How many clients do you have? Whether you have 15 or 47 active clients, 133 prospects or 356 leads, it’s a lot to keep track of. That’s exactly the problem Nimble 3.0 hopes to solve. Nimble bills itself as a “smart relationship manager,” rather than as a traditional CRM.
Nimble promises to keep track of everything, in one easy to use app that captures everything you need to know about your contacts. Forget multiple apps and cobbling together a solution of your own between traditional CRMs and social media monitoring apps. Nimble says it can do it all for you.
Relationships, In Context
Nimble is designed to surface the context of your relationships with your clients in the larger world. It’s less about entering information into a structured database, and more about making sense of the information it pulls in about your contacts from social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
With a structured database (e.g., a traditional CRM), you need to enter everything you know in order to get something out. Nimble attempts to offer value by pairing the least amount of knowledge you have with what’s publicly available about your contacts in the social graph.
This means that when you look at your contacts in Nimble, you have a complete profile of each person, including their posts to every major social channel. You can also see who you know in common.
Nimble 3.0 • $15/month • nimble.com
You’re not just looking at their name and address and the last time you spoke to them. Rather, you get the sum of the parts: Your interaction, plus their social interactions. By offering everything available, Nimble believes you can put these social interactions into context, so that you understand what’s going on with them right now.
“We all get so much information that it can just become noise,” explains Richard Young, director of EMEA for Nimble. “But what people need most is a mechanism to turn the noise off. We convert that barrage into social signals that you can actually use, to engage with the right people at the right time.”
Young says that Nimble 3.0 enables you to unearth insights you might not have been able to get using a traditional CRM.
For example, Nimble makes it possible for you to precisely segment all of your prospects by identifying social “signals” associated with their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.
In effect, Nimble could allow you to identify who is likely to buy a certain type of property in a specific neighborhood — based on their social conversations and your own interactions with them.
What’s more, because the social signals function is pulling together a single stream of posts from Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as tweets, you can look for patterns in the conversation.
Nimble vs. Hootsuite
You might ask, what’s the difference between Hootsuite and Nimble? It’s really all about the context that Nimble is attempting to provide.
Hootsuite is great for immediate communication, and searching for conversations. But the research is in isolation, and not associated with your client. Nimble assembles all the conversation with the record, so even if you don’t remember a particular interaction, Nimble does.
It’s worth noting that Nimble has a tight integration with Hootsuite, so that when you search for a conversation in Hootsuite, you can easily associate it with your client back in Nimble. Nimble also has integrations with most major CRMs and email service providers (including a forthcoming partnership with Happy Grasshopper).
Nimble has these integrations so that it can become your central repository for everything you know (and what’s on the social graph) about your clients. And if there isn’t an integration for your favorite app, Nimble is partnered with Zapier, who can build an integration for you.
Perhaps even more useful is how easy it is to add people who aren’t currently your clients to Nimble. If you run a Twitter search on a hashtag within Nimble, everyone involved in that conversation will show up — whether they’re your clients or not.
A hover on their name reveals their Twitter profile, and presents the option to import them into Nimble so that they too can become a contact, and you can begin a conversation with them. You can’t normally do that in Hootsuite — but you can if you’ve integrated your account with Nimble.
That’s particularly promising, since it means that you can build your sphere, simply by monitoring what’s going on within it.
“Nimble filters through the torrent of data you get everyday, which is critical,” Young explains. “It allows you to pay attention to what’s important.”
Three Important People, Every Day
Another new feature of Nimble 3.0 is the revamped Today page. It presents the top three people Nimble thinks you should engage with. Nimble chooses those people based on what it perceives as a match within their LinkedIn profile, their Klout score, and how recently you’ve been in contact with them.
It also learns from what you do with the information it presents — for example, when Nimble asks you, “is this contact important,” you can say no. In which case, Nimble will kick that contact back into your low-priority contacts, and will even ask if you want to remain in contact with that person. [Please note that I do want to stay in touch with everyone Nimble presented to me today.]
Young says Nimble is constantly learning, so that it is the “Pandora of contacts.”
Nimble also presents what it thinks are important engagement opportunities, such as birthdays and job changes, as well as other events, like tweets and mentions.
Another useful feature is the reminder “bell,” which enables you to set a follow-up for any contact, right within the page. No need to go to the contact. Just click, and you can set a one-week, two-week or 30-day follow-up.
The new Signals page combines all of your social streams into one giant feed. The advantage here is that you can see, at a glance, everything that’s going on in your network, from birthdays to job changes to or retweets. The stream’s default filters make it easy to identify engagement opportunities, since they pull forward job changes, new connections, retweets, mentions, comments and likes. You can also create and save your own searches.
You can also easily respond to this stream. Simply click on any post in the stream, and Nimble pops up a status update window you can fill in and send immediately, or schedule for later.
Managing Your Relationships, Not Just Your Contacts
“We don’t position ourselves as a customer relationship manager,” Young explains. “We say we’re a smart relationship manager. For us, it’s about helping you manage your relationship with whatever type of person you’re dealing with. We facilitate, but we don’t dictate.”
Young thinks that the ease of use of Nimble is so compelling that it could potentially replace traditional small business CRM systems, like Highrise, Zoho or SugarCRM.
“When you think about the ease of use for something like Nimble, it becomes pretty obvious,” Young says. “If you have to blind carbon-copy something into some other system, that’s hard. And people won’t do it.”
Once you’ve connected your various email accounts with Nimble, it associates all of your email to a contact with the correct record. Nimble aims to present a complete picture of all of your communications with the contact plus all of their social interactions.
Perfect for Small Teams
Nimble designed the application with the idea that you might have other team members who want, or need, to access your account. In order to add other users, you simply invite them into your account. However, every team member will see everything in your account, unless you specifically exclude sets of information (like your personal Facebook account), or organize your contacts and other settings so that only you can see them.
This makes the settings for team a bit tricky. Nimble has not yet built in true team functionality with permissions levels, but Young says that’s coming soon. Every team member pays the same basic user rate, which is $15 per month.
Single Source of Information
“We offer a single source of information for small business people,” Young explains. “The point is to manage the relationship, and make it easy.”
If Nimble can pull that off, it will have a hit on its hands.
Nimble has already experienced meteoric growth, adding some 55,000 customers in dozens of industries since it launched two years ago. But the company is purposely staying small (just a couple of dozen staffers), despite some power investors including Mark Cuban and Google Ventures.
It has yet to introduce a mobile version of the app for iOS and Android, but promises to do so in June 2013. They are focused on quality and listening to their customer base to identify and quickly fix bugs. A spot check on Facebook reveals that most users agree that Nimble is, in fact, nimble and responsive to customer feedback.
If you’d like more information about Nimble, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Richard Young of Nimble.