Relationship CRM with Jon Ferrara

This Market Veteran is Changing The Way We CRM

Can you shortly tell us how Nimble was born?

I saw that I needed to nurture the conversations I was having on different social platforms into relationships over time. Essentially, I needed to create a social CRM. 

We built Nimble to enable people to take their relationship they initiated in social media and convert them into potentially long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. 

Tell the readers about your achievements till today!

The best achievement I’ve accomplished to date is being a present, connected father and husband and raising three beautiful babies, but I suppose you’re looking for a different answer. I can talk about how I’ve done my best to grow my soul in the brief period of time I’ve walked on this planet. Maybe you don’t want to hear about either, so let’s talk about business. 

Back in the day, I helped pioneer contact management and CRM before it existed with a company called Goldmine. I sold that company when I was 40, spent ten years raising three babies and got back in the business by founding because I believe relationships are critical to your life’s success. Most CRMs are not about relationships and are more about command, control, and reporting, and I wanted to put the “R” (the relationships) back into CRM. So we created Nimble.

Do you have any daily routines or tactics to be more productive?

My first cup of coffee gets me going! 

I think that one of the most important things I do on a daily basis is moving my body. Sitting is unnatural; you have to be moving and flowing, and ideally under the sun or the stars, and being one with nature. 

Beyond that, I spend quite a bit of time on a daily basis being a little quieter with myself and my mind, body, and soul for at least a moment out of my day. I think it’s important to exercise each day and get your heart rate pumping.

I also love eating and cooking. And I love napping;  I nap for at least 10 minutes on a daily basis. It helps me to reset. I love my bedtime. What’s better than to get a restful night’s sleep? 

What is your biggest motivation to be an entrepreneur?

Some entrepreneurs might say, “to make money.” But I don’t believe we’re on this planet to make money. I believe we’re on this planet to make memories out of moments. More importantly than that, I think we’re on this planet to grow our souls. To grow your soul, you have to help other people grow theirs. 

My biggest motivator as an entrepreneur is to help people grow their souls at scale. We did that with Goldmine and that’s what we’re doing with Nimble: empowering other people to build the relationships that enable them to achieve success. My greatest business achievement is building solutions that help other people achieve their dreams through better relationships.

Tell us about your company!

At the end of the day, your network is your net worth. Nimble is a relationship management platform for individuals and teams. It delivers the core thing individuals need to manage your contacts.

I believe everyone’s goal is to drive eyeballs and deliver a measurable positive business outcome. People need to put their leads into a system that helps teams nurture them. Most importantly, Nimble is a relationship manager for the whole company. Every company needs a team contact platform where everyone can share the relationships they need in order to connect and grow their company.

The biggest mistake people make about CRMs is thinking that it’s all about their prospects and customers, but it takes more than that to achieve your goals. It’s more than salespeople that do that engagement. At Nimble, we connect all of these channels of generating leads. That’s a holistic approach to your business: you’re treating it like a sustainable garden instead of the “tag em and bag em “approach.

How CRM can find you the right strategy?

What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now, and how are you making it happen? 

The most important thing we’re working on is scaling to build something to fulfill people’s needs and help them grow. We’re doing that by inspiring and educating others by telling them how they could grow. 

One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking if they talk about themselves loud enough, and often enough, that people will care. Guess what? Nobody cares about your product. They care about themselves. If you want to grow your company, talk about how you can help people grow better, smarter, and faster. We’re scaling our message about the importance of relationships and enabling people to do that on a larger basis.

We’re very focused on scaling our community of people that are using and are ideally talking about our product. We believe this is much different than traditional CRM. 

What’s your take on your segmented/targeted Market?

We’re targeting people that are marching to a different drummer. If you’re looking for a traditional CRM that enables you to shelve leads, and that forces your sales team to pound phones and close business, Nimble isn’t for you. There are plenty of other CRMs that are good at that. Our customers value a higher connection; they build long-term relationships that garner repeat and referral business. I think that really resonates with the shift in the market; social media is transitioning into the world into a small village in which your reputation means everything. 

Service is the new sales. Sales had become a “4-letter word,” and companies like Nimble are changing that. We’re targeting companies in which this message resonates with them. 

What are the challenges you have faced and what are the current challenges? Mention the top three challenges for both. 

We were a pioneer in social selling before it existed, and people didn’t know the value of social media at the time. We enable people to build their own personal brand and to use that brand to scale their business. By the time people became aware of Nimble’s value, LinkedIn and Facebook cut off their APIs. The investment they made in social selling was lessened, so we had to pivot to stay relevant. 

We founded ourselves not only as a social CRM but as a layer on top of Google Workspace, making it a more effective contact manager you could use everywhere you work. We became more relevant by partnering with MS365, to the point where Microsoft is our business partner and they’re globally reselling Nimble across the world. We had to grow as social CRM adopted into becoming something more relevant. I think the fact that we’ve now become the simple CRM for MS365 and Google Workspace, and are scaling Microsoft as a business partner, has been a challenge and a benefit and unique differentiator for us. 

Most CRM companies generate their sales by using ad words to generate eyeballs and then handing those eyeballs off to salespeople to close them. It’s a race to the bottom, as far as cost. What we’ve done is we’ve shunned paid advertising. We’ve used influencer marketing, guerilla PR, and other means to drive eyeballs which rake in about 75,000 uniques per month, and we convert those people without a sales team. 

This model is effective for us. The challenges that some of the competitors face is that they are all chasing the AdWords of “CRM,” having to increase the cost of their platform to pay for this. We’ve been able to go about marketing in a very unique way. 

Why have you started up? was born out of my own need. I think the best products are born out of your own needs because you better understand the problem and are passionate about how to solve it. 

My problem was this: when I started using social media in 2008, I saw how it was going to change the way we work, play, buy, and sell. I looked for a solution that would enable me to manage the connections that were being created by the conversations I was having on social media. 

I couldn’t find what I needed; I found tools that enabled me to connect conversations in streams, like Tweet Deck and Hootsuite, but I wanted to be able to connect those conversations to people.

So, I created Nimble.

Where do you want to see yourself in the next 5 years?

At Goldmine, we had about 10 million customers. I’d love to double that. We want to empower people across the world to achieve their dreams, and we think relationships are critical to success. We want to empower 10’s of millions of people around the world to realize the success they dream of. 

Please share your learning with fellow Entrepreneurs? 

As an entrepreneur that has realized massive success by founding a startup on $5000, growing it to the north of $100 million in revenue, and exiting that as 40 yrs old, you’d think my takeaway is that money and success are amazing. And while they are, I don’t believe that (if you’re entering into entrepreneurship) to make money you necessarily have the best goal in mind. You’re not gonna leave this planet with the money you accumulate; you’ll leave it with the moments and vibrations and ripples of the times you’ve been truly present.

They’re not going to write on your gravestone, “made $100 million, pioneered CRM.” They’re hopefully going to say “beloved husband or brother,” if you’re lucky. Invest time on being present with others, nurture critical relationships, and hopefully be an entrepreneur for a higher purpose more than money. Ideally, to help others grow. If you help others grow, you can achieve any dream in your life. 

How can people go about finding and following you?

The best answer is to Google me. Pick the platform to connect with me that’s most comfortable for you. But also, Google yourself. Do you show up on the main page in multiple listings? If you don’t, build a Wikipedia page for yourself, and Google will index that and help with your search criteria. 

Learn More: Nimble

Want more motivation? This entrepreneur has a better way to win hearts

About The Author

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