If you’re responsible for finding a CRM to either implement as your very first company CRM or to find the right one to switch to, we feel your pain. Looking for a new CRM is a time-consuming process, and it oftentimes starts with comparing the market leader to other products.
We have a lot of customers asking us about the differences between Nimble and Salesforce. This is why we created this honest and completely transparent Nimble vs Salesforce comparison guide.
Nimble vs Salesforce: What to Consider
Salesforce is the biggest CRM company in the world and is known for having all the bells and whistles. However, these bells and whistles come with a price tag.
Salesforce is more expensive ($35 per month per user) than Nimble ($25 per month per user) and many SMB CRMs on the market, but many smaller companies choose it anyway. Why? It’s a well-known and established CRM company and, as our CEO Jon Ferrara says: “Nobody has ever gotten fired for buying Salesforce.”
The fact is that it’s not for everybody. Choosing a CRM, like everything else, comes down to the specific needs of your company. I recently chatted with CRM consultant Craig M. Jamieson, who has been in sales since the late ’70s and has used a variety of CRMs as a salesperson as well as a sales manager. I asked Craig for his honest opinion on what type of companies might Salesforce be the best fit for and why some companies should consider going with Nimble instead.
“For enterprise-level companies who may have large teams, or who wish to integrate multiple departments and multiple applications, or who’s needs are so specific that they require high-level customizations, Salesforce would be an obvious CRM that would be worthy of consideration,” explains Craig.
“In my opinion, for small businesses with smaller teams or for solopreneurs, Salesforce may not be the best choice due to:
- Acquisition, implementation, and maintenance costs
- A higher learning curve
- It has too many features that may be well-suited for large businesses, but may not be best suited for smaller businesses
In this case, a CRM like Nimble may be a perfect choice because:
- It’s a fraction of the cost with minimal maintenance
- It’s easy to use and implement
- It has the largest majority of features that are necessary to increase your sales and your revenues.”
– Craig M. Jamieson (Managing Member/Owner of Adaptive Business Services)
Nimble vs Salesforce: How to Decide What’s Right for You?
Craig summarized some of the high-level things that companies have to consider when deciding between Nimble and Salesforce, but let’s discuss it in more detail.
Here are some reasons why you may want to consider choosing Salesforce over Nimble:
- You have the budget for it and the majority of your sales reps are already trained on Salesforce from their previous jobs
- You are a bigger company and/or growing really fast and need a lot of customization
- You need robust reporting, sales forecasting, and analytics
- You want to be able to set up drip campaigns/sales cadence/time-based automated follow-ups
- You need advanced sales automation tools and want your CRM to track the interactions prospects have with your website, social media channels, and sales reps
- You require automated lead nurturing features and want the ability to send triggered messages at strategic points of your customers’ decision-making process
Salesforce is for you if:
- There’s some wiggle room in your budget
- If you are Enterprise and need a very robust CRM
- You are looking for a very sales-centric CRM
- You want to make sure that your sales team has everything they need in one place
- If you have the budget to invest in proper training and help employees to onboard and understand how to use it properly
- You need a flexible CRM and want to customize it to your needs
- You are growing very fast and want a CRM with multiple plan options you can upgrade to if need be
- You need robust sales reporting
- A lot of your sales reps or other employees have used Salesforce in the past and don’t need help onboarding
- You can afford to pay for add-ons to make it work for your needs
- You need to email from an email alias
I’d likely recommend Salesforce to anyone who has the time or resources to develop the system to meet their needs or can outsource to another firm. Salesforce is a HUGE tool that comes as a blank slate, and not appropriate for any firm that cannot have a nearly full-time support person or developer.
Why Choose Nimble over Salesforce?
- Price is an essential factor to you because you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, or a small- to medium-sized business owner
- You need an easy to use and intuitive CRM
- You connect with customers on social media and do a lot of prospecting across the web
- You need your team to do the basics well; i.e. follow-up and follow-through with prospects and customers
- You need your reps to be able to figure out your CRM immediately without help
- You want a slick, simple, and modern interface
- You want a CRM that works in your inbox, on social media, anywhere else on the web, as well as in third-party applications
- You want to synchronize your contacts with your CRM and other business apps (such as Mailchimp, QuickBooks, Outlook, or Google Contacts) without breaking the bank
- You want a human CRM with exceptional customer service (We know, everybody says their customer service is excellent, but we do make it a priority to make ourselves available to anyone who wishes to speak to a human being)
Nimble is for you if:
- You and your team use Office 365 or G Suite and you want to make sure you can access your CRM without leaving wherever you’re working
- You want a CRM that is easy to use and want your employees to be able to self-onboard
- You don’t need a lot of customization
- You want a CRM with great customer support (daily live Q&As, weekly training webinars, email, social media support, + 1:1 training when requested)
- You need an intuitive CRM
- Nimble has a smart and quick way to monitor, engage, and nurture business contacts—providing much-needed context to conversations.
- You’re looking for a CRM that will help you expand your network and stay in touch with important people
- Need multiple pipelines to track deals, PR opportunities, influencer campaigns, and more
- Your team hasn’t used Salesforce because it’s too much for them
Migrating from Salesforce to Nimble
It happens a lot: a person at a company gets tasked with CRM market research, they create a bunch of trials, get overwhelmed, and end up going with Salesforce because “you can’t go wrong with choosing a CRM that has everything.”
Or can you? We often work with customers that come to us after deciding to transition from Salesforce to Nimble. This is what we hear from them:
“Our reps aren’t using it.”
“It’s too pricey.”
“It’s just too much for us.”
As I mentioned earlier, Salesforce really is great for a lot of companies but isn’t the best fit for all companies. Sometimes, it’s simply just too much. We hear the same thing over and over again from our customers: they just want their teams to be really good at the basics.
The basics are actually the most important things: following up on what they said they’re going to do and actually doing it, logging all important information into their CRM, and keeping their database clean and organized.
Nimble in Action
Mellissah Smith is the Founder and Managing Director of Marketing Eye, a marketing agency that provides businesses with a complete outsourced marketing department. In early 2019, Mellissah finally pulled the trigger, moved away from Salesforce, and successfully transitioned her team to Nimble. I asked her to share why she decided to do so and how her team felt about Nimble.
“As a company, we had Salesforce for 16 years. It was expensive and while people used it on occasion, it wasn’t part of their daily routine.
“Our company is very focused on digital marketing engagement, and that’s how we originally came across Nimble. Not only did Nimble provide a platform to capture customer and prospect information, but it was also more relevant to the world of business development due to how the platform integrated social media feeds and engagement into CRM.
“Nimble’s interface is also superior and makes it easier for sales and marketing professionals to make it their ‘hero’ technology platform to use. Since implementing Nimble, we have found our team to actually use the CRM tool as it’s intended and continue recommending it to clients and other stakeholders of our business.
“We also found that Nimble, as an organization, is more customer-focused. Whatever issues came up due to our team being new to Nimble, they made it a priority to help us navigate.
Nimble is more relevant to today’s sales and marketing professionals. Unlike platforms like Salesforce, they’ve been ‘nimble’ in moving with changes in customer and prospect behavior.”
– Mellissah Smith, Founder and Managing Director of Marketing Eye
How to Import Contacts from Salesforce to Nimble
Nimble has partnered with PieSync, a company that specializes in bi-directional data synchronization. Our built-in integration with PieSync allows our customers to seamlessly integrate their favorite apps with Nimble and keep the data in sync. This integration can also be used to easily transition data from one CRM to another.
The set-up of the sync or the data transfer is very easy and intuitive. The best part of it is that you can do so for free because they offer a free 14-day trial. If you, let’s say, want to test using Nimble in conjunction with Salesforce, you can do so as well.
If you keep your 2-way sync under 2,000 contacts per month per user, the integration remains free! In addition to our integration with PieSync, and of course the ability to do the transfer using a CSV file, you can also migrate your contacts from Salesforce to Nimble using Zapier.
Some things you need to know if you are thinking about making the transition from Salesforce to Nimble is what data you will be able to bring into Nimble. Migrating your contacts and their associated contact data will be a smooth and quick process, but if you have a lot of deals that you will need to transition as well, things might get tricky.
Nimble does not currently support deal imports, so any deals would have to be transferred manually. Notes from Salesforce will have to be placed under the “Description” field in Nimble and transferred using a CSV file. In regards to messages, when you connect your email to Nimble, we will automatically fetch all your emails sent and received during the last 90-day period.
Can You Use Nimble and Salesforce Together?
Yes! You can easily use both tools together by setting up a 2-way sync between Nimble and Salesforce using PieSync. Our Nimble Prospector browser extension allows you to directly export contacts to Salesforce; it also works in any third-party cloud applications (including other CRMs).
This way, you can use Nimble Prospector to easily create prospect lists on the web as well as on social media sites such as LinkedIn and then bring your contacts into Salesforce. The Nimble browser extension can also be opened up inside of Salesforce may you want to compare or transfer any information.
Nimble vs Salesforce: Features and Reviews
We aren’t going to list all of the individual features here, as the table would be never-ending. The individual features will also depend on your business; for a specific feature comparison, we recommend comparing the two pricing pages for both Salesforce and Nimble.
Here are the basics that most customers ask about when trying to compare the two applications, such as price and storage limits:
|Salesforce Essentials||Nimble Business|
|Pricing||$35 per user per month if billed monthly
$25 per user per month if billed annually
|$25 per month if billed monthly
|# of Users||10 max||25 max|
|Ability to test all features during trial||No||Yes|
|Roles & Permissions||No (available on $75+ plans)||Yes – unlimited|
|Storage||10GB (Source)||2GB per seat (additional 10GB available for $10 per month). Source|
In terms of comparing the ease of use, quality of service, ease of setup, and similarly important factors, we decided to include the results that G2 Crowd gathered from users comparing the two softwares themselves.
Source: G2 Crowd Nimble Reviews
Source: G2 Crowd Salesforce Reviews
Source: Capterra Salesforce Essentials Review
Source: Capterra Nimble Review
Nimble (left) vs Salesforce (right)
Source: G2 Crowd
Nimble vs Salesforce: Can I test them for free?
Yes. Both Salesforce and Nimble offer a free trial. Salesforce offers a 30-day free trial but limits the features that you are able to test on the free trial. If this is a limitation for you or not will depend on the type of your business and also the type of features that are important to you. Nimble offers a free 14-day trial, during which you have access to all its features.
Both apps make it very easy to create a trial with the exception of Salesforce requiring more information in order to do so. See screenshots below for more information:
Since Salesforce requires you to enter your phone number, you will also get contacted by their sales representative. Both Nimble and Salesforce will also send you a series of onboarding emails with links to resources and the ability to connect with a sales and/or customer success representative in order to get your questions answered.
Are You Ready to Make a Decision?
If you’re an entrepreneur or a small business that doesn’t have the time to train your reps on how to use a CRM and want them to hit the ground selling, are willing to work around some features availability, and if you want something a bit more modern in regards to UI, then Nimble is the CRM for you.
Need a simple and intuitive solution with only essential functions? Will you really make use of the complex functionalities required by experts and big enterprises? Are there any specific features that are especially practical for the industry you operate in? If you ask yourself these questions it will be much easier to get a reliable app that will fit your budget.
Our intention was to offer an honest comparison to help you decide between Salesforce vs Nimble. We are, of course, more familiar with our own product; if you’re an avid Salesforce user and found something that was mentioned in this post and inaccurate, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will look into it and fix it.