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(Think: Relationships and EOU)

Ok, so maybe I just made up the acronym EOU: Ease Of Use. But between relationships and EOU, they rate pretty high on my “I need that in my CRM” scale.

It takes about a million and one tools to run a business. Everything from advertising to zip ties (What?…we all don’t use zip ties…surely some do). And one of the most important tools you’ll need is a way to track and organize customers, prospects and other relationships.

How many times have you:
-misplaced a contact’s phone number?
-wondered when the last time you spoke with Sally Smith…and what you talked about?
-forgot who was in your “tickler file” for this month?
-wished you had ways of sorting thru contacts, customers, prospects and leads?
-had to manually enter a ton of contact data…so you didn’t?

Gone are the days where we send out our flier to 10,000 names in a zip code, hoping that .0001% will even see or remember our awesome product.

Today there is so much advertising overload that if we don’t have relationships with people, our sales efforts will be just one more nauseating “Hey, look at me.” attempt at gaining attention.

We all know referrals are the best format for getting new customers. But do you track that? Understanding the background, status and needs of a prospect or lead is the next best thing to a referral.

That’s where good CRM (customer relationship management) software comes into play. CRM software goes beyond a simple name and contact info…it really should be “relationship” management.

I have researched a lot of CRM’s. Balancing cost and features can be a struggle. And they are all over the map in regard to how intuitive and complete those features are.

The one I landed on is Nimble. It’s not free, but at only $15/month it’s not expensive either. Some of the free solutions are ok, but they usually have enough limitations that it would end up costing me time or effort in the long run.

Here are just a few of the main reasons I am using Nimble.

Contact Insight
Of course there are the standard fields for your contact’s info. But Nimble takes it a step further and draws in all of a contacts social (Linkedin, Twitter, FB) conversations. And you don’t have to do anything special…their feeds are part of their contact page. What a great way to see what they are interested in or talking about without having to visit all their sites!

Automatic Contact Adds
This is pretty cool. Let’s say you are surfing the web or doing research on a social media site. You come across a company or individual that you might want to add to your database. You simply hover over the name and Nimble will start to gather everything (via its Chrome widget) it can find about that contact. Then you have the ability to click “add to Nimble” without having to type in any of the data. It just does it! And you never even had to leave the page you were on.

(all the data on the right side of this screenshot is what Nimble can add for you, automatically)

Email Merge
If I send an email through my normal email provider (Gmail, Outlook or other 3rd party) it shows up in Nimble on that contact’s activity page. Now I don’t have to remember to add an activity to a contact to keep it up to date. I can also send other social media messages right from the same contact page.

Besides those unique features, here are some intuitive aspects I want/need/like.

  • Assign tasks to yourself or others
  • Set up dates for follow-ups or reminders
  • Integrated calendar with to-do lists
  • “Social listening” is updated automatically
  • Tag contacts with keywords for sorting later
  • Use templates to “mail merge” messages to contacts
  • Save searches
  • Mobile version

So there are a lot of great reasons to use a CRM in your business. Find one that works for you. There is no right or wrong in business…only what works and what doesn’t. Nimble is a great place to start looking. But in the end, find one that works for you.

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About Brian Richardson

Entrepreneur, father, grandfather, Christian, start-up fanatic