Small business CRM, or customer relationship management is a growing market and business owners couldn't have picked a better time to look at investment options in this type of business tool. CRM is more user-friendly as companies develop the IT requirements, pricing, tools and features with the small business in mind.
Another reason this is a good time for small businesses to invest in CRM is that many lightweight solutions also leverage social media to help a business connect to customer conversations and relationships from social networking sites.
There are a number of smaller companies and new start-ups entering the small business CRM market with a focus on adding a social element to traditional CRM processes. We look at three small business CRM options with social integration features.
1. Nimble Social Contact Management
Calling its hosted CRM solution a "social relationship manager," Jon Ferrara, CEO and Founder of Nimble said, "Most CRM solutions focus on the business pulse, but Nimble focuses on the customer."
Nimble is a light-weight, online social software service (SaaS) that lets businesses use social relationships as a customer management and contact tool. Last February, Nimble Contact launched as a public beta at the DEMO Spring 2011 conference. The Web-based service integrates LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, email contacts and conversations to socially connect with customers.
|Nimble Social Contact Management|
This is one of the main benefits a small business will realize from a product like Nimble. From within Nimble, you can manage all contacts from multiple places. There is no need to have Nimble open in one browser tab, Facebook in another and there is no need to copy and paste details back and forth. Managing your CRM in multiple social spaces and between team members in one environment makes Nimble Contact worth a look for small businesses.
"The problem today is our contacts and our communications are in too many places," said Jon Ferrara in a statement. "Between IM, text messaging, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and email, we can't keep track of it all. Trying to manage all of this in eight different tabs on your browser isn't the solution. We created Nimble to solve our own needs and were bringing it to the world to help small businesses solve theirs."According to Nimble, the Nimble Contact solution will always be free. The company plans to release other versions of Nimble, including Nimble Team, Nimble Sales and Nimble CRM, which will vary in price from $10 to $29 per user, per month. Nimble is also working on an API (Application Programming Interface) that will allow developers to integrate Nimble into existing cloud applications such as accounting and email marketing tools and to create new applications that can be sold to Nimble customers via the Nimble App Store.