In theory, all the information floating around in social media is a crucial resource that businesses should use to connect with sales prospects and convert them into customers. In practice, the process is cumbersome, noisy, and often complicated.
StateNewslines.com is a news-indexing service that appeals to top political and business decision-makers. They track relevant news items from about 1,500 daily newspapers and 5,000 weeklies, as well as from college and alumni sites and most of the top political websites and blogs.
Since launching in 2007, StateNewslines.com and their blog have grown to about 250,000 users, delivering more than a million pageviews a month. Nimble helps Helmick and his team to locate, connect with, and convert elite advertisers. He also uses Nimble to keep up with angel investors and other key stakeholders.
The “Unification Benefit” of Nimble
StateNewslines.com uses Nimble’s smart relationship management tool to unify all the social streams of a contact’s conversations, making the previously hidden areas of interest and concern transparent and comprehensible.
“This is where Nimble just rocks,” says founder Paul Helmick. “It goes out and searches for people and then brings up their LinkedIn profiles and pictures so I see if the person we’re about to talk to is connected in some way to other people that we have talked to – or sold to – in the past. Nimble puts these relationships in context.”
Transparency > Deep Connection
“The Nimble dashboard provides a wonderful way to connect with the people you’re trying to sell to. The access to all the social streams gives you transparency so you can see that you share an interest in history with a prospect. That leads to a conversation about this great book you just read on world history, and next thing you know, you’ve got a real deep connection on a point of mutual interest.”
Targeting and Tracking “Suspects”
In an increasingly crowded online media landscape, it was crucial for StateNewslines.com to fully leverage their high-end audience in order to maximize advertising revenues. This meant targeting a select group of premium advertisers and selling them exclusive sponsorship positions on the site.
Armed with contact information for key potential advertisers in his target markets, Helmick uses Nimble to manage contact info and social media activity, as well as track leads as they progress through the sales funnel. Nimble’s tagging functionality is key to the 5-step process Helmick developed to track and convert what he refers to as “suspects,” as they become “prospects,” and finally “sponsors.”
In the past, Helmick had to maintain multiple browser tabs, opening them to Facebook and LinkedIn, with a Twitter client running on the desktop, and a mail program in the background. During a sales call, he would have to tab back and forth among all these open applications, making it difficult to keep track of vital details. Nimble makes it easy to get a richer picture of each prospect on one screen.
“It’s hard to get in front of these guys – and when you do, you need to make your pitch count, because there are a lot of companies standing in line to get to them,” he said.
Insights Build Intimacy
Helmick also uses Nimble to keep track of VIPs, including potential funders, attorneys, and other allies. After noticing that he was connected to about 50 influential attorneys, he used Nimble to put all of them into one category and then leveraged Nimble’s integration with MailChimp to send them all a monthly email.
“I try to find something to contribute, or a neat question to ask them,” said Helmick. “I want to stay in front of their minds, so that when they think of me, they say to themselves, ‘That Paul, he always has a good question on law and business.’ It really helps.
Helmick has become such a fan, he’s regularly recommending Nimble to friends and colleagues. “One guy asked me for advice on how to meet influential people in a vertical. I set him up with Nimble, showed him how to do a search, and within a week, he was able to connect with 15 people just off of listening to Twitter, talking about what he wanted to talk about.”