contact. What do you do first? You log on to Google, right? Check out his or her LinkedIn profile, Twitter, maybe Facebook, company website, any articles that might come up. And then you painstakingly add all that info — name, company, title, location, experience, education, whom you might know in common, what interest you might share, etc. — to your database.

What if your computer could do all that for you?

Nimble in LinkedIn

That’s where Nimble comes in. The Santa Monica, Calif., startup’s platform combines traditional customer relationship management (CRM), classic contact management and social media into one “social selling solution.” And this week, the company has launched its new Smart Contacts App for Gmail, Chrome, Safari and Firefox that automatically builds live contact and company profiles on anyone in your inbox and every app in your browser.

“CRMs fail due to lack of use,” CEO Jon Ferrara said in a statement. “Nobody wants to constantly be in their CRM, manually editing and updating contact records.”

Nimble automatically builds your CRM database by gathering existing contact info and company records and linking them with your emails, calendar and social interactions. Now the Smart Contacts App builds live profiles on the fly: Just hover your mouse over the Nimble sidebar on a web page to view personal details like who people are, where they work and where they’re from, and company details like the number of employees, year founded, revenue, industry, CEO details, location, social profiles, contact info, etc. Then just click to add the info to your database.

In addition, the app automatically suggests additional ways to connect such as through Twitter, AngelList, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Fourscquare, Instagram and more. And the system automatically updates data when necessary. There is also space to log tags, notes and tasks to follow up on at a later date.

“Nimble is the first relationship platform that automatically creates records with rich insights and logs all email and social interactions,” added Ferrara. “With the release of our new Smart Contacts App, we are enabling our customers to bring their relationships with them everywhere they work.”

Five Key Enterprise Social Network Apps
Dec 30, 2015
Five Key Enterprise Social Network Apps
Five Key Enterprise Social Network Apps
Dec 30, 2015

Five Key Enterprise Social Network Apps

From Yammer to LinkedIn, here are five essential social network apps for every budding entrepreneur and successful SME owner

By Jenny Hirschkorn

Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are not only fun but they have transformed the business landscape and brought SMEs the sort of opportunities they could only have dreamed of a decade ago.

Equally important are the social network apps geared specifically towards enterprise. Here we outline five of the best.

Yammer is a private social network that allows you to connect your workforce, take your internal communications to a new level and introduce new ways of working. You’ll be able to easily find and switch between your project groups and keep up with announcements, conversations and private messages. The app lets you continue participating from wherever you are without missing a beat.

You can also invite external project members such as customers and vendors into Yammer conversations so they can provide input and access the information they need.

Nimble

Dating back as it does to the Nineties, customer relationship management is the Daddy of social networking. The Nimble app, which works in conjunction with the Desktop application, gives you intelligent insights about your contacts, meaning you’ll be better prepared for meetings and conversations.

Jon Ferrara, Nimble’s founder, explains: “The main reason why CRM systems fail is lack of use. People don't like to go to their CRM to look people up, log notes, and so on. Nimble solves this problem by automatically updating itself. It builds the database for you by gathering existing contact and company records and linking them with your team's emails, calendar events and social interactions.”

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, says Mark Saxby, director of social media agency Status Social, is all about building relationships and getting past the gatekeepers to the decision makers, which makes it a very powerful business-to-business tool. “If you are aiming your product or services at other businesses, it is by far the strongest network,” he says. “People buy from people, so it’s the personal profiles on LinkedIn that are so vital.”

However, he advises that to make it really effective you need to be posting at least once, and preferably two or three times a day. “That’s where the app comes in so useful, because it lets you keep your contacts informed about what you’re doing wherever you are and, as it also lets you take photos to post directly on your LinkedIn page, you can have a great image alongside your message.”

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media management tool that will help you manage your social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can schedule messages, engage your audiences and measure your return on investment.

The app integrates seamlessly with the Hootsuite dashboard, letting you leave the office and take your social media management on the road, saving time as you work from anywhere with the powerful tools that you’re familiar with. Hootsuite Pro is specially aimed at SMEs, and you can try it free for 30 days before you buy.

Zoho Connect

Zoho Connect is an enterprise social network that connects people, ideas and information, allowing you to post messages, add comments, share files and hold discussions, all in real time.

There is also a custom app builder that has an easy drag-and-drop interface, meaning anybody in the organisation can build apps, regardless of their level of technical expertise. The mobile app, which works as an extension of the desktop application, is built to help you take your business along wherever you go.

Nimble Named a 2015 Hot Vendor in Social Selling By Aragon Research
Dec 30, 2015
Nimble Named a 2015 Hot Vendor in Social Selling By Aragon Research
Nimble Named a 2015 Hot Vendor in Social Selling By Aragon Research
Dec 30, 2015

Nimble Named a 2015 Hot Vendor in Social Selling By Aragon Research

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

July 29, 2015–Nimble, the Simply Smarter Social Selling CRM, was named a 2015 Hot Vendor in Social Selling by Aragon Research, a technology-focused research and advisory firm committed to providing thought leading strategic research and trusted advisory services.

Aragon Research has released their top 2015 Hot Vendor in Social Selling. Nimble was one of three Hot Vendors in Social Selling highlighted in the report. Each year, Aragon Research selects Hot Vendors across multiple markets that are doing something truly new or different. They may have new technology that expands capabilities, a new strategy that opens up markets, or just a new way of doing business that makes them worth evaluating.

“Connecting and engaging with prospects in today’s environment is more challenging than ever due in part to the overload of calls and emails,” said Jim Lundy, CEO and lead analyst at Aragon Research. Lundy continued, “Business Leaders are continually on the hunt for new innovative products and services to help their teams engage customers and our 2015 Hot Vendors in Social Selling are making an impact and a difference in their respective markets.”

“The Aragon Research Hot Vendor in Social Selling recognition is a strong validation of the innovation and value Nimble provides its customers,” said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble. “We believe that you shouldn’t have to work for your CRM so we built the first relationship manager that works for you, everywhere you work. We are grateful that Nimble continues to be recognized for its pioneering leadership in relationship management by a majority of analysts and review sites, including this rating by Aragon Research.”

Nimble – The Highest Rated CRM for Social Selling

The Aragon Research Hot Vendor in Social Selling recognition follows Nimble’s recent top ratings including the King of CRM by GetApp, the CRM that delivers the most bang for the buck and #1 CRM in Customer Satisfaction and CRM Market Leader by G2 Crowd. Nimble was also recognized previously as #1 Sales Intelligence in Customer Satisfaction and overall High Performer. Nimble has also been named #1 CRM in numerous other reviews including PC Magazines Editors choice, Codie Award winner for Best Relationship Manager and selected as a Gartner Cool Vendor.

The Simply Smarter Social Selling CRM that Works for You, Everywhere You Work

Nimble invented intelligence relationship management by blending traditional CRM with social sales relationship insights to enable business professionals to effectively engage social customers. It can be used as a company’s social CRM or the Nimble Smart Contacts App can add tremendous value to existing CRM, sales and marketing products.

Resources

Read more details on – Nimble Blog

See how Nimble works – Nimble Demo Video

About Nimble, Inc. – Nimble has reimagined customer relationship management by introducing the world’s first intelligent relationship platform that takes the work out of CRM. It automatically pulls contact profiles, email conversations, and social signals into one simple place so you can effectively engage them everywhere you work.

Nimble combines the power of traditional CRM, smart relationship management, and social media into a powerful web-based social selling solution.

For more information, visit www.nimble.com.
Nimble can also be found on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

About Aragon Research – a technology focused research and advisory firm committed to providing thought leading strategic research and trusted advisory services. Aragon Research does not endorse vendors, or their products or services that are referenced in its research publications and does not advise users to select those vendors that are rated the highest. Aragon Research publications consist of the opinions of Aragon Research and Advisory Services organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Aragon Research provides its research publications and the information contained in them “AS IS,” without warranty of any kind.

29 Favorite Business Tech Tools of Entrepreneurs in 2015
Dec 30, 2015
29 Favorite Business Tech Tools of Entrepreneurs in 2015
29 Favorite Business Tech Tools of Entrepreneurs in 2015
Dec 30, 2015

29 Favorite Business Tech Tools of Entrepreneurs in 2015

For small-business owners these advances are not just a matter of convenience, but a way to save money, market their services, engage with and retain customers.
BY TRAVIS WRIGHT, Chief marketing technologist, CCP Global @teedubya

These days it seems like there's a better way to do almost anything. Whether you're sharing documents and pictures, managing email, or even updating your Facebook and Twitter accounts, chances are there's a way you could do it more efficiently. This capability, of course, is largely due to technology -- specifically, on your mobile phone or tablet.

Architects, for instance, may have once had to send a special courier to deliver blueprints across town. Now they make deliveries of large documents on their phone while lying in bed at night. For small-business owners, these advances are not just a matter of convenience, but a way to save money, market their services, and retain customers.

So what are their favorite tech tools in 2015?

The team at SurePayroll, a small-business payroll provider, reached out to me via Twitter to share that they had recently surveyed over 350 small-business owners nationwide to find out which tools they use for email marketing, cloud storage, social media, productivity, and more.

The survey found that 78% of small-business owners have had to make changes to their businesses to account for a more online, technology-based marketplace. That tells you just how pervasive tech has become in our lives. Everything is in the cloud, man. So check out the following rankings by category of small-business owners' favorite tech tools:

Organization and productivity apps:

  1. Google Drive lets you store and access your files anywhere--on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go.
  2. Evernote is a suite of software and services that allow users to capture, organize, and find information across multiple platforms.
  3. Tripit is a trip planner that enables users to create a master travel itinerary and provide them with online and mobile access.
  4. Trello is a visual project management system.
  5. Expensify is a financial services startup that provides an online expense management service for customers worldwide.
  6. Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams improve communication, organization, and collaboration.
  7. Basecamp is a project management tool that offers a variety of customer service options.

Cloud storage tools:

  1. Dropbox provides a home for users' most-important information.
  2. Google Drive lets you store and access your files anywhere -- on the Web, on your hard drive, or on the go.
  3. Apple's iCloud is a mobile- and Web-based application that enables its users to store their information.
  4. Microsoft OneDrive is a storage application that enables users to store and share photos, videos, documents, and more.
  5. Box is a file-sharing and cloud-content management service offering unlimited storage, custom branding, and administrative controls.

Customer-relations management tools:

  1. Salesforce is a global cloud computing company that develops CRM solutions and provides business software on a subscription basis.
  2. Act! is the No. 1-selling contact and customer manager, enabling small businesses and sales teams to organize customer details, increase productivity, and drive results.
  3. SugarCRM enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most innovative CRM solution in the market.
  4. Nimble is a Web- and SaaS-based platform providing small businesses with high-end CRM systems combined with social media.
  5. Zoho offers a suite of business, collaboration, and productivity applications including Customer Support, CRM, and App Creator.

Email marketing / marketing automation tools:

  1. Constant Contact provides email, social media ,and event marketing tools to help small businesses grow their customer base.
  2. MailChimp is an email marketing service that helps businesses with newsletters, automated messages, and targeted campaigns.
  3. Marketo develops marketing automation software that provides inbound marketing, social marketing, CRM, and related services.
  4. Pardot is an SaaS-based marketing automation application enabling marketers to create, deploy, and manage online promotion campaigns.
  5. Emfluence lets you create, deploy, and track multi-channel online marketing campaigns from one place. The Emfluence marketing platform offers complete command of your campaign execution.
  6. InfusionSoft provides sales and marketing automation software for small businesses that combines CRM, email marketing, and e-commerce.

Social media and content tools:

  1. Hootsuite is the most popular platform for managing social media, used by more than 10 million people around the globe.
  2. TweetDeck is a Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engaging on Web and mobile devices.
  3. Sprout Social provides a platform for businesses to manage social media engagement, publishing, and analytics.
  4. Hearsay Social helps financial-services teams grow their business on social.
  5. Buffer App helps users share social media content by scheduling online posts throughout the day.
  6. ScribbleLive is the leading content marketing platform. It grows your upper funnel by combining big data insights with workflow technology.

There are many valuable tools out there to help the small-business entrepreneur be better organized and more productive overall. Do you have a favorite tool that was missed? List it below in our comments.

9 Sales Apps to Help Small Businesses Sell Better
Dec 29, 2015
9 Sales Apps to Help Small Businesses Sell Better
9 Sales Apps to Help Small Businesses Sell Better
Dec 29, 2015

9 Sales Apps to Help Small Businesses Sell Better

Aug 11, 2015 by Matt Mansfield



Sales are EVERYTHING!

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.30.58 AM

Nothing describes selling today better than that old standby phrase, “Knowledge is power.”

That’s because the best way for small businesses to sell better is to get to know their prospects and customers better.

It’s almost like you need to know what those prospects and customers want and when they want it before they do. You don’t need to be psychic to do this, however. All you have to do is mine your customer and prospect data, both historical and real-time.

Unfortunately, thanks to the sheer number of data points including emails, social media updates, transactions and hundreds of other behavioral touch points, just managing your customer data — let alone leveraging it — can quickly become an overwhelming task.

Luckily, there are many fine solutions available to help you navigate and leverage this deluge of customer data successfully. We’ve gathered a list of some of the best sales apps below so get your sales hat on and take a look.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solutions

Since we’re talking about customer and prospect data here, it’s no surprise that we’re focusing on CRM solutions first because, well, that’s where most of the data you’ve collected on your customers and prospects lives.

This is a huge category so we’ve narrowed our list down to the two types of CRM solutions that help small businesses sell better: Sales-Focused CRMs and Social CRMs.

Sales-Focused Customer Relationship Management Systems

These CRM solutions were designed around the sales process. Combining basic CRM features with selling know-how, they’ll help you streamline your sales pipeline by enabling you to focus on the customers and prospects that are most likely to buy right now.

Note: all of the solutions in this section offer integration with many of the popular tools and solutions in use today. So even if you don’t need a new CRM, you can take advantage of the sales process features and functionality found within these solutions.

In addition, each solution offers mobile sales apps so you can use them on the go.

