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Insightly and Salesforce are both trusted and highly-regarded CRMs, but for different reasons. Small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) gravitate toward Insightly’s affordable prices, accessible UI, and rich project management features. Enterprises like Salesforce’s highly-customizable platform, powerful analytics engine, and ample app integrations. Evaluating the differences between these two options will help you decide if either one is the best fit for your business.
Here are the situations in which each of these CRMs excels:
Insightly and Salesforce are both great choices overall, but neither may fit what you’re seeking for your business. Should that be the case, we recommend you expand your search by reading our articles on the best overall CRMs and the best industry-specific CRM solutions. Otherwise, continue reading for at-a-glance information about these two platforms.
|Price Range (Annual)
|Free to $99 per user, per month
|$25 to $330 per user, per month
|Focus on data organization through project management
|Focus on providing deeper client insights and analytics
|Ease of Use
|Suitable for users of varying CRM experience
|Designed with the CRM power user in mind
|All plans include live chat support
|All plans come with support during local business hours
|Best for quick and easy reporting on deals and tasks
|Ideal for generating any type of CRM report
|Primarily automates tasks related to the pipeline
|Automates nearly every sales and administrative task
|Collects data via call logging and business card scanning
|Caches data for offline access, imbued with AI
|Over 1,000 apps available
|Over 7,000 apps available
Insightly and Salesforce are both capable CRMs, providing companies with tools for organizing sales data, streamlining workflows, and working remotely. However, their approaches to these functions vary. Continue reading to compare Insightly and Salesforce across six key categories, plus three additional core CRM features. Otherwise, jump down to see how we scored each platform.
|Yes, for 2 users
|14 days (Plus and Professional plans)
|Starting Price (Annual)
|$29 per user, per month
|$25 per user, per month
|Enterprise Price (Annual)
|$99 per user, per month
|$330 per user, per month
|From $35 per month
|From $5 per month
Winner: Insightly is the more economical choice overall – particularly for small and mid-size companies on a limited budget.
Insightly is an affordable option for cost-conscious small and mid-size businesses. There’s also a free version, but it’s barebones and has a two-seat limit. For expanded functionality, choose one of its three paid tiers, which range from $29 to $99 per user, per month. Most plans include a 14-day free trial, and users can opt for its entry-level tier for contact and project management tools. Upgrade for advanced workflow automation and business intelligence features.
Salesforce’s high costs are geared toward medium-to-large businesses that can handle the expense. However, the entry-level Salesforce Starter plan is slightly less costly than Insightly’s base tier at $25 per user, per month. Standard with all Salesforce plans are sales cycle management, custom reports, and a 30-day free trial. Upgrade to plans costing up to $330 per user, per month for advanