It’s no secret that CRM’s are not for sales people. They were built for management. This has been the problem with CRM’s for years. Sales people have bitched about the difficulty of updating CRM’s and managements CRM input demands since the first CRM rolled out 30 years ago.
CRM’s suck for inputting data. They require multiple steps sales people don’t want to take. They don’t integrate very well with how sales people go about their day to day. Adding a new contact, attaching an email, seeing the activity of other members of the team are all clumsy and create more work than it is worth at times. In most cases the most elegant part of CRM is the reporting and analytics, which is for management, not sales people.
I’ve been playing with Nimble for the past month and it’s a CRM worth looking at. Nimble could have just as easily been called “Integrate.” Nimble is built in a way that allows what once took multiple clicks and tedious input to happen with a single click. Everything from inputting a new contact, checking out a clients social stream, reading an email or seeing an accounts activity can be done almost instantaneously without ever leaving the site (Nimble is a cloud based CRM. It doesn’t have an “app” yet, although I assume that is coming.)
Not leaving the site, is what makes Nimble so appealing. It is completely unintuitive to me, but staying and working within Nimble is how you get the most out of it. It is so counter-intuitive to think I can check AND send emails, do a status update and check my FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn streams, add new followers to my social sites, track deals, etc all without ever leaving the CRM. I have to continually remind myself to not check TweetDeck or my Facebook page, or check email from the client app. I can do it all from within Nimble. I don’t need to bounce from app to app.
One of my favorite features is how easy it is to add and follow contacts. Input a contacts name and email and Nimble serves up the persons LinkedIn, Facebook, GooglePlus, and Twitter profiles. In seconds, you have your contacts picture, complete social profile (including streams), other contacts from within the company they work, and more. The contact page almost populates itself. Connect your Gmail account and all the emails you’ve sent to the contact automatically populate their contact page.
Because Nimble so seemlessly connects to Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more, getting customer and client information is unbelievable easy.
Check out my contact record for John above. It captures every interaction, both direct and indirect I’ve had with him. After our interview, I went to TweetDeck and tweeted about how much I enjoyed talking with him. (Yes, I could have done it from Nimble. Like I said, it’s hard to remember I don’t have to leave the site) Jon responded, got another person involved in the conversation AND all of this communication was captured in the contact record. No additional data input from me. I can send emails, do FB status updates, reply to a Twitter DM, and more right from the CRM.
If integration is what makes Nimble so powerful, analytics is it’s weakness. Nimble tracks deals and makes it dumb simple stupid to see all the activity across the deal,but it is week on reporting and displaying of the data.
Currently, reporting is very limited. It is lacking some very basic stuff. Users can’t see forecasted closes by month, quarter or year. You have little visibility into your pipeline. Things like average deal size, percent to quota, products in the pipeline, amount by product, etc. don’t exist. If heavy management reporting is a requirement for you, Nimble is not your CRM.
Who is Nimble for?
Nimble is perfectly built for the SMB space. It is extremely well designed and built to make the sales persons job easier. It’s integration with the web and social puts its powerful selling information in the hands of your sales team. Its simple UI and UX (user experience) will draw sales people in. For small and medium size businesses that don’t have a sales operations team to “manage” a large CRM installation, Nimble is perfect.
Nimble isn’t quite ready for enterprise primetime. It doesn’t provide the analytics and the robust internal data centricity enterprise companies demand. After talking to Jon however, that’s not their direction and he’s quite OK with that.
Nimble is exactly as its name suggests, nimble. It’s the easiest and most sales person centric CRM I’ve ever used. I see a number of existing CRM platforms adopting some of Nimble’s features that make it so sales person centric.
A sales person centric CRM, what a concept!
- MUST HAVE Social CRM Nimble Brings All Your Contacts and Major Social Media Activities Together (growmap.com)
- Nimble 2.0 Builds On Social CRM Vision (informationweek.com)
- Nimble (wir-sprechen-online.com)
- My hour in the Nimble platinum mine with Jon Ferrara (zdnet.com)