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a CRM with a laser focus on sales.

Every feature aims to help you stay on top of your sales process — from the sales pipeline view shown below, to sales timelines that tell you which deals to focus on that month. It includes robust sales reporting and easy integration with your email system via a blind BCC.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.31.11 AM

PipelineDeals

PipelineDeals is a robust CRM that offers a lot under the hood including sales automation, team collaboration and lots of reporting. One of their handier features is an API that enables you to collect leads from your website in real-time.

Pipeliner

Pipeliner focuses on the sales process end-to-end from high-level sales stages to the low-level sales activities required to advance to the next stage.

Pipeliner differs from the other two solutions in this section because it offers you the ability to work offline on both your desktop/laptop computer as well as your mobile devices. Once you reconnect, your data is synched up to the cloud.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.31.19 AM

Social Customer Relationship Management Systems

While the two solutions listed below do offer tools to help small businesses sell better, their strong, often automatic (goodbye data entry!), customer data gathering capabilities are what earned them a spot on our list.

The area where both tools shine most is in the way they consolidate customer information from many sources into one spot. We’re talking email and social media as well as the more traditional CRM capability to capture your notes and reminders for each contact.

After all, how can you leverage data from your prospects and customers if you can’t collect it?

Nimble

Nimble automatically collects every one of your prospect’s emails and social media updates (from many, many platforms) in one spot and then, using its own rules engine, it learns what’s important to you so you can cut through the noise and get right to the heart of what your prospects and customers are looking for.

Once you discover an opportunity it can be managed using the deals dashboard:

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.31.33 AM

Batchbook

Batchbook collects both email and tweets from your prospects to give you a big picture view of what’s on their mind. When it comes to selling, they offer a sales pipeline view that helps you manage potential deals: 

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.31.43 AM

Sales and Marketing Automation Solutions

Once you’ve collected and mined the data from your customers, the next logical step is to act on what you’ve discovered.

Like data collection, this can become a very time-consuming task that quickly eats away at your schedule. However, taking action is required to close sales so how can you act while also protecting your precious time?

You guessed it — automation. The apps listed below will help you automate many parts of your sales process based on triggers that are driven by the data mined from your customer relationship management system. In fact, they can even serve as a CRM, too.

The only downside to these solutions is their price — they’ll cost you more than the solutions we’ve covered so far.  However, when it comes to automating your sales process, paying a bit more is often worth the expense.

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is an all-in-one sales and marketing solution. From prospect management to in-depth automation and ecommerce capabilities, this is a very robust offering.

Standout features include the intuitive drag-and-drop campaign system for automating tasks based on many types of triggers, both on site and off. Also, there’s the ability to score your leads based on their behavior — the higher the score, the stronger the lead. 

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.31.49 AM

HubSpot

Another all-in-one sales and marketing solution, HubSpot‘s strength is inbound marketing using content. Like Infusionsoft, it offers robust automation and with its free HubSpot CRM, it offers leads management as well.

HubSpot differs from Infusionsoft in that it can host many of your website’s pages. This leads to some super useful features such as alerts that trigger based on a lead’s action on your site:

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.32.00 AM

Contactually

Contactually focuses on keeping the relationships with your contacts alive. Offering automation, sales process management and the usual bevy of reports, the solution is smaller in scale than the previous two yet more focused for that.

Connecting It All

Zapier

Sometimes you can’t find everything you need in one app or solution. That’s whereZapier comes in. Using “Zaps” you can automate the connections between solutions. For example, the Zap below will add a new Twitter follower to Pipedrive’s “New Activity” stream:

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.32.07 AM

Conclusion

While the sales apps above may not show you the future, they will help you discover which prospects and customers you should focus your sales efforts on first, and when.

That knowledge is truly the key to helping your small business sell better.

5 Top SMB Social Network Apps
Dec 29, 2015
5 Top SMB Social Network Apps
5 Top SMB Social Network Apps
Dec 29, 2015

5 Top SMB Social Network Apps

In association with The Telegraph
Posted by Helen_HP  

Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are not only fun but they have transformed the business landscape and brought SMEs the sort of opportunities they could only have dreamed of a decade ago.

For SMBs social network apps geared specifically towards enterprise are now equally important. We share the five essential social network apps, every SMB needs to know about.

01. Yammer

Yammer is a private social network that allows you to connect your workforce, take your internal communications to a new level and introduce new ways of working. You’ll be able to easily find and switch between your project groups and keep up with announcements, conversations and private messages. The app lets you continue participating from wherever you are without missing a beat.

You can also invite external project members such as customers and vendors into Yammer conversations so they can provide input and access the information they need.

02. Nimble

 
Dating back as it does to the Nineties, customer relationship management is the Daddy of social networking. The Nimble app, which works in conjunction with the Desktop application, gives you intelligent insights about your contacts, meaning you’ll be better prepared for meetings and conversations.

Jon Ferrara, Nimble’s founder, explains: “The main reason why CRM systems fail is lack of use. People don't like to go to their CRM to look people up, log notes, and so on. Nimble solves this problem by automatically updating itself. It builds the database for you by gathering existing contact and company records and linking them with your team's emails, calendar events and social interactions.”

03. LinkedIn

LinkedIn, says Mark Saxby, director of social media agency Status Social, is all about building relationships and getting past the gatekeepers to the decision makers, which makes it a very powerful business-to-business tool. “If you are aiming your product or services at other businesses, it is by far the strongest network,” he says. “People buy from people, so it’s the personal profiles on LinkedIn that are so vital.”

However, he advises that to make it really effective you need to be posting at least once, and preferably two or three times a day. “That’s where the app comes in so useful, because it lets you keep your contacts informed about what you’re doing wherever you are and, as it also lets you take photos to post directly on your LinkedIn page, you can have a great image alongside your message.”

04. Hootsuite

 Hootsuite is a social media management tool that will help you manage your social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can schedule messages, engage your audiences and measure your return on investment.

The app integrates seamlessly with the Hootsuite dashboard, letting you leave the office and take your social media management on the road, saving time as you work from anywhere with the powerful tools that you’re familiar with. Hootsuite Pro is specially aimed at SMEs, and you can try it free for 30 days before you buy.

05. Zoho Connect

Zoho Connect is an enterprise social network that connects people, ideas and information, allowing you to post messages, add comments, share files and hold discussions, all in real time.

There is also a custom app builder that has an easy drag-and-drop interface, meaning anybody in the organisation can build apps, regardless of their level of technical expertise. The mobile app, which works as an extension of the desktop application, is built to help you take your business along wherever you go.

 

G2 Crowd publishes Spring 2015 Rankings of The Best CRM Software, Based On More Than 2,500 User Reviews
Dec 29, 2015
G2 Crowd publishes Spring 2015 Rankings of The Best CRM Software, Based On More Than 2,500 User Reviews
G2 Crowd publishes Spring 2015 Rankings of The Best CRM Software, Based On More Than 2,500 User Reviews
Dec 29, 2015

G2 Crowd publishes Spring 2015 Rankings of The Best CRM Software, Based On More Than 2,500 User Reviews

Salesforce CRM, Nimble CRM, Zoho CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM earn Leader status while Nimble CRM and Workbooks.com tie for top overall satisfaction scores in crowdsourced report

PR Newswire

G2 CrowdMay 5, 2015 8:37 AM

CHICAGO, May 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The updated Grid℠ report for CRM software, published today by business software review siteG2 Crowd, ranks 35 products to help purchasers in their selections.

Photo -http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150505/213847

The Spring 2015 report is based on data from more than 2,500 reviews written by business and marketing professionals.

The Grid℠ was created from G2 Crowd's software review platform, which compiles customer satisfaction as reported by users, along with vendor market presence as determined from public and social data, to rank products.

The Spring 2015 report also includes Grids℠ representing reviewer company size segments: Small Business (50 or fewer employees), Mid-Market (51 to 1,000 employees) and Enterprise (1,001+ employees).

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems enable companies to track and manage all customer interactions across the customer lifecycle from lead to order to support in one master system of record. CRM software suites typically provide sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation features, customer support features and a unifying database to manage customer data and customer-facing applications.

To qualify as a Leader, a product must receive a high customer satisfaction score and have substantial market presence. Salesforce CRMMicrosoft Dynamics CRMZoho CRM and Nimble CRM were named Leaders. High Performers have high customer satisfaction scores with a smaller market presence than Leaders. SalesnetPipelineDealsProphet CRMWorkbooks.com,Base CRMContactuallyPipedriveApptivoNutshellPipeliner CRMWORK[etc.]GreenRope,InfoFlo SoftwareCiviCRMMembrainReally Simple Systems and Relenta CRM were named High Performers. Nimble CRM and Workbooks.com earned the highest overall customer satisfaction scores.

The Grid℠ for CRM (Small Business) featured Salesforce CRM, Zoho CRM, Nimble CRM, PipelineDeals, Salesnet, Prophet CRM, Base CRM, Workbooks.com and Contactually as Leaders. Pipedrive, WORK[etc.], Pipeliner CRM, Nutshell, InfoFlo Software, CiviCRM, Membrain and Relenta CRM were named High Performers for this segment.

The Grid℠ for CRM (Mid-Market) featured Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Zoho CRM as Leaders. Salesnet, PipelineDeals, Nimble CRM, Prophet CRM and Workbooks.com were named High Performers for this segment.

The Grid℠ for CRM (Enterprise) featured Salesforce CRM as the only Leader. Nimble CRM, PipelineDeals, Workbooks.com and Prophet were named High Performers for this segment.

Across all CRM systems, reviewers reported the product they use meets their requirements at an average rate of 81%, and on average reviewers said they were 80% likely to recommend the product they use. Products appearing on the CRM Grid℠ for the first time were Prophet CRM, Membrain, Relenta CRM, Really Simple Systems, GreenRope, Apptivo, vtiger, and Insightly.

In addition, the average reported implementation time across all CRM products was 2.2 months, and the average payback period in which users received a positive ROI was eight months.

Some highlights from the CRM reviews on G2 Crowd:

"Salesforce [CRM] allows for all team members to collaborate and track clients in one clean arena. The biggest advantage is the ability to start tracking prospects and leads and turn them into closed business. We are able to watch the sales cycle from beginning to end."

Maxx Krueger, Business Development & Analytics at Infegy

"[Microsoft Dynamics CRM is] very user friendly. You don't have to be a techie to figure out how to customize and tailor the solution to your specific needs and requirements. For example, it's mainly a CRM geared toward sales professionals. I was able to fully customize the solution to fit our real estate and acquisition needs."

Across all CRM systems, reviewers reported the product they use meets their requirements at an average rate of 81%, and on average reviewers said they were 80% likely to recommend the product they use. Products appearing on the CRM Grid℠ for the first time were Prophet CRM, Membrain, Relenta CRM, Really Simple Systems, GreenRope, Apptivo, vtiger, and Insightly.

In addition, the average reported implementation time across all CRM products was 2.2 months, and the average payback period in which users received a positive ROI was eight months.

Some highlights from the CRM reviews on G2 Crowd:

"Salesforce [CRM] allows for all team members to collaborate and track clients in one clean arena. The biggest advantage is the ability to start tracking prospects and leads and turn them into closed business. We are able to watch the sales cycle from beginning to end."

Maxx Krueger, Business Development & Analytics at Infegy

"[Microsoft Dynamics CRM is] very user friendly. You don't have to be a techie to figure out how to customize and tailor the solution to your specific needs and requirements. For example, it's mainly a CRM geared toward sales professionals. I was able to fully customize the solution to fit our real estate and acquisition needs."

Jasmine Polson, Associate at Avison Young Commercial Real Estate

"All companies need people[,] but what small companies...need is the ability to connect efficiently, [and] establish information with a...CRM that is intuitive and reliable. Zoho works! You can build relationships, set tasks, events and follow ups easily...It's great."

Paula Sharratt, Business Development at Central High Rise

[Nimble CRM] is easy to set up. I uploaded [more than 3,500] contacts and 30 deals on day one and was completely up and running [two] days later. The tool is easy to navigate and quickly link deals to contacts and [vice] versa.

Luke Wissmann, VP of Sales and Business Development at OceanGate

Of the more than 180 software vendors listed in G2 Crowd's CRM category, the 35 ranked products each received 10 or more reviews to qualify for inclusion on the Grid℠.

Satisfaction rankings are generated from the user reviews, and market presence is calculated from vendor size, market share, and social impact. Based on a combination of these scores, each software solution is categorized as a Leader, High Performer, Contender, or Niche.

Premium research access can be purchased at G2Crowd.com/categories/crm. These offer the original data for filtering and weighting, as well as individual profiles of platforms with at least 20 helpful positive and negative CRM platform reviews, detailed company information, user satisfaction ratings, feature scores and customer metrics. Future refreshes of the Grid℠ will provide updated rankings based on the latest reviews and social data.

Be sure to check out the new Grid℠ for the best CRM software and subscribe to the premium research.

About G2 Crowd, Inc.

G2 Crowd, the world's leading business software review platform, leverages its roughly 30,000 user reviews to drive better purchasing decisions. Technology buyers, investors, and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software based on peer reviews and synthesized social data. Co-founded by the founder and former executives from SaaS leader BigMachines and backed by more than $4.5 million in capital, G2 Crowd aims to bring authenticity and transparency to business technology research. For more information, go to G2Crowd.com.

Media Contact: Tristram Clark, G2 Crowd, 415 281 7163, tris.clark@blancandotus.com

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

Nimble Partners with Owler to Build a Simply Smarter CRM
Dec 29, 2015
Nimble Partners with Owler to Build a Simply Smarter CRM
Nimble Partners with Owler to Build a Simply Smarter CRM
Dec 29, 2015

Nimble Partners with Owler to Build a Simply Smarter CRM

SAN MATEO, Calif. & SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Owler and Nimble are pleased to announce a strategic partnership unifying two emerging forces in competitive and business intelligence. Both organizations strive to bring users increasingly relevant, targeted and actionable business information.

In this new partnership, content from Owler’s company profiles (powered by Owler’s Competitive Graph) will enrich the depth and breadth of the company insights delivered in theNimble Smart Contacts App browser Plugin.

Owler’s database of over 15 million company profiles provides Nimble users with employee, revenue, CEO and industry information. The Owler integration enables Nimble users to access a robust set of company information everywhere they work including social networks, other sales and marketing apps and even on any company website.

Owler’s CEO, Jim Fowler, believes the Competitive Graph will have a massive impact on CRM systems and the business world. “Data drives businesses,” says Fowler. “Having the most accurate competitive data is a requirement for success.”

“Access to immediate relevant and actionable data is key to effective engagement in business,” said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble. “Our Nimble Smart Contacts App delivers Live Contact Profiles on anyone anywhere and now we can deliver Live Company Profiles with the integration of Owler company profiles.”

We use Nimble to identify and engage people and companies that can help us grow our business,” said Chris Herbert, CMO/Co-founder of Mi6 Agency. “The addition of Owler company profiles in Nimble helps us narrow our focus on the right customer at the right time.”

Nimble and Owler working together - VideoScreenshots

ABOUT NIMBLE – Nimble has pioneered simply smarter social relationship management for individuals and teams to intelligently nurture relationships across email and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It can be used as a company’s CRM or to add social sales intelligence to existing sales and marketing products with the Nimble Smart Contacts App. Nimble was founded by Jon Ferrara, the co-founder of GoldMine and pioneer of SFA, CRM, Relationship Management and Marketing Automation. For more information, visitwww.nimble.com. Nimble can be found on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn,Vimeo and Instagram.

ABOUT OWLER - Owler is a free competitive intelligence service that provides its members real-time insights into the changes at their competitors, clients, and partners with a series of customized and automated reports. Owler was started by serial entrepreneur and crowdsourcing pioneer Jim Fowler. Jim previously founded Jigsaw, which was sold to Salesforce in 2010 and was considered one of the most successful exits that year at $175 million. Owler formally launched its platform June 25th, 2014. Owler is backed by Norwest Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures.

Contact:
Owler
Brett Miller, 650-242-9253
Director of Product Marketing
bmiller@owler.com
Everything That Happens After a Deal Is Made on 'Shark Tank,' According to Mark Cuban
Dec 29, 2015
Everything That Happens After a Deal Is Made on 'Shark Tank,' According to Mark Cuban
Everything That Happens After a Deal Is Made on 'Shark Tank,' According to Mark Cuban
Dec 29, 2015

Everything That Happens After a Deal Is Made on 'Shark Tank,' According to Mark Cuban

The handshake deal that happens on the show isn't the end of the story.

BY RICHARD FELONI Business Insider
Mark Cuban
CREDIT: Getty Images

For the past seven seasons, hundreds of entrepreneurs have appeared on the Shark Tank set in hopes of scoring a deal with a celebrity investor like Mark Cuban.

Some of these businesses, like horror-entertainment company Ten Thirty One Productions, go on to approach or exceed $1 million in annual profits within just a couple years of appearing on the show.

Cuban explained to Business Insider why getting a Shark like him can be so valuable to a company, and what the process following a successful pitch on the show looks like.

First of all, the handshake deal that happens on the show isn't anything binding. Filming for each season is split over the start of the summer and the start of the fall. After each round, the Sharks and their teams do due diligence on each of the companies to ensure that everything within the company is how it was represented in the pitch room.

There are times when the numbers check out, but the entrepreneurs decide they no longer want to make a deal, such as when the founders of evREwares decided they weren't actually willing to sell 100 percent of their struggling company to Cuban for $200,000, as they agreed to do in season six.

Ultimately, said Cuban's fellow Shark Daymond John, about 80 percent of season seven's deals made on camera closed, which is up from about 60 percent to 70 percent in past seasons.

Each of the six Shark Tank investors have different management styles, but the main reason they typically ask for high-equity deals is that they are more hands-on than a typical venture-capital firm or angel investor.

Cuban said he and the Dallas-based Mark Cuban Cos. team "often take over their accounting, website, packaging design, and more."

Mark Cuban Cos. also optimizes a company's online presence through free software deals with business partners. Cuban's Shark Tank companies host their sites on Rackspace's servers and use customer-relationship management software from Nimble to store communications and monitor site analytics.

Cuban boosts his new companies' sales by assigning them seasoned marketers from his team and arranging distribution deals with partners like Amazon Exclusives and Brookstone.

"We realize that by taking the back office off their hands, they can focus on core competencies," Cuban said.

At last week's Wall Street Journal WSJD Live conference, Cuban said, "Of the 71 startups that I've invested in through Shark Tank, two have gone out of business, three are so stupid they don't know they're out of business, and then probably 50, give or take, are in growth."

He told Business Insider that he has "a bunch" of companies making more than half a million in annual profits, and a few that have surpassed a million. He mentioned that some of his best-performing companies, besides Ten Thirty One Productions, include Rugged ManiacThe Red Dress BoutiqueTower Paddle BoardsGameday CoutureSimple Sugars, and Q-Flex.

We recently asked the other Sharks how they make deals on the show and what happens once the cameras stop rolling. You can find their answers below.

4 Technology Trends for Small Business
Dec 29, 2015
4 Technology Trends for Small Business
4 Technology Trends for Small Business
Dec 29, 2015

4 Technology Trends for Small Business

As a small business owner, it's not always top priority to keep up with the "next big thing." You have a business to build, finances to manage, employees to retain and customers to attract, meaning you don't have time to be in the loop about the latest gizmos and hottest technology trends.

It may be easy for business owners to think this way, but that doesn't mean it's a smart business move. One of the most challenging disadvantages that small businesses have is that you don't have the funds and manpower that giant corporations often do. Not keeping up with the latest business tech trends can put you even further behind since these solutions are capable of organizing and analyzing operations so that you can focus on sales and growth.

Below are four tech trends that will contribute to that growth for small businesses.

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

We all know, communication makes or breaks all relationships. For small businesses, the key to selling faster and better is to understand and communicate effectively with your consumers, which sounds simple, but is actually quite difficult when you factor in all of the other priorities you have. It's easy to miss out on relevant information, which leads to a miss opportunities.

This is exactly why it's so necessary for small businesses to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) software to keep track of the interactions and gain better access to customer data. Many CRM systems are affordable and helpful in the sense that all of the information you need for better customer relationships is all in one place. Nonetheless, 71 percent out of the 1,088 business owners and executives surveyed for the Wasp Barcode Technologies State of Small Business Reportadmitted that they don't use any kind of CRM software. This is a bad business move as CRM systems can maximize financial opportunities, allow businesses better access to customer information, manage sales pipelines and sales representatives, and analyze performance and business metrics.

A few recommended CRM softwares are as followed:

Salesforce is the world's number one CRM solution, according to its website, and is used by more than 100,000 organizations worldwide. The software promises to effectively track all sales activity as well as "every lead, opportunity, and customer" so business owners can "spend more time selling to the right people, armed with their personal marketing data and social insights." Salesforce CRM is completely mobile so you can manage your relationships at your office or while on the road.

Insightly offers social CRM which uses social media integration to detect every social media profile related to a specific email address. This allows businesses to learn more about their customers through their public profile information on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, FourSquare, Picasa, Klout, among others.

Zoho CRM takes visitor data from your website and inputs it into the CRM system, enabling small businesses to easily turn leads into sales. More than 50,000 customers have chosen Zoho for their CRM solution.

Nimble CRM focuses on relationship intelligence to "turn communities into customers" by "auto-magically [pulling] contact profiles, email conversations and social signals into one simple place so you can effectively engage them everywhere you work."

Due Due has more than 70,000 customers using them for an online invoicing and CRM solution. With their easy solution, turn website traffic into a great source of leads for your business.

  1. Network Security

Technology has changed the way we do business, but it's also made us more vulnerable to cyber crimes. Those at the front lines of this danger are small businesses; 60 percent of all cyber crimes are actually directed at small establishments, according to a recent McAfee survey. In fact, the same survey found that only 9% of small businesses have mobile security, less than half have any kind of email security, and only half protect their Internet data. Eighty percent of small businesses fail to have any kind of data encryption for network security.

Considering the numerous incidents of data breaches occurred in recent years, small businesses should make cyber security a top priority. The last thing a business wants is to have their customer credit card information stolen or private messages made public by cybercrooks.

In 2015, small businesses that have not made network security a priority should take the leap to protect both their company and customers. Don't wait for something unfortunate to happen before taking action since it takes much longer to win back trust after you've lost it.

  1. Business intelligence tools

Want to get to the "aha" moment quicker everyday? Business Intelligence (BI) tools is your answer with its ability to offer real-time access to data and analysis that so often leads to quicker intelligence and a higher level of informed decision-making skills.

While simple tools such as spreadsheets may have been enough to get your business rolling in the beginning, it fails in manipulating information that allows small businesses to see the "big picture." Implementing a proper BI tool can help small businesses analyze high volumes of data across multiple sources, and more easily identify how they're all connected.

Below are a few easy-to-use BI tools small businesses should seriously consider using:

QlikView offers small businesses "both a high level view as well as the ability to drill down into the business details." More than 1,000 international government agencies use

QlikView to defend their networks, manage finances, support logistics, manage programs, and maximize workforce efficiency.

Tableau is a browser-and-mobile-based software that takes data and allows users to visualize and create interactive and shareable dashboards secured in the cloud.

Birst has different levels of analytics depending on your company's needs. Both products empower small businesses to explore data in seconds.

LogiXML analytics is aimed at small to mid-sized businesses with no per-user fees and promises affordable pricing. The company says on its website that "unlike expensive, traditional BI platforms or tool kits that require time consuming development, [LogiXML] offers a solution that allows business users to easily create and share their own dashboards and reports while giving developers a platform to rapidly deliver specialized solutions."

  1. Smart Inventory Management

Poor inventory management is one of the major reasons small businesses fail, yet 46% of small businesses with 11-to-500 employees don't track their inventory, according to the State of Small Business Report. Failing to track inventory can lead to products sitting around for years, which Marcus Lemonis recently said on his CNBC show The Profit is comparable to "burning money."

With a limited budget, small businesses need to think about their inventory like cash. If there were piles of cash stocked in your warehouse, wouldn't you find some kind of system to track it? Poor inventory management leads to bad customer service and companies end up with large write offs on their financial statements.

A few smart inventory management tools that would save small businesses a lot of money -- and headache -- are the Wasp Inventory Control, most ideal for small businesses from 5-to-99 employees, Fishbowl Inventory, most suitable for small businesses with 100-999 workers, and AdvancedPro Inventory Management Software for users who prefer QuickBooks.

Since the Great Recession, startups and small establishments have been responsible for seven million out of the 10.9 million jobs added. According to the State of Small Business Report, 57 percent of the owners and executives surveyed anticipate revenue growth for their companies in 2015. With so much optimism in the air, right now seems to be the best time for small businesses to strategically plan for explosive growth. The above tech trends can help you get there a lot faster by doing the grunt work for you so that you can focus on sales and growth. Small businesses don't always have to be on top of the latest tech trends, but they should pay attention if the tools will help them move ahead at a much smarter and faster speed.

 

Nimble Ushers in the Age of CRM Automation
Dec 15, 2015
Nimble Ushers in the Age of CRM Automation
Nimble Ushers in the Age of CRM Automation
Dec 15, 2015

Nimble Ushers in the Age of CRM Automation

Over the past few years, small business use of marketing automation solutions have skyrocketed. It’s no surprise, really, as these solutions automate “significant aspects of customer acquisition such as lead generation, qualification and nurturing activities”.

In other words, marketing automation enables you to save one of your small business’s most important resources: time.

While many marketing automation solutions include significant customer relationship management (CRM) features and functionality, that side of the equation remains the least automated of all. Yes, every interaction with a lead is recorded and tied to their contact record however, beyond that automatically captured information, you and your staff must populate each contact record manually.

In other words, your CRM activities, from data entry to data mining, still consume a lot of time. This is exactly the pain point that Nimble was created to relieve and they’ve done so by focusing on three key features.

Key Feature #1: The CRM that Builds and Maintains Itself

“The problem with CRM is that it’s a database where you’ve got to type stuff in and it’s too much work for a human being,” says Jon Ferrara, the founder and CEO of Nimble.

Ferrara believes that traditionally, “CRM stands more for Customer Reporting Management, rather than Relationship Management because relationships happen in Outlook address books and Google contacts. Those are your relationship managers.”

However, even those contact managers don’t save a lot of information and they certainly don’t aggregate it into one easily understood and usable contact record.

Ferrara contends, “You need a complete view of what’s going on with a person. You need connections to calendars and email and social signals to make that happen.”

And that’s view is exactly what Nimble has built. As you can see below, a Nimble contact record contains everything from social media profiles to education, social messages, email messages and more. Most importantly, this content record was automatically compiled by Nimble once we imported our Twitter contacts into their system.

1-Jon-Ferrara-Nimble-Contact-Record

 

As Ferrara puts it, “The most important thing you can have in a CRM is data, and if you have contacts and insights, that’s 60% of the work that any businessperson has.”

Importing is where everything begins. Nimble can pull your contact records from a variety of systems including Google Contacts, Gmail and Twitter. Once the platform has the information, it builds your contact records by matching information from many disparate systems. The result? A complete view of each contact, no data entry required.

“Your calendar activities, messages and social interactions are all connected to the record automatically,” says Ferrara. “Nimble builds each contact record so you understand where they’re from, where they work, where they went to school, what they’re influential in, whether they’re an investor, all that stuff.”

What’s more, Nimble actually brings the data down so it’s yours to own, as it should be in a CRM solution. They also update your contact database on a daily basis, bringing new and changed information into the contact record automatically.

“What people love about Nimble,” says Ferrara, “is that it’s the first relationship platform that works for you by building itself.”

Key Feature #2: Anytime, Anywhere Context

Once Nimble builds your contact records, you can use its browser plugins to access your records as you work online.

“If you’re sitting inside of your CRM,” says Ferrara, “you’re not engaging with customers. You need context and insights on everyone that you’re engaging with — Nimble give you the ability to ‘Nimble’ anyone anywhere.”

This powerful feature is a game-changer, forever altering the landscape of how CRMs support marketing and sales professionals. Here’s an example that, in Ferrara’s words, “Just might blow your mind.”

Access Your Contact Records Anytime, Anywhere

Let’s say you’re working on LinkedIn, nurturing your connections and looking for new ones. Using the Nimble sidebar, you can pull up the details of anyone on LinkedIn:

2-Anytime-Anywhere-Context-1
A view of the Nimble sidebar on a LinkedIn profile. In the interest of showing the full view, we’ve broken the sidebar into pieces moving left to right.

As you can see, Nimble has built a profile for our LinkedIn connection on the fly, including information that did not originate on LinkedIn. If we want to add the contact to our in Nimble, all we need do is click the, “Add To Nimble” button.

Now, we have some context however, Nimble enables you to dig deeper as well as take action right there and then.

Deeper Context and Taking Action

As you can see below, Nimble’s sidebar offers a number of super-handy features:

Anytime-Anywhere-Actions

1. Dig deeper into a contact’s record using this menu. “This way, I can see the history of conversations, the history of interactions,” says Ferrara. “I can see what this person’s saying to the world and interact with them.”
2. Schedule or record an action by clicking on the circled plus icon.
3. Send a message via connected channels by clicking on the envelope icon.

With all this context and functionality at your fingertips, your marketing and sales efforts just got a lot easier to manage. Or, as Ferrara succinctly put it, ” The most important thing is to be able to follow-through wherever you’re at.”

Key Feature #3: Automatic Segmentation

As shown below, Nimble offers a number of ways to slice and dice your contacts (i.e. segmentation):

Regular-Search
This is basic CRM functionality but as with many of it’s features, Nimble is about to take segmentation to the next level.

“Using the data we pull behind the scenes,” says Ferrara, “we’ve built a new segmentation engine (rolling out soon) that let’s you use any of that data and we’ve pre-faceted your contacts.”

As you can see, this new feature will enable you to search on a number of useful data points, all built for you automatically (note the black boxes near the top of this photo):

Prefaceted-Segmentation-1

Here’s an example of one of these drop-down menus built by Nimble using the data they’ve pulled from our contacts:

Prefaceted-Segmentation-2

Using this functionality you can really dig into your data. For example, if you wanted to find all contacts who are CEOs of Chicago-based companies who are interested in SEO, this new segmentation engine would make doing so a snap.

Conclusion

While we’ve explored three of Nimble’s key features, there’s a lot more under the hood including tags, integrations with other types of solutions and group mailing/tracking functionality.

Perhaps the most compelling facet of Nimble is its ability to give you a whole view of each of your contacts. As Ferrara put it, “Your CRM system needs to be both professional and personal because that’s how relationships grow, by forming connections to the person, not the contact record.”

37 Tools Successful Salespeople Cannot Live Without
Nov 27, 2015
37 Tools Successful Salespeople Cannot Live Without
37 Tools Successful Salespeople Cannot Live Without
Nov 27, 2015

37 Tools Successful Salespeople Cannot Live Without

As a salesperson, or as someone concerned with sales in your company, you probably have a say in which tools will help you grow sales. So here’s an infographic that shows you the best sales tools you can buy today, and where their strengths lie along the sales pipeline – so you can start your research right here.

These tools are truly the nuts and bolts that make up the entire pipeline, running from lead generation to lead tracking, interactions with leads, prospect management, prospect closing, and after-sales service and support.

These are our opinions on where the tools excel in the sales process, and don’t actually mean that they are only in that space. As you can imagine, most of the CRM (customer relationship management) tools have overlapping or all-encompassing offerings that go from lead generation to the actual close.

We also included customer support tools as a way of showing that sales don’t just end with a close – it ends with nurturing and taking care of customers in an ongoing manner.

Rev_machine

Detailed explanation of the pipeline process & tools:

(All tools in a category are listed alphabetically)

Pipe section 1 – Lead generation and tracking

In the lead generation space, we’ve included the most effective lead generation tools that run the gamut from inbound to social to sales enablement. These drive leads into your funnel so your SDRs (sales development reps) can qualify them quickly.

AgileCRM: great for lead generation when they started, but have now branched out into becoming a complete CRM system.

CapsuleCRM: big focus on lead tracking and communications, especially on syncing your emails to your CRM.

ClearBit: helps you find good leads and look up contact information on the leads you’re trying to reach.

HubSpot: a real thought leader in the inbound space, Hubspot helps you drive leads through inbound marketing.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator: leverages on the LinkedIn network for social selling.

Repsly: mobile CRM for field teams that require CRM and data collection systems on the go.

Tout App: considered in the space of “sales enablement”, it’s a good way to run marketing right next to sales.

Pipe section 2 – Lead task management

After leads start going through the process of qualifications, there are some tasks and actions that need to be done to get them better acquainted with your offerings.

For many SMEs, the most effective CRM tools are clustered in this space since they are more likely to have slight shorter pipelines than large sales teams – hence the task management aspect becomes crucial in helping teams to manage their leads.

Again, we emphasize that while most CRMs also provide these functions, these systems specifically target their offerings towards small teams that require lead task management.

Batchbook: marketed specifically as a small-business CRM, it helps teams manage to-dos related to clients.

Contactually: helps you to follow up with your leads more consistently so they remain warm to you.

Highrise: from the team behind BaseCamp, Highrise targets smaller businesses with this CRM.

Insightly: very popular CRM for small businesses, and promises to make you a small superhero.

Nimble: updates your contacts automatically with social information, and helps you figure out who to talk to.

Nutshell: prides itself on its integration with other tools, and organizational abilities.

Pipe section 3 – Interactions & automation

The interactions with customers need to be tracked, and most people use apps to track how their leads are doing and what they need to follow up on. At this point, after leads have been qualified, more needs to be done in terms of preparations for negotiations and understanding of final decision makers and specific needs.

Intelligence and automation in this space is important for a process-oriented pipeline to optimize for negotiations to happen.

Infusionsoft: automated marketing and referrals are the main pitches for Infusionsoft, though they do it all.

Inbox by Gmail: with the introduction of Smart Reply, it can help you get started replying emails faster.

KeyReply: reply faster to common queries with a keyboard that has your team’s responses within any text field on mobile.

SalesforceIQ: captures your email interactions, and provides intelligence on follow up.

Yesware: track who’s seen your emails, and send personalized-looking mail with Mail Merge.

Pipe section 4 – Prospect management

Once leads become qualified, they are prospects that we need to drive to a close. This often means that the biggest and baddest (in this context that’s a good thing, heh) CRMs are jostling to help teams log their movements through negotiations.

You can see that most of the best CRM tools sell their products as prospect management software, even though they do start logging interactions way before this, even as leads. Primarily though, and for illustration purposes, CRM tools fall into the category of prospect management.

Close.io: main feature is the fact that you can make calls within 1 click on the pipeline management dashboard.

CRMnext: flexible deployment on either private or public cloud, good for verticals with specific security needs.

Pipedrive: lightweight and easy for small teams to start managing pipelines.

PipelineDeals: sales productivity is the name of the game in their marketing, and it’s simple to get started.

Salesforce: #1 CRM in the world. What did you think? They created the category as we know it today.

SAP CRM: integrates data from various customer functions across channels.

SugarCRM: affordable enterprise CRM that is one of the most highly customizable in integrations and deployment.

Zoho CRM: extension of the Zoho suite of products, and free or affordable to start for small teams.

Pipe section 5 – Predictive forecasting & opportunities-wins-losses optimization

Some CRM tools pride themselves on their ability to draw out pertinent data and predict the win rates for prospect accounts (based on the probability that they will close). As we’ve seen above, with access and understanding of the entire process, it can be useful to have a predictive forecast of the likelihood of certain accounts closing, so sales teams can focus on those most likely to be worth their time.

Base: touts its ability to find insights and optimize the right accounts to focus on to get higher win rates.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: predictions across channels using analytics drawn from different sources along the customer journey.

Oracle: helps you identify “white spaces” for upselling and cross-selling to customers, on top of predictions.

Pipe section 6 – Customer support & engagement

After the close, account management and customer support becomes an imperative to keep customers. You’ve heard the saying that it’s easier to retain a customer than to acquire one, so it’s a company’s job to take great care of their customers with world-class support systems, behavioral or drip marketing, open lines of communication, and self-service tools.

Contractually: easily let closed customers seal the deal, by managing and signing contracts online.

Freshdesk: popular customer service helpdesk software, free/affordable to start for small teams.

Help Scout: knowledge base site and embed forms on every site, on top of ticket management.

Intercom: makes it really easy to manage and reach customers in the same place, with little development time.

Jira Service Desk: manage IT tickets and support tickets together for faster issue resolutions.

Salesforce Desk: a relatively newer offering from Salesforce, good for scaling teams.

Uservoice: lets users vote on features to help the product management process, plus a knowledge base for support.

Zen desk: integrates all inbound service requests, with self-service knowledge bases and a “multichannel” strategy.

How to pick your own mix of tools

There are some general factors that you should consider when picking your own set of tools, including the size of your team, how fast you’re scaling, sales amounts, support needs, and important features that appeal to you including deployment and mobility.

This warrants another post in itself, but you can definitely use the above as a guide to start your selection process. Generally, a combination of lead drivers in section 1, a good reply platform in section 3, along with a lightweight (or free) option in section 4 or 2 will be a good bet for smaller teams to get started.

Once the team and customer numbers grow, and support requests start flooding in, a tool in section 6 will be important for both service and product managers to understand how to better improve customers’ experience.

The original version of this infographic and article is published on the KeyReply blog by theKeyReply team.

6 CRM Predictions For 2016
Nov 23, 2015
6 CRM Predictions For 2016
6 CRM Predictions For 2016
Nov 23, 2015

6 CRM Predictions For 2016

Experts in sales, marketing and customer relationship management share their thoughts regarding which CRM features and trends will be the most buzzed about in the year ahead.

By 

CRM software has come a long way from its early days as a desktop-based sales tool. And each year, it seems, there’s some hot new flavor of CRM – social CRM, cloud CRM, mobile CRM, vertical CRM – with new vendors and apps constantly entering the market.

So what will be the big trends in CRM in 2016? Here are six predictions.

CRM software will become even more social. “In 2016, we'll see a lot more CRM providers adding new social media features, whether that be tracking customer interactions or suggesting new contacts,” says Marc Prosser, cofounder, Fit Small Business. “Nimble is out ahead on this, but expect others to add these features while their team (and others) devise new ways CRM can take advantage of social media.”

Mobile CRM will become a must-have. In 2016, “we'll see CRM go mobile in a big way,” says Prosser. “So far, most mobile CRM apps have focused on providing a basic phone-ready version of the desktop version, usually without the full set of features.” Over the next 12 months, however, “expect to see CRM mobile apps adding features that interact with map and note-taking apps.” Also, “CRM will become less hierarchical and easier to use on the go.”

Sales reps will rely on “mobile CRM [to] keep connected and in touch with prospects and their sales manager,” adds Sean Alpert, senior director, Product Marketing, Sales Cloud,Salesforce. “Real-time data [will] keep reps in the know about everything from usage rates to open service tickets to breaking news about the prospect they’re about to visit. And, mobile CRM [will become a] powerful sales tool as more and more reps eschew traditional slides in favor of showing a demo on their phone or pulling up the latest analytics or dashboards on their [mobile] device."

Integration will be the name of the game. “It's increasingly important that your CRM be able to seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platform, your marketing automation software, your analytics software, your accounting system... the list goes on and on,” says Katie Hollar, CRM expert at Capterra, an online tool for businesses to find the right software. “Rather than spending hours downloading and uploading CSVs of data from one system to another, CRM users will demand that their provider build these native integrations with other platforms to make them more efficient. And if CRM vendors can't keep up with the demand, users will switch systems, finding one that works better with their existing infrastructure.”

“CRMs will evolve from sales-oriented tools to truly integrated marketing and sales platforms,” predicts Kathleen Booth, CEO,Quintain Marketing. “There has already been some movement in this direction, with many CRMs, such as Salesforce, offering integrations with marketing software. But in the future, integrations will be replaced by all-in-one software platforms that truly marry the needs of sales and marketing,” she says. “One example of a company that is doing this successfully right now is HubSpot, which added a free CRM to its marketing software last year. Expect more companies to enter this market in 2016.”

Vertical CRMs will give traditional CRM solutions some serious competition. “In 2016, the ‘verticalization’ of CRM solutions will be accelerated,” says Adam Honig, cofounder and CEO of Spiro, a personal sales app for salespeople. “A real estate salesperson has different needs than a medical device salesperson, and companies are increasingly realizing that they could benefit from using industry-specific CRM solutions like VeevaVlocity and OpenGov,” he says. “These vendors' built-in best practices and processes provide a level of expertise that companies just don't get with a generic CRM solution.”

As a result, “horizontal CRMs will start being replaced by industry-specific vertical CRMs that help you navigate the specific challenges of your industry,” says Anatoly Geyfman, CEO, Carevoyance. “Healthcare is a big example of this,” he says. “Veeva, a CRM for the pharma [and life sciences] industry, was in the first wave of these, but the wave is not over.” Now, as a result of an influx of industry-specific software solutions, “even Salesforce is releasing industry-specific features and brands for its CRM product.”

More CRM platforms will be equipped with predictive analytics capabilities. “In 2016, CRM systems will have analytics engines behind them that will enable the ability to provide real-time offers to customers based on predicting what they will want next or what kind of product or service they might buy next,” says Rebecca Sendel, senior director, Data Analytics and Customer Experience Management Programs, TM Forum, a global industry association for digital businesses.

Predictive analytics combined with CRM data gives marketers and salespeople the chance to learn, at a deeper level, customers’ habits and then react to those in real time,” says Vicki Godfrey, CMO, Avention, a provider of data solutions. “This makes for more personalized interactions, which leads to increased sales, better customer relationships and reduced churn rates.”

Look for the CRM of Things. “We’ve seen the Internet of Things (IoT) make major headway this past year, and CRM will begin to reap the benefits in 2016,” says Dylan Steele, senior director, Product Marketing, App Cloud & IoT Cloud, Salesforce. “Companies today want a complete understanding of their customers, and with billions of connected devices generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, it's more important than ever to know how this data can create an even more personalized customer interaction.”

So expect to “see smart devices linked to CRM, enabling automated business notifications, follow-ups for sales support, and billing processes that will redefine immediacy for customer service,” says Kevin Roberts, director of Platform Technology atFinancialForce.com, a cloud ERP solution provider.

CRM Services Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023
Nov 17, 2015
CRM Services Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023
CRM Services Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023
Nov 17, 2015

CRM Services Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023

Customer Relationship Management Services Market - Global Industry Analysis and Forecast 2015 - 2023

This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire

Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/17/2015 -- In today's scenario, organizations need to continuously interact with their customers and fulfill their requirement in order to withstand the market competition. Organizations need to track and process a large amount of customer information in order to increase interaction with future and prospective clients. Therefore, organizations need to have a cutting edge technology in order to manage, synchronize and automate this process. Customer relationship management service involves addressing customer issues or requirements through customer service centers with combination of information technology (IT) services. Hence, customer relationship management (CRM) services help to boost the marketing, sales and customer service function of an organization. CRM services mostly revolve around contact or service centers were a group of professionals solve customer issues. Thus, CRM service providers provide various tools and software, which facilitate the operation in lesser time. CRM based IT service involves storage and tracking of customer data, which is used for forecasting the requirement with the help of advanced data analytics software.

Browse the full Customer Relationship Management Services Market report at: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/customer-relationship-management-services-market.html

The CRM IT based service can be deployed either on-premise or over cloud based on organization's requirement. Due to low initial cost involved in setting up cloud based service, it is increasingly being preferred by organizations compared to on-premise solutions. Further, the time taken to deploy a CRM service through cloud is relatively less for an organization. In recent years, organizations are opting for third party service providers to outsource their CRM unit. This helps the organization to reduce their upfront cost and concentrate on core activities. CRM services are mainly used in BSFI, telecommunication, healthcare and hospitality sector as these sectors involve providing more personalized customer centric services. Further, CRM services are increasingly being deployed in retail, education, manufacturing and government sector due to its high effectiveness in addressing customer requirement. As the e-commerce industry is continuously evolving in developing countries such as India, China and Brazil, the demand for CRM services is expected to increase in these countries in coming years. CRM services also involve providing technological equipment for voice based services. This helps the organization to deliver high quality voice service with interactive voice response (IVR). Further, the application of big data is expected to provide data analytics service which is expected to help in monitoring of workforce on a regular basis. CRM services help to improve service center performance with constant monitoring and thereby help to increase customer satisfaction. CRM service providers are also providing bring your own device (BYOD) solution, which is expected to boost the demand of CRM service in sales and marketing function.

For more information regarding Customer Relationship Management Services Market Get the Free Sample Research Report at:
http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/sample/sample.php?flag=B&rep_id=7676

As the demand for CRM is expected to increase among small and medium enterprises, CRM service providers are constantly targeting this segment to increase their market share. CRM service providers are offering customized solutions to organizations in order to enhance their market presence. However, the concerns regarding privacy and security of data in CRM service has been a challenge for CRM service market. Some of the key CRM service providers are IBM Corp., Oracle Corp., Wipro Limited, Tata Consultancy Services Limited, Microsoft Inc., Salesforce.com Inc., NetSuite Inc., Nimble Inc., SugarCRM Inc., SAP SE, Amdocs Ltd., Sage CRM Solutions Ltd. and Ramco Systems Ltd.

This report is a complete study of current trends in the market, industry growth drivers, and restraints. It provides market projections for the coming years. It includes analysis of recent developments in technology, Porter's five force model analysis and detailed profiles of top industry players. The report also includes a review of micro and macro factors essential for the existing market players and new entrants along with detailed value chain analysis.

About Transparency Market Research (TMR)
Transparency Market Research (TMR) is a global market intelligence company, providing global business information reports and services. Our exclusive blend of quantitative forecasting and trends analysis provides forward-looking insight for thousands of decision makers. TMR's experienced team of Analysts, Researchers, and Consultants, use proprietary data sources and various tools and techniques to gather and analyze information.

Our data repository is continuously updated and revised by a team of research experts, so that it always reflects the latest trends and information. With a broad research and analysis capability, Transparency Market Research employs rigorous primary and secondary research techniques in developing distinctive data sets and research material for business reports.

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/customer-relationship-manageme/release-641802.htm

Nimble Named #1 in CRM Value Grid and Sales Intelligence Market Leader by G2 Crowd
Oct 27, 2015
Nimble Named #1 in CRM Value Grid and Sales Intelligence Market Leader by G2 Crowd
Nimble Named #1 in CRM Value Grid and Sales Intelligence Market Leader by G2 Crowd
Oct 27, 2015

Nimble’s Simply Smarter Relationship Manager Most Awarded CRM in 2015

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 27, 2015–

Nimble, the Simply Smarter Social CRM, has been named #1 in CRM Value Gridand Sales Intelligence Market Leader by G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business software review platform.

Simply Smarter Social Sales and Marketing

Nimble’s most recent recognition is unique in the CRM market as it is the only vendor to be named a market leader in both the CRM and Sales Intelligence categories. “Nimble has reimagined relationship management,” said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble and founder of the pioneering CRM, GoldMine. “We’ve combined a Simply Smarter Social CRM with Sales Relationship Intelligence that empowers business engagement.”

The G2 Grid℠ report on CRM software is an in-depth report of over 35 CRM vendors in which Nimble was named #1 in CRM Value, #1 in Satisfaction and an overall Market leader alongside Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, based on independent reviews from over 2,500 users of relationship management tools worldwide. The G2 Crowd report relies on real user reviews to rank products across 6 satisfaction ratings and 35 product features; the report also includes data on vendor market presence, implementation, user adoption, and ROI.

Nimble Adopted Worldwide as Sales Goes Social

Nimble pioneered Social CRM in 2009 and has since experienced tremendous growth of over 100,000 users registering for the platform and over 7,000 paying customers worldwide. “We want to thank our customers who have adopted our Nimble product and help us tell our simply smarter CRM story about how CRM should work for you, everywhere you work,” said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble. “The G2 Crowd Ratings validate the power, simplicity and high value Nimble provides its customers.”

Nimble Works For Me, Everywhere I Work

“I love how Nimble takes the biggest pain out of CRM by building and updating contact records for me,” said Viveka von Rosen, LinkedIn Expert and CEO of LinkedIn to Business. “Nimble is with me wherever I work providing the relationships insights I need to take action including; Chrome browser apps, email inbox, social sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, AngelList , Google+ and my Apple iOS mobile device.”

Nimble is The #1 Rated CRM

These awards follow recent accolades for Nimble, including: King of CRM by GetApp#1 CRM in Customer Satisfaction and CRM Market Leader by G2 Crowd. Nimble was also recognized previously as #1 Sales Intelligence in Customer Satisfaction and overall High Performer. Nimble was named #1 CRM in numerous other reviews over the past six months including; #1 CRM for Small Business by Technology Advice, Highest Rated Software by Small, Mid-Size and Enterprise Business Users, Highest Rated CRMHighest Rated Sales Intelligence,Best Software 2014 and Highest Rated Ease-of-Setup. Nimble was also recognized previously as #1 Sales Intelligence in Customer Satisfaction and overall High Performer.

Free CRM Industry Report

The G2 Crowd CRM Premium report normally costs $599. Nimble is offering ithere, free of charge for a limited time. This offers the original data for filtering and weighting, as well as individual profiles of platforms with at least 20 helpful positive and negative CRM platform reviews, detailed company information, user satisfaction ratings, feature scores and customer metrics.

Resources

Read more details on – Nimble Blog
See how Nimble works – Nimble Demo Video
Get the G2 Crowd CRM Report
Get the G2 Crowd CRM Value Grid Report
Get the G2 Crowd Sales Intelligence Report

ABOUT NIMBLE – Nimble has pioneered simply smarter social relationship management for individuals and teams to intelligently nurture relationships across email and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It can be used as a company’s CRM or to add social sales intelligence to existing sales and marketing products with the Nimble Smart Contacts App. Nimble was founded by Jon Ferrara, the co-founder of GoldMine and pioneer of SFA, CRM, Relationship Management and Marketing Automation. For more information, visit www.nimble.com. Nimble can be found on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn,Vimeo and Instagram.

About G2 Crowd – G2 Crowd is the world’s leading business software review platform, leveraging its roughly 30,000 user reviews to drive better purchasing decisions. Technology buyers, investors and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software based on peer reviews and synthesized social data. G2 Crowd aims to bring authenticity and transparency to business technology research. For more information, go to G2Crowd.com.

 

Nimble Inc.
Michaela Prouzova, 310-929-5921
michaela@nimble.com

G2 Crowd publishes Spring 2015 rankings of the best CRM software
May 05, 2015
G2 Crowd publishes Spring 2015 rankings of the best CRM software
G2 Crowd publishes Spring 2015 rankings of the best CRM software
May 05, 2015

Salesforce CRM, Nimble CRM, Zoho CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM earn Leader status while Nimble CRM and Workbooks.com tie for top overall satisfaction scores in crowdsourced report

CHICAGO, May 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The updated Grid℠ report for CRM software, published today by business software review site G2 Crowd, ranks 35 products to help purchasers in their selections.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150505/213847

The Spring 2015 report is based on data from more than 2,500 reviews written by business and marketing professionals.

The Grid℠ was created from G2 Crowd's software review platform, which compiles customer satisfaction as reported by users, along with vendor market presence as determined from public and social data, to rank products.

The Spring 2015 report also includes Grids℠ representing reviewer company size segments: Small Business (50 or fewer employees), Mid-Market (51 to 1,000 employees) and Enterprise (1,001+ employees).

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems enable companies to track and manage all customer interactions across the customer lifecycle from lead to order to support in one master system of record. CRM software suites typically provide sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation features, customer support features and a unifying database to manage customer data and customer-facing applications. To qualify as a Leader, a product must receive a high customer satisfaction score and have substantial market presence. Salesforce CRMMicrosoft Dynamics CRMZoho CRM and Nimble CRM were named Leaders. High Performers have high customer satisfaction scores with a smaller market presence than Leaders. SalesnetPipelineDealsProphet CRMWorkbooks.com,Base CRMContactuallyPipedriveApptivoNutshellPipeliner CRMWORK[etc.]GreenRope,InfoFlo SoftwareCiviCRMMembrainReally Simple Systems and Relenta CRM were named High Performers. Nimble CRM and Workbooks.com earned the highest overall customer satisfaction scores. The Grid℠ for CRM (Small Business) featured Salesforce CRM, Zoho CRM, Nimble CRM, PipelineDeals, Salesnet, Prophet CRM, Base CRM, Workbooks.com and Contactually as Leaders. Pipedrive, WORK[etc.], Pipeliner CRM, Nutshell, InfoFlo Software, CiviCRM, Membrain and Relenta CRM were named High Performers for this segment.

The Grid℠ for CRM (Mid-Market) featured Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Zoho CRM as Leaders. Salesnet, PipelineDeals, Nimble CRM, Prophet CRM and Workbooks.com were named High Performers for this segment.

The Grid℠ for CRM (Enterprise) featured Salesforce CRM as the only Leader. Nimble CRM, PipelineDeals, Workbooks.com and Prophet were named High Performers for this segment.

Across all CRM systems, reviewers reported the product they use meets their requirements at an average rate of 81%, and on average reviewers said they were 80% likely to recommend the product they use. Products appearing on the CRM Grid℠ for the first time were Prophet CRM, Membrain, Relenta CRM, Really Simple Systems, GreenRope, Apptivo, vtiger, and Insightly.

In addition, the average reported implementation time across all CRM products was 2.2 months, and the average payback period in which users received a positive ROI was eight months.

Some highlights from the CRM reviews on G2 Crowd:

"Salesforce [CRM] allows for all team members to collaborate and track clients in one clean arena. The biggest advantage is the ability to start tracking prospects and leads and turn them into closed business. We are able to watch the sales cycle from beginning to end."

Maxx Krueger, Business Development & Analytics at Infegy

"[Microsoft Dynamics CRM is] very user friendly. You don't have to be a techie to figure out how to customize and tailor the solution to your specific needs and requirements. For example, it's mainly a CRM geared toward sales professionals. I was able to fully customize the solution to fit our real estate and acquisition needs."

Jasmine Polson, Associate at Avison Young Commercial Real Estate

"All companies need people[,] but what small companies...need is the ability to connect efficiently, [and] establish information with a...CRM that is intuitive and reliable. Zoho works! You can build relationships, set tasks, events and follow ups easily...It's great."

Paula Sharratt, Business Development at Central High Rise

[Nimble CRM] is easy to set up. I uploaded [more than 3,500] contacts and 30 deals on day one and was completely up and running [two] days later. The tool is easy to navigate and quickly link deals to contacts and [vice] versa.

Luke Wissmann, VP of Sales and Business Development at OceanGate

Of the more than 180 software vendors listed in G2 Crowd's CRM category, the 35 ranked products each received 10 or more reviews to qualify for inclusion on the Grid℠.

Satisfaction rankings are generated from the user reviews, and market presence is calculated from vendor size, market share, and social impact. Based on a combination of these scores, each software solution is categorized as a Leader, High Performer, Contender, or Niche.

Premium research access can be purchased at G2Crowd.com/categories/crm. These offer the original data for filtering and weighting, as well as individual profiles of platforms with at least 20 helpful positive and negative CRM platform reviews, detailed company information, user satisfaction ratings, feature scores and customer metrics. Future refreshes of the Grid℠ will provide updated rankings based on the latest reviews and social data.

Be sure to check out the new Grid℠ for the best CRM software and subscribe to the premium research. About G2 Crowd, Inc. G2 Crowd, the world's leading business software review platform, leverages its roughly 30,000 user reviews to drive better purchasing decisions. Technology buyers, investors, and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software based on peer reviews and synthesized social data. Co-founded by the founder and former executives from SaaS leader BigMachines and backed by more than $4.5 million in capital, G2 Crowd aims to bring authenticity and transparency to business technology research. For more information, go to G2Crowd.com.

Media Contact: Tristram Clark, G2 Crowd, 415 281 7163, tris.clark@blancandotus.com

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

The Marketing Automation Tools Your Company Needs To Be Using
Mar 18, 2015
The Marketing Automation Tools Your Company Needs To Be Using
The Marketing Automation Tools Your Company Needs To Be Using
Mar 18, 2015

The Marketing Automation Tools Your Company Needs To Be Using

Sujan Patel is the VP of Marketing at When I Work and author of 100 Days of Growth. For over 10 years he's helped companies like TurboTax, BlueHost, and Sales Forceincrease traffic & revenue.   Marketing automation isn’t just a buzzword – it’s a big deal for businesses. In fact, companies that use marketing automation to nurture leads see a 451% increase in qualified leads and 53% higher conversion rates on average. And considering that automating your marketing activities generally decreases the amount of time and effort they take, they’re a win-win solution for proactive entrepreneurs. Ready to add marketing automation software to your business’s arsenal? There are plenty of different tools out there that you can use, but here are 22 options – broken down by category – to help get you started: Blog/Content Management Systems WordPress With an active user community and a huge range of plugins available, this versatile tool allows you to turn your company’s website into a full web publishing platform. Used by innumerable bloggers and business owners, you’ll never fail to find support for WordPress. Joomla An extremely powerful and flexible content management system, Joomla has a wide variety of modifications available that can help you turn your site into anything you want. And like WordPress, Joomla has a very active user community that’s always available to answer your questions. Drupal This open-source CMS can be used to create anything from blogs to enterprise applications, and is supported by a strong community of users as well. Some of the most popular sites in the world use Drupal on the back end, making it a great candidate for your company’s content management needs. Landing Pages and Lead Capture Forms Unbounce Not a strong coder? No worries! Unbounce is a tool that allows you to build landing pages on your site without having a background in I.T. In addition to building and publishing landing pages, you can use Unbounce to conduct A/B testing to see what on-site features lead to the most conversions for your business. Ion Interactive As an alternative to Unbounce, look to Ion Interactive, another program you can use to quickly create beautiful and effective landing pages. In fact, some of Ion’s pages have converted at over 50%, as measured by the program’s helpful analytics and testing features. Wishpond One final option for your landing page needs, Wishpond makes it easy to design and test landing pages using its library of pre-built templates. In addition, the program’s built-in form builder that makes it easy to add lead capture forms to your new landing pages. Contact Management and Lead Nurturing Eloqua This powerful marketing automation suite allows you to rank the leads your website and sales team generate according to buying interest, improving your conversion rates by giving you the information needed to follow up immediately on promising prospects. SalesForce The biggest name in contact management – SalesForce – can be yours for as little as $5 per month, per user, depending on the features needed. With Salesforce, you can track sales opportunities, monitor the social media accounts of your contacts, and take advantage of a huge number of extensions that allow you to automate common marketing tasks. A great tool for tracking interactions with current customers, Nimble provides a single view of all of your interactions with a contact – past and present. All you need is a name and email address, and you can create a complete contact record automatically. Nimble also integrate with an assortment of other apps, further enhancing your automation capabilities. Zoho CRM Zoho CRM is a great choice for the contact management needs of smaller businesses and freelancers, as its a free version – provided for up to three users – is extremely versatile. Similar in setup to SalesForce, it’s perfect for companies looking for a low-cost solution to store valuable contact data. Email Marketing/Email Blasts Aweber. Want to automatically email your followers when they meet certain criteria? Aweber, a well-known email marketing solution for small businesses, makes it easy to send out targeted email blasts and automated email messages to your leads. Easily import existing contacts into the program, as well as use the program’s sign-up form builder to capture new subscribers. MailChimp Similar to Aweber, MailChimp is another favorite email marketing software for small businesses. Including automation features, manual email blasts, basic analytics and more, it’s a great choice for automating the email marketing campaigns that keep your subscribers coming back to your business again and again. Social Media Updates and Monitoring HootSuite If you’re active on more than one social network, you need Hootsuite – all-in-one social media tool. In addition to easily viewing feeds from a variety of social media sources, the program lets you schedule social media posts for future release, making social media marketing both quick and effective for your business. Sprout Social This tool not only lets your business “join the conversation,” it also provides analytics and collaboration tools that help you manage multiple accounts and respond to public interactions with your brand from a single source. If you work with a team on your social media, SproutSocial will keep everyone on the same page. SocialMention Want to know what’s happening in your field or what people are saying about your company? Not only will this free tool help you track your own company’s mentions, you can use it to keep an eye on your competitors or your industry as a whole. Scoop.it If you don’t have the time or staff to create your own content, the Scoop.it content curation platform can help. Use it to find great content, customize it for yourself, and publish to multiple platforms with a single click – effective content marketing at the click of a button! SEO Tools and Optimization Google Analytics The biggest name in SEO and analytics is, without a doubt, Google – so it makes sense that a Google tool would be indispensable when it comes to SEO automation. Google Analytics is easy to add to your website and, once installed, can alert you to how well your sales funnel is performing, as well as help you test changes by automatically serving up split test variations to your viewers. UberSuggest Working on your keyword research? UberSuggest, a free service, helps you find alternate keywords related to your initial query, giving you thousands of potential keywords to review in a very short amount of time. All-In-One Marketing Automation Software Hubspot An excellent all-around marketing automation program, Hubspot offers a variety of integrated tools that help you manage your blogging, social media, website, landing page, and email marketing needs from a single source. It’s strong analytics reporting features are an added bonus for performance-oriented marketers. InfusionSoft From managing your contacts to simplifying your day, InfusionSoft has you covered. This robust software platform includes a variety of different capabilities, from managing and building automated email campaigns to creating an online storefront for your business. ThriveHive Need a little personal guidance with your marketing efforts? If so, ThriveHive is an excellent solution. Once enrolled, you can manage your website, social profiles, email campaigns, and other marketing efforts from a single platform, with subscription levels that also include marketing coaching and the outsourcing of your paid campaigns. Marketo If you’re truly serious about marketing automation, Marketo takes the cake. From the company’s lower-priced Spark plan to the more comprehensive Select plan, Marketo offers everything from CRM integration to lead management and nurturing, and from sales cycle management to automated email marketing and more. Certainly, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the tools out there that can be used to automate some – or all – of your marketing. If you have another example of an automation tool you can’t live without, share your recommendation in the comments below!

Why Salesforce.com Has Passed Its Prime
Feb 10, 2015
Why Salesforce.com Has Passed Its Prime
Why Salesforce.com Has Passed Its Prime
Feb 10, 2015

Why Salesforce.com Has Passed Its Prime

It’s an age old story — the upstart rebels against the parent, gets successful, and ultimately becomes the very thing against which it used to rail — its parent. That’s the story arc of  Salesforce.com CRM +4.41% which was founded by an Oracle ORCL +2.78% sales guy who set out to fix the ills of expensive, inflexible corporate software and is now becoming the very thing that it battled. Salesforce.com declined to address these concerns directly. According to a Salesforce spokesperson, ”Many companies are now participating in the cloud economy that Salesforce pioneered over 15 years ago. With more than 150,000 customers of all sizes worldwide and more than $4 billion in revenue last year, Salesforce continues to deliver customer success.” Salesforce.com got its start in 1999. Marc Benioff, the customer relationship management (CRM) software as a service (SaaS) provider’s CEO, spent 13 years at Oracle where he became the youngest vice president in its history at age 26. In 2004, he left to start San Francisco-based Salesforce.com with the revolutionary idea of getting rid of software — turning it into a service that would be delivered over what has come to be known as the cloud. SaaS’s advantages to customers were considerable. Customers would pay a relatively low upfront fee, the software would be easy to get up and running — eliminating the need to pay $3 in consulting fees for every $1 they paid for the software license. And they could get the latest versions regularly without having to go through painful upgrades. SaaS threatened to take customers from companies like Oracle that sold software. Yet Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison invested $2 million in Salesforce.com and sat on its board until Benioff concluded that it would not be good to be giving Ellison detailed information about the company after Ellison decided to back NetSuite — a direct competitor to Salesforce – founded by two former Oracle people — Evan Goldberg and Zach Nelson. Salesforce.com went public in July 2004 at $3.96 a share. By February 6, 2015 it was trading at $59.17 a share — yielding a market capitalization of $36.8 billion — up at a 29.3% annual rate since the IPO. While losing $232 million, Salesforce.com generated sales of $4.1 billion in the last 12 months. Sales in its 2014 fiscal year rose 33.5%. But trouble lurks on the horizon because rivals are exploiting customer frustration with Salesforce.com’s high prices.

That’s the claim of Daniel Stevenson, a veteran of several cloud-services companies, who explained in a February 6 interview that “Salesforce.com offers a 250 user company a “Professional” Sales Cloud package for $65 a month. [If that company] wants to connect with a data source or a marketing automation system it has to move everyone up to the $125/month “Enterprise” edition costing $18,000 more a year.”

It does not look like Salesforce.com faces immediate peril but here are five causes for concern.

1. NetSuite is taking customers

Here are two cases of companies switching to NetSuite from Salesforce.com.

BankServe — a San Francisco-based electronic payment software company — switched to NetSuite from Salesforce.com to save money. Don Suva, BankServe’s Corporate Controller, said, “In the past we had used both Salesforce.com and Great Plains, but our sales reps and our financial team preferred one product for everything. We have saved about $25,000 in costs alone.”

NetSuite also let BankServe “enter a sales order and generate an invoice from anywhere. That’s something we couldn’t do with Salesforce.com,” according to Suva.

PAC International was also frustrated with Salesforce.com. As its president, Carmen Gernhart explained, “With Salesforce.com there was no way to turn a lead into a customer. We didn’t want to wait for Salesforce.com’s future promise of integration – we wanted it now.”

2. Significant competition from upstarts

When it comes to small business, there is plenty of competition for Salesforce.com from upstarts. And one place where that rivalry is particularly pronounced is in pricing — Salesforce.com charges as much as 18 times more per-user than some of its smaller competitors.

Here are some examples from FitSmallBusiness:

  • Salesforce.com Enterprise Edition: $125/user/month
  • Zoho:  $2o/user/month
  • Nimble: $15/user/month
  • Insightly: $7/user/month

FitSmallBusiness analyzed 30 vendors and picked Insightly. It wrote, “We recommend Insightly because it’s flexible, easy to use, and meets the needs of most small businesses. At $7 per month per user, it’s also one of the least expensive CRMs.”

Stevenson argues that this “lower end of the CRM market, is where most of the growth is taking place.”

3. Spending too much on marketing

Salesforce.com seems to get less growth out of more marketing expense than rivals such as Workday.

How so? In its September 2014-ending quarter, Salesforce.com revenue grew 28.3% while spending 51.3% of revenue on sales and marketing. Workday did better — growing 68% while spending a relatively small 37.5% of revenues on sales and marketing.

Stevenson thinks this difference can be explained in part by their differing marketing strategies. As he said, “Salesforce.com’s high sales and marketing costs come from its decision to only sell through its own direct sales team to big and small enterprises. Other SaaS companies are more efficient at attracting new customers. Workday, for example, focuses on selling solely to larger customers and thus spends less to acquire a dollar of annual contract value.”

4. Rigid model that needs to adapt to social selling

Social media have changed the way sales people sell. With “social selling,” sales people use LinkedIn, Facebook, Google + and other networks to interact with prospective customers, make them aware of their product, and encourage them to buy.

By contrast, Salesforce.com was designed with a more traditional selling model in mind. Explained Stevenson, ”As a database application, Salesforce.com is built around a more traditional sales model (Suspects –> Leads –> Prospects –> Opportunities –> Customers). Newer CRM applications are better adapted to social selling.”

While Salesforce.com will continue to adapt its service, it was not built to support “social selling.”

5. High stock market valuation

Salesforce.com is losing money based on GAAP accounting so there is no meaningful Price/Earnings ratio for the stock.

But on a Price/Sales basis, Salesforce.com seems outrageously over-valued. At 7.2, Salesforce.com’s price/sales ratio is much higher than the industry average of 4.8, according to Morningstar.

These five concerns make me want to steer clear of investing in Salesforce.com.

Nimble Crowned #1 CRM by Software Excellence Awards; Highest Rated CRM and Sales Intelligence by G2 Crowd
Jan 15, 2015
Nimble Crowned #1 CRM by Software Excellence Awards; Highest Rated CRM and Sales Intelligence by G2 Crowd
Nimble Crowned #1 CRM by Software Excellence Awards; Highest Rated CRM and Sales Intelligence by G2 Crowd
Jan 15, 2015

Nimble Wins Eight New Awards including Highest Rated for Small, Mid-Size and Enterprise Business in CRM and Sales Intelligence by G2 Crowd and Technology Advice

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–January 15, 2015–

Nimble, the Simply Smarter, Social CRM has been crowned #1 CRM for Small Business by Technology Advice, Highest Rated Software by Small, Mid-Size and Enterprise Business Users, Highest Rated CRMHighest Rated Sales Intelligence,Best Software 2014 and Highest Rated Ease-of-Setup by G2 Crowd, a leading source of business technology reviews.

This follows G2 Crowd’s recent recognition as #1 CRM in Customer Satisfaction and High Performer with a 98 satisfaction score, the highest in the CRM grid. Nimble was also recognized previously as #1 Sales Intelligence in Customer Satisfaction and overall High Performer.

The G2 Crowd Customer Relationship Management Grid and the Sales Intelligence Grid are comprehensive reports on over 4,000 software vendors representing 5,000 products based on 30,000 customer reviews. Nimble has been ranked the #1 High Performer and #1 in Customer Satisfaction with 96% of users rating it 4 or 5 stars ahead of all other CRMs including Salesforce, Microsoft CRM and Oracle CRM.

“The G2 Crowd rankings are a strong third-party validation of the high value Nimble provides its customers,” said Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble. “Our vision of Customer Success powered by Simply, Smarter Social Relationship Intelligence is supported by the fact that Nimble is the only CRM vendor named in both the Sales Intelligence and Customer Relationship Management G2 Crowd categories.”

Nimble Uniquely Blends Simple, Smart Social Selling CRM with Relationship Intelligence

“Though Nimble has been marketed mainly as a CRM tool, many users also state they utilize it for sales intelligence,” said Tim Handorf, President G2 Crowd. “Nimble users praised its functionality to consolidate all of their contact related email communications and social conversations in one place. A few users also mentioned using Nimble for lead generation based on social interactions with their company.”

Nimble has pioneered smart social customer relationship management by blending traditional CRM with Social Sales Relationship Intelligence to enable business professionals to effectively engage social customers. It can be used as a company’s Smart Social CRM or add tremendous value to existing sales and marketing products with the Nimble Smart Contacts App.

Resources
Read more details on – Nimble Blog
See how Nimble works – Nimble Demo Video

About Nimble, Inc. – Nimble has re-imagined customer relationship management by pioneering the world’s first Intelligent Relationship platform. It auto-magically pulls contact profiles, email conversations and social signals into one simple place so you can effectively engage them everywhere you work.

Nimble combines the power of traditional CRM, intelligent relationship management, and social media into a powerful web-based social selling solution. For more information, visit www.nimble.com. Nimble can also be found on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

About G2 Crowd, Inc. – G2 Crowd is business software reviews and ratings to drive better purchasing decisions. Technology buyers, investors, and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software based on peer reviews and synthesized social data. For more information, go to G2Crowd.com.

About TechnologyAdvice – TechnologyAdvice is a market leader in business technology recommendations. The company, which is based near Nashville, Tenn., provides free and unbiased research and analysis of IT products to simplify the purchase process and better connect businesses of all sizes with the technology solutions that best fit their specific needs. It was named to the top half of the Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies for 2014.

 

Nimble
Michaela Prouzova, 310-929-5921
michaela@nimble.com

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Latest News

Social as a Word is Going Away - And We’re Just Going to Get Back to Doing Business
Sep 13, 2017
Social as a Word is Going Away - And We’re Just Going to Get Back to Doing Business
Social as a Word is Going Away - And We’re Just Going to Get Back to Doing Business
Sep 13, 2017
Jon Ferrara of Nimble: Social as a Word is Going Away — And We’re Just Going to Get Back to Doing Business
Social as a Word is Going Away - And We’re Just Going to Get Back to Doing Business
Sep 13, 2017

Jon Ferrara of Nimble: Social as a Word is Going Away — And We’re Just Going to Get Back to Doing Business


You can listen to this episode here or read the summary below:

It’s hard for me to believe, but this conversation marks the seventh anniversary of this series. And there’s nobody more surprised than I am that this has gone on so long, as I thought I’d do this for a couple of weeks at the most. But the conversations with so many interesting, influential people have made these seven years fly by, and honestly, I never once thought about moving on from having these weekly interviews.

So, to mark the occasion I was really glad that Jon Ferrara, founder of Nimble (and before that GoldMine), was able to join me for this week’s conversation. Because it was Jon who was my very first guest in this series those seven years ago.

A Look at the Evolution of CRM, and Its Future

We cover a lot of ground as we reminisce about the past, dig into what’s changed over the past seven years in the CRM space, and eventually look at what is coming down the pike. So this is a bit longer than usual. But hey, it’s not every day you hit a pretty cool milestone like this!

Below is an edited transcript of our conversation. To hear the full interview click on the embedded SoundCloud player below. And thanks to all who have read/listened to the series the past seven years. And a BIG THANK YOU to Anita Campbell and the whole Small Business Trends team for giving me a platform for having these kinds of conversations over the years.

* * * * *

Small Business Trends: I recently realized that come September 3rd, I will have been doing this series for seven years, which is just mind blowing to me. This whole thing started out with a conversation I had with John Ferrara. As luck would have it, guess who’s back with me to celebrate the 7-year anniversary? Jon Ferrara.

Jon, thank you for joining me today, man.

Jon Ferrara: Brent, I am super excited to be here with you today. I cherish you as a friend.

Small Business Trends: At the time, back in 2010, you had already sold GoldMine. You had taken some time off and had just recently started this new thing that was called Nimble. Now seven years into Nimble, tell us a little bit about what it was and what it is.

Jon Ferrara: You bet. So it’s my feeling that after using social media back in 2008, ’09, and ’10 it was going to change the way we work, play, the way people buy, and the way we need to sell to them. I started looking at contact tools and CRMs and saw they weren’t social. Then I started looking at contact management and saw it was broken because email, contact, and calendar are three separate applications and that CRM isn’t about relationships. It’s about reporting. So I build Nimble to reimagine a CRM as a social relationship manager that layers on top of your email, contact, and calendar. Build the CRM for you, and it’s been an amazing journey because I think the market has woken up to the vision that I had about social CRM and social selling and now I think it’s become ubiquitous that we need to change the way we sell, because customers have changed the way they buy.

Small Business Trends: Here we are in 2017. You’ve seen a lot in terms of not just how customer relationship management has evolved over time, but also how businesses in general ( startups and small businesses) have begun their journeys over that two and a half decade period. Tell me, what’s the biggest surprising change that you’ve seen in relationship building today as compared to when you first got started with GoldMine?

Jon Ferrara: You know, the biggest thing I’m surprised about Brent is that nothing’s changed. I think today people are still, for the most part, doing business the old fashioned way. They’re sending out a quarterly newsletter and expecting people to come knocking on their door. They’re still doing business in the old way of giving a sales rep a CRM and telling them to go get ‘em, and not really helping that sales rep with engagement as opposed to using the CRM for reporting. I think that social is changing the way that we work, play, buy, and sell, and I think that just now today, the market is waking up to that fact and they’re looking for something different.

But I think that the biggest surprise I have is that the thing I fixed with GoldMine … I’m not even going to count how many years ago it was. Hang on. Dang. It’s 27 years ago when I founded GoldMine! GoldMine was the first program that integrated email, contact, and calendar into a team relationship manager with sales and market automation. Today, contact management is broken again and it needs a GoldMine, but more importantly, a social cloud-based GoldMine.

This is what I mean. Today your operating system of your business is the contacts you’re connected to, the conversations you’re having, and activities you’re driving. That’s email, contact, and calendar. Today you have two choices. You’re going to either do that in Office 365 or Gmail/G Suite. And both of those applications, all three of those components are three separate apps and every team member has a separate contact database, which means there is no system or record of relationship for your business, which means that everybody in your company can’t be on one [accord] with your contacts, let alone the history of interactions on email and calendar. And most importantly on social as well.

That’s what Nimble fixes today. The biggest thing is this, if you have to go to your CRM or your contact program to use it, you won’t do it. That’s the biggest cause of failure of CRM, is lack of use. The second one’s bad data, because even if you beat on your sales people to type stuff in the CRM, it’s going to decay so rapidly that it’ll become unusable and so I think that the fact that they call it Salesforce because you have to force sales people to use it, is a testimony to the fact that you work for their CRM. It doesn’t work for you. You have to go to it to work for it. It should work for you by building itself and then work with you wherever you are. You should be in the river with your customer, adding value on a daily basis to set yourself up as a trusted advisor so when they make a buying decision, they know they pick up the phone they call you, but they drag their friends with them.

Small Business Trends: Wow. You’re still talking about the Social River, man. I remember hearing that back in 2010.

Jon Ferrara: I am, but I’m going to tell you something about social, Brent. Social as a word is going to go away, and we’re just going to get back to doing business. Because if you think about it, the term Social CRM has already passed over the horizon and there will go social selling, because ultimately it’s just about CRM and selling. But social’s just a new way of having conversation.

Do you remember when the Internet first came out? Everybody talked about “I this” and” E that”… eToys and iContact. Everybody thought the Internet was going to change everything. And you know what? It did. But you don’t talk about the Internet anymore, because it’s just the plumbing and when you turn your faucet on on your sink, you don’t think about the re-circulation pipes. You just worry about there being hot or cold water.

And so yes, I am still talking about the social river, but we don’t need to talk about social selling or social CRM. We just need to talk about contact management and basic relationship management that still is lacking in the main tools we run our businesses on.

The cool thing is, Nimble now synchronizes with all of your existing business apps, becomes that unified system where I can work back within them, even if you already have a CRM. And so we will launch in 30 days a plugin to Dynamics CRM, that helps any CRM user engage more effectively and bring their Office contacts with them and then take their Office and their Dynamics contacts anywhere as they’re working, because your sales people should be out there in the field with the customers having conversations, not inside a database.

Small Business Trends: With the move to the cloud that CRM applications and their complementary applications have made, how do you look at CRM cloud applications meeting the expectations and needs of the modern business? From a scale of 1 to 10, how well are they doing that today?

Jon Ferrara: Let’s talk about the sales and marketing and social technology tech stack that a business needs in order to manage the customer lifecycle. So, if you’re a business, number one, you get a domain. You go to GoDaddy. Get a domain. Then what you do is you need to get a website. So you get WordPress or something. Then what you need to do is you need email, contact, and calendar. So you buy Office or Gmail or G Suite. The next thing you’re going to need is some place to take the eyeballs you’re driving to the website. So I call that MailChimp to Marketo, right? It’s marketing. So you need to capture a lead, whatever you got, email, name, phone number, whatever you get. Put in to a database, and then nurture that lead till it’s lead qualified. Once it’s lead qualified, whatever that means to the business, you then put it in the CRM and you tell all your sales reps to go get them. So now we got two applications at a minimum, marketing automation and CRM.

So the sales rep sitting there with this lead and the database, and they don’t know anything about that lead, so what do they do? They Google them. They look them up. That’s 60 percent time wasted, looking things up and logging what you know and then logging what you did in email, calendar, and social, and the CRM, and you have to go to it to do it. So instead of doing that, what you do is you buy sales intelligence software. So the sales intelligence software maybe enriches the CRM record with who that person is and what their business is about. Maybe that’s inside view, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, or Nimble, which happens to be number one in that category in sales intelligence. Once you have the intelligence, you need to engage. And so you think about market automation as the high level bombers of the battlefield bombing the leads with nurturing.

Once you get that done, you need to put boots on the ground. That’s sales people. Sales people need intelligence. That’s sales intelligence, and they need a rifle. The rifle is not market automation. Sales people don’t use Marketo. Sales people use some sort of hand to hand combat tool, which is email templates with tracking. So that’s Yesware, Tab app, whatever email tracking templating software. So at a minimum you got four components. You got market automation, CRM, sales intelligence, and sales enablement. Each of those tools costs $50 to $150 per rep per month, and you give all that to a sales rep, they’re not even going to be able to use it because it’s too complex. So you got to hire a sales administrator for $50,000 to $100,000 a year to run it.

Now, if you asked me how the CRM was doing regarding serving the needs of the customer, I’m going to say you’ve got to buy too many products and too many tools today. I believe you need a blend of social sales and marketing with a blend of marketing CRM, sales intelligence, and sales enablement. Then the thing needs to work with you wherever you work, and I think that’s why we continue to innovate in ways that are unique in the market, because we see that need of too much complexity, too much cost, and too many tools, and that for 99 percent  of the businesses out there, they’re not going to go buy Marketo and Salesforce and InsideView and Yesware, or some other email template program. It’s too much. That’s where we’re at with Nimble, providing that blend of social and sales and marketing to manage the customer lifecycle across an entire organization.

Small Business Trends: All right, so let’s talk about a couple of things that weren’t even a blip on this screen back when we first talked seven years ago and their importance. From a customer engagement perspective, being able to scale efficiently your ability to respond, or to provide a quick answer that could help convert. We hear a lot of talk about chat bots. Talk a little bit about what you feel the importance of chat bots are today to modern customer engagement strategy.

Jon Ferrara: I think if you are not providing a means for your customer to communicate on whatever channel, at whatever time, at whatever moment your customer wants to, you’re going to lose them. Because it’s the people that are doing that today that are going to win that heart and mind. Because let’s face it, you’re out there in the cloud, you’re in-app trying to evaluate some program. You might be doing it on the weekend, you might be doing it in the middle of the night, and you might be doing it wherever, and you want some help. And so chat bots — and I’m not just talking about a chat bot on a website — I’m talking about chat bots within the applications themselves as well, so that your customer can ask a question at any point, at any time, and be able to get an answer. And it’s not just a sales answer, it’s really a customer success answer.

I think that sales has become a four letter word and that service is the new sales, and that you should be empowering you customer base and business team members to be rewarded and focused on customer success. That comes through communication and listening and dialogue. And so yes, I think chat bots are amazing, and that’s why we incorporate them, not just on our own website, but inside our apps as well.

Small Business Trends: All right. Let’s talk about the AI, because chat bots and AI have got to go together.

Jon Ferrara: Yeah.

Small Business Trends: How important is AI? We hear a lot of talk about it. We’re seeing a lot of people say that they have it and they’re doing it. (A) Is it important? and (B) Are you actually seeing it being done?

Jon Ferrara: You know Brent, when we start talking about AI I start saying the more digital we get the more human we need to be. And that yes, you can use computers to discern information across disparate databases to tell you things you don’t know. And that these bots might be able to do some basic conversation, but in the end, you need humans involved through that process. But I’ll tell you what, my first introduction to computers was in the Pan Am building in New York City. It was a teletype that was running ELIZA. ELIZA was a list based AI system that you … It said, “Hey, Brent, how are you?” You’d say, “I’m doing good.” And it says, “Oh, great. You know it sounds like your day is going good. Tell me more.” You tell it more and it interacts with you. It was pretty good back in the day and it’s gotten better, but I don’t really know if there’s truly a program that’s doing AI today as opposed to just some inherent word parsing and suggestions at this point. I don’t think we’re there yet.

We’ll get there, but in the meantime, I think that no matter how much AI you put into it, I think the key thing for business success is to be able to deliver context and insights on the relationships that you’re engaging with, whatever you’re engaging about.

Nimble Disrupting CRM World with Microsoft Edge plug-in
Sep 06, 2017
Nimble Disrupting CRM World with Microsoft Edge plug-in
Nimble Disrupting CRM World with Microsoft Edge plug-in
Sep 06, 2017
Contact management specialist Nimble has strengthened its presence in the CRM market with the release of its Smart Contacts App with support for Microsoft Edge, the web browser developed as the successor to Internet Explorer.
Nimble Disrupting CRM World with Microsoft Edge plug-in
Sep 06, 2017

Nimble Disrupting CRM World with Microsoft Edge plug-in

Contact management specialist Nimble has strengthened its presence in the CRM market with the release of its Smart Contacts App with support for Microsoft Edge, the web browser developed as the successor to Internet Explorer.

The new plug-in, offered free for the standard edition, makes available the social marketing and business functionality of the contact management app directly within the Edge browser. The add-in version is available for all users of Office 365, Outlook desktop for Windows and Mac and Outlook iOS. Nimble also offers plug-ins for the Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers.

A business edition, which provides access for team social sales and marketing functionalities, will be offered at $25 per user per month, and will be available for Outlook Mobile Android users within the next few months.

Jon Ferrara, CEO of Santa Monica, California-based Nimble, believes the plug-in could become a significant market disruptor by replacing market-dominating enterprise CRMs such as Salesforce as a tool for sales staff. He claims that most industry-leading products are better suited to executive-level managers and department heads than salespeople who spend their days communicating via e-mail and customer-facing social networks.

Ferrara argues that contact management should be at the core of CRM products designed for use by ordinary employees rather than managers. Instead, he says, they are really designed as reporting tools.

The Nimble app is intended to enable salespeople to call on their contact list on the go by synchronizing individual e-mails, calendars and contacts as well as social networks into a shared team relationship management system that can be accessed directly in the browser by users of Office 365 and Outlook.

This, Ferrara says, resolves the biggest deficiency of traditional CRM systems: the dispersal of information among e-mail, contact management and calendar apps and tasks.

Nimble’s features include social profile matching and enrichment, matching social profiles for contacts and companies and automatically incorporating additional business and social details; instant business insights on people and companies by automatically building live profiles; and identification of top prospects for follow-up.

Key Takeaways:

• Nimble believes mainstream enterprise CRM products are better suited to executive managers than ordinary sales staff.

• The Microsoft Edge plug-in makes the Nimble contact management app available to all users of Office 365, Outlook desktop for Windows and Mac and Outlook iOS.

• Ferrara says the system provides an answer to the dispersal of information among e-mail, contact management and calendar apps.

How Nimble Makes You More Agile
Aug 23, 2017
How Nimble Makes You More Agile
How Nimble Makes You More Agile
Aug 23, 2017
Nimble helps companies connect the tools, silos, and customer experiences that many find difficult. Its value goes way beyond CRM. It helps companies operate with greater agility.
How Nimble Makes You More Agile
Aug 23, 2017

How Nimble Makes You More Agile

Jon Ferrara co-founded the pre-Facebook, pre-Internet, pre-LinkedIn CRM system called GoldMine. His motivation was to connect people at a more personal level—to let them build relationships that build real value. That’s still his mission at his newer company, Nimble. Their product is what many call the “world’s first social CRM.” More than a CRM, Nimble helps companies connect the tools, silos, and customer experiences that many find difficult. Its value goes way beyond CRM. It helps companies operate with greater agility.

Jon is a big customer experience fan and recently he and I had the opportunity to chat in depth about how technology can help (or hurt) the customer experience.

Our world has changed. Customers no longer want to be pushed through a sales funnel (like many CRM programs can lead them to feel). They’re humans and they value relationships, value creation, and good timing.

So I asked Jon about his views on these points. His ideas around deepening relationships by blending CRM into social conversations are worth your attention.

For those of you who haven’t seen Nimble yet, here’s a screen shot (for Atlanta-based Tope Awotona, founder of www.calendly.com,  whom I don’t know yet) showing how robust Nimble’s information curation capabilities are and some of the options it gives you to connect, comment, follow, annotate, save, remind, etc.:

nimble_tope-1200x1642

Storyminers: So, besides helping sales people keep track of their selling efforts, how can CRM be used to create more value for customers?

Nimble: Customer Experience is all about aligning the promises you make with the experiences you deliver. Unfortunately, your customer journey is broken whenever your customer-facing employees use disparate systems.  The CRM system is commonly used by salespeople and marketers for outreach to prospects, customers and influencers; front-line CX representatives and customer care teams work within their CX system; and accounting and everyone else in the office works in G-Suite or in Office 365.

What’s missing in most cases is a unified system on a single platform that unifies the six islands of information that surround every business:  sales, marketing, customer care, accounting, social media and email.  Granted, there are enterprise options available from Salesforce and Oracle which unify your engagements, but their complex, costly systems are not accessible to 99% of the business world.

What most businesses need is a simply smart, social CRM that generates people and company records automatically from the data that’s already in and around your business so every customer-facing employee can engage armed with business context and social insights.  This is what Nimble does, and it’s why we’re growing so quickly.

My take: That’s smart design. Once all of a company’s systems are connected, understanding customer intent and anticipating needs lets you deliver higher value service at lower cost. Until those connections are in place, products like Nimble can help you connect the dots, working around the common disconnects that lead to frustrated customers.

Storyminers: How can companies leverage CRM to serve before they sell? (i.e. emphasize creating value rather than just extracting it from clients’ wallets)

Nimble: Imagine this scenario. I am a sales rep and I’m on Twitter, in Outlook or in Gmail, on Instagram, Facebook, and the company’s CRM.  When I’m reading a post on StoryMiners, I want to know who Mike Wittenstein is and whether I’ve ever spoken to or connected with him in the past. I want to know if anybody on my team knows him. I want to walk in his digital footprint to get to know him and what he’s passionate about, and I want to be able to connect within him on whatever appropriate, relevant and authentic channel I can. That’s what Nimble helps people do, by surfacing a customer’s history of interactions with a person or business and displaying the important signals that can help facilitate a genuine connection.

Nimble makes it easy for people to engage authentically with a customer, prospect or lead about what he or she is passionate about, before engaging with them about business.

My take: Putting relationships and service ahead of sales is the difference between a valued experience and a merely functional transaction. As long as you use the information you find out about someone using Nimble to make an honest connection that doesn’t manipulate others, it’s helpful to everyone and contributes to value creation.

Storyminers: What are some of the most common CRM challenges a business needs to overcome in order to be much more responsive to consumers “whenever they want it, whereever they want it, and however they want it?”

Nimble: The biggest mistake companies make when implementing their CRM is asking employees to become data entry jockeys.  Most customer-facing employees continue to manage most conversations and relationships via email, spreadsheets and in social media — and not in a separate contact manager (which requires laborious documentation).  CRMs that require users to log what they did, whom they did it with, and what the possible outcomes could be every time they connect with external constituents are fundamentally flawed. They require a mountain of work that people simply aren’t willing to do.

There is a powerful stat released by Docurated stating: ‘Only a third of sales reps’ time is actually spent selling.  That means the other two thirds is wasted on day-to-day stuff like researching contact details and updating the CRM. With the right technologies and processes, you can easily cut this noise in half.

My take: The more time you give salespeople to sell, the more they’ll sell 😉 From my personal yet still limited experience with the product, I love the way Nimble seems to capture what’s current and relevant, then lets you do the ‘next right thing.’

Storyminers: How does Nimble overcome these challenges and fundamentally change the way CX teams engage with consumers?

Nimble: Nimble synchronizes individual emails, calendars and contacts as well as social networks into a shared team relationship manager that auto-generates dynamic social and business profiles for O365, Outlook and Gmail users everywhere people work.

Nimble delivers these social business insights within your work window so you can engage authentically on whatever channel your customers or prospects are using. Multi-channel support spans the Web (via Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge plug-ins); in popular Web applications (Microsoft Teams, Dynamics 365  and Skype) and in email, calendar and contacts, in the cloud with Office 365 or Gmail, on the desktop (Windows and Mac) and on mobile devices (iOS and soon on Android).

Using Nimble, customer-facing employees can engage authentically throughout the journey, from the time a contact is first identified to the time she becomes a repeat customer.

My take: knowing not only what you’ve done with someone online, but seeing what others on your team are doing with a company or contact is a brilliant feature. This way, one brand, regardless of how many people are in it, can act like and appear as one brand to customers. The left arm can finally know what the right arm is doing 😉

Storyminers: How much life does CRM have before it gets eclipsed with more multi-purpose and context-sensitive technologies (like Nimble)?

Nimble: In today’s over-connected, over-communicated world, it’s more important than ever to engage authentically. If you’re not listening and engaging with customers, prospects and influencers about their passions, you’re already dead.

Relationships may start on Twitter, where you can find areas of commonality, then switch over to LinkedIn, before moving to email, and ultimately to the calendar for an appointment or video call. If you’re doing it right, your relationship grows deeper, and you connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat as well.

Through these fluid connections, prospects and customers get to know you — not just your business persona — which is key, because the customer journey is largely driven by emotional connections.  That transcends business and moves into the what I call “the Five Fs”: Family. Friends, Food, Fun, and Frolicking. This is where relationships really solidify. The only way to maintain a real relationship with someone today is to stay top-of-mind, and you can’t do that with a monthly newsletter.  You do that by adding value to their journey to become their trusted advisor. They will not only pick up the phone, they will bring their friends with them.

My take: Nimble is perfecting the bridge between professional and personal. We’re all humans. Finding the right human-to-human connection within a business context is something we all can all use to move our businesses forward. 

Storyminers: How do you see customer experience evolving over the next 10 years with AI, chatbots and new high-tech devices?

Nimble: I believe a social CRM that builds itself and delivers social business insights everywhere you work is key to making and managing authentic connections online. Siri may be in the offing, but it’s years away. As processes and systems become increasingly digitized and AI becomes more prominent, we’re focused on helping people be more human, authentic, and engaging when making connections online.

My take: The Kool-Aid® tastes good and I’d like to see Nimble become an early adopter of machine learning capabilities so that the way I like to work becomes ever more natural.

In Summary

Nimble is a product born from an intense focus on creating value for others. By design, it enhances relationships and brings authenticity to the forefront. My first experience with the product has been comfortable and natural. Knowing more about a person at the start does help you connect in more meaningful ways! Knowing when your important contacts are active on a topic that dovetails with your own interests is magically helpful. If your organization does have all its dots connected when it comes to  communications, Nimble is sure to improve the customer experience!

Making CRM for the Users with Jon Ferrara
Aug 18, 2017
Making CRM for the Users with Jon Ferrara
Making CRM for the Users with Jon Ferrara
Aug 18, 2017
In this episode of CRM Rocks, Markus Erlandsson talks to Jon Ferrara from Nimble about making CRM for the users.
Making CRM for the Users with Jon Ferrara
Aug 18, 2017

Making CRM for the Users with Jon Ferrara

In this episode of CRM Rocks, Markus Erlandsson talks to Jon Ferrara from Nimble about making CRM for the users, the discussion starts with how CRMs started and how to get usability and usage. Jon continues to discuss how to sell and where to start with your selling.

Play Episode

Bio

Jon Ferrara is a serial CRM and Relationship Management entrepreneur and noted speaker about Social Media’s effects on Sales and Marketing. His most recent venture Nimble.com, has re-imagined CRM by building a Simply Smarter Social Sales and Marketing platform. Jon is best known as the co-founder of GoldMine Software Corp, one of the early pioneers in the Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software categories for Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMBs).

Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-in For Microsoft Edge
Aug 17, 2017
Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-in For Microsoft Edge
Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-in For Microsoft Edge
Aug 17, 2017
The add-in brings Nimble's social business insights capabilities to the browser.
Nimble Launches Smart Contacts Add-in For Microsoft Edge
Aug 17, 2017
Posted Aug 16, 2017

Nimble today launched its Smart Contacts Add-In for Microsoft Edge, bringing Nimble’s social business insights capabilities to Microsoft Edge and enabling users to make and manage connections from within the browser.

“It’s getting harder and harder to remember who it is you’ve spoken to, or to do the research necessary to understand who somebody is and what their business is about whenever you’re engaging with them,” says Jon Ferrara, founder and CEO of Nimble. “If you have to Google somebody before a meeting or go to your contacts or your CRM to look [that person] up, you won’t do it. That’s what Nimble solves, [and] this plug-in for Edge gives you all the contact and company information you need to be effective at engagement wherever you engage.”

Nimble offers four key features under the umbrella of social business insights: (1) social profile matching and enrichment, which matches social profiles for contacts and companies and automatically enriches them with additional business and social details; (2) business insights on people and companies, delivering instant insights on people and companies by automatically building live profiles with details such as who they are, where they were, where they’re from, number of company employees, year founded, revenue, industry, CEO, location, social profiles, and contact info; (3) prospect segmenting, enabling users to identify the best prospects to tag for follow-up or engage with actions such as group email messages; and (4) social prospecting, which provides contexts and insights designed to promote smarter prospecting.

Nimble’s Edge plug-in enables users to unify their contacts with their communications and activities across platforms, including social media, Ferrara says.

“Today, you have your email, your contacts, and your calendar in either Office 365, Gmail G Suite, iCloud, or all of the above. So how do you manage your contacts when contact management is broken, because in all those platforms, email, contacts, and calendar are separate,” he says. “The plug-in for Edge helps you to use that wherever you’re engaging, so if you’re in your email inbox, if you’re in Twitter or LinkedIn, if you’re in a Forbes article, all you have to do is Nimble them: You turn the Nimble plug-in on in Edge, and it knows that you looking at, [for example], Jon Ferrara’s Twitter account, or his LinkedIn, or, if you hover on the name in a Forbes article, it will automatically build a record for that person.” 

Nimble offers plug-ins for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, in addition to Edge.  

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