Please note – While this article discusses Nimble CRM specifically, contact syncing between any two applications may raise similar concerns.
Being able to sync your contacts between Nimble and another source is something that is welcomed by most users. It’s a great feature but, if not handled properly, it can create issues. There are a lot of moving parts and that alone contributes to the confusions regarding this feature. Hopefully this will help!
Let’s start with a discussion of how and where Nimble performs contact record synchronizations …
First off, any synchronization is only available for Google or Microsoft accounts. However, there is also a separate mobile app synchronization. Each differs.
Google – Nimble can pull contacts from your Google account into Nimble either on demand or on a weekly automated basis. This synchronization is one-way only meaning you cannot send contacts from Nimble to Google.
Microsoft – With a Microsoft account, this synchronization can be done either one-way (Microsoft to Nimble or Nimble to Microsoft) or two-way (both to the other). Like with Google, this can be done on demand or on a weekly schedule.
Mobile – From the Nimble mobile app, you can ask Nimble to import contact records from your phone contacts app into Nimble. Once again this is one-way only and it can be done on demand or weekly via the automation.
What happens during these synchronizations?
New records are added, existing records are skipped or merged, and with the Microsoft two-way sync, records deleted from one source will be deleted from the other. There is a deletion routine built in where you will be asked to confirm record deletions prior to that action actually taking place. This routine is found in your settings for networks and imports.
If you neglect to delete these records, they will not be re-imported during the next sync cycle. That being said, you will want this task to be completed each week as well as clearing up any conflicts where Nimble is not able to accept all of the data that is being imported for some specific records. In this case, you will be asked to manually choose which data to use for that record.
Things for you to think about …
I’m not a huge fan of these synchronizations due to the fact that they can result in a ton of unwanted contact records in your Nimble account and, as discussed above, there are weekly maintenance chores to be performed. There are ways to safeguard against mass record creation, but most of my clients don’t have the time to properly manage these.
The key to importing only selected records is groups. You can create groups of Nimble contacts via the use of tags. You can also create groups of contacts in Outlook and Google. I use Google and it calls them contact labels. On any of the three methods listed above, you can specify which group or groups of contacts will be synchronized.
If you do not choose these groups, ALL contact records will be synchronized. I don’t know about you but, I have a ton of records that I have collected over the years via emailing and I only want a very small fraction of those in my CRM. I don’t want my dog groomer in there. The C in CRM is Customer. I want those in Nimble.
I’m fairly well organized and, being semi-retired, time is not an issue. But, I’m not about to label every stinkin’ contact in my database and do this on a daily basis. If this is not an issue for you, by all means turn on one or both synchronizations (Nimble Mobile or Nimble Web Outlook or Google) and sync all of your contacts. I would suggest that, in most cases, you do not need the mobile sync.
A better decision would be to take the time to initially clear out and then label your primary contact source (Google or Outlook) and then choose to sync that label (group) of contacts only. Just remember that, if you do not label new contacts that you wish to add to Nimble, they will not be synced to Nimble.
Now, I have three sources of contacts. Since I spend the bulk of my time emailing in Google, Google contacts would be my main contact source. My Google contacts automatically sync to my phone contacts so I have them there. I also have contacts in Nimble that I can access via the web or the mobile app. I do not synchronize my contacts between Nimble and Google or my phone and Nimble. Personal choice.
If I want to create contacts in Nimble but not have those in Google, I can do that. In this case, those contacts will be available in the Nimble web application on my desktop or laptop and in my iPad or iPhone via the Nimble mobile app.
While all of my contacts are in Google, I can easily add contacts to Nimble from a variety of sources whenever I want to via …
Manually – Manually creating a record in Nimble is a snap. I would suggest that you want four pieces of info as a minimum for initial record creation … first name, last name, company name, email address. Done!
Prospector – Prospector is a browser extension and it is also an add on for Outlook accounts and for Microsoft Teams. If you are Microsoft based you will want both the add on and the browser extension. The browser extension alone is needed for Google email.
Prospector provides you access to your Nimble contacts outside of the Nimble interface. This means your email inbox (Google or Outlook) and pretty much any web page. Using Prospector you can look up records in Nimble and then edit those or add notes and tasks (anything you can do with a contact record in Nimble) or you can create contact records in Nimble with a couple of clicks.
When you point Prospector to a name (this is done automatically in email), Prospector searches your Nimble contacts for a match and will tell you whether or not a record exists. If it does not, Prospector will give you the option to create one. Fast and simple! Prospector will also work in your Outlook mobile app. Sorry Gmail people. No love yet.
While we are on mobile, you can also create records in Nimble using your native phone’s “sharing” feature. On my iPhone, I can, for example, be on a contact record and choose to share it. A new box appears offering me my sharing options. Email, text, etc. Now there is also an option for Nimble. Voila! Create a contact record in Nimble.
A version of Prospector will also appear in several places within Nimble. It will pop up, for example, when you roll over a contact name on one of your Today Page widgets. In Nimble on the web, you have a “Messages” tab. This is your email message inbox on Nimble. Note that some names will be in blue while others will be in black or gray (unread or read message).
Blue names are in Nimble, the others are not. When you open that message look to the right and it will tell you who is and who is not in Nimble. If they are not, and you want to add them, hit the + button. Done!
Hopefully, this will clear up some of the mysteries involving contact syncing and it will give you some options if you choose to not go down that road. Please follow these links to Nimble support articles to see more detailed discussions …
If you are wondering whether or not Nimble CRM might be the right choice for your business, please feel free to book a free 30-minute Zoom consultation with me.