[This guest post is by Todd Martin, VP at Nimble. Nimble is a social CRM platform that we use on a daily basis. You can find more of Todd’s posts at http://www.nimble.com/blog/, or you can get a 30-day free trial of Nimble.]
Good contact management software – desktop software like Goldmine, ACT! and Maximizer – was a godsend in the 90s, and it’s still being used successfully today.
But social selling demands more. Customers now do their own research about you by asking questions and sharing information within their online networks. Your job as a salesperson has become less about describing the features and benefits of your products or services and more about exploring social venues and building relationships.
Nimble is uniquely positioned to provide the tools you need to develop the right relationships. It can help you tap into the social worlds your contacts inhabit (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+) by:
Consolidating social information about people and companies. Nimble’s contact management tools don’t just tell you where to send a flyer and who handles purchasing and when an individual last engaged with your company. Nimble does all of that, but its contact profiles are built to track much more. You’ll be able to see:
- A unified social stream that identifies the contacts’ networks and your shared connections, and even displays recent posts and updates
- A history of your interaction with them, including notes, emails, activities and social conversations
- An accounting of any deals in progress.
You’ll be able to initiate interaction with contacts from their profiles, too, sending messages and coordinating related activities.
Providing a unified view of all of your social conversations. When you click the Message tab, you’ll see messages that have come to you through email or on the social networks, either as one integrated list or individually. You can also send emails and post network-wide or individual messages from here.
Managing your schedule and to-do list. Keeping up with all of these new relationships requires a great deal of organization. Nimble’s Activity tools let you quickly and easily record information about a task or event by entering or selecting:
- Its description, date, time and location
- Recurring or all-day status
- Related guests, contacts or deals
- Tags (so you can group related activities) and comments.
If you’re working with Nimble as a team, you can delegate a task or event to a team member and it will then appear on his or her Activity page. Nimble accommodates multiple calendars, which you can create from scratch or sync with Google. Both list and calendar views are available.
Keeping track of deals in progress. As you continue to explore your social contacts using Nimble, you’ll identify people and companies who you’ve begun to engage in a serious sales relationship. Click on the Deals tab, and you can follow these closely so that no opportunities slip through the cracks. Your deal records can contain a description, related contact or business, amount anticipated, expected close date and the deal’s current stage.
Letting you listen to your social streams simultaneously. A critical element of social selling is the ability to get leads from your leads. It’s not just who you know – it’s who they know, too. Nimble helps you look for them. And you can view your social networks individually or all at once from within the same stream.
This, of course, saves the time you would spend flipping back and forth among sites. But it does more. While you’re listening in on conversations that your contacts are having, you can search for keywords and phrases within them that might help you identify a lead in a contact’s network. Once you’ve identified someone, Nimble lets you import him or her and begin interacting.
Same Concept, New Venue
Social selling isn’t a brand-new concept. You’ve always had to build relationships in the process of making a sale. You’re just doing it in the cloud now, with a great deal more information about prospects than you used to have – and with a lot more work already done for you by prospective customers.
Consumers and businesses have questions and problems. You have answers and solutions for some of them. So let Nimble help you expand and manage your network of social relationships – and put together some productive matches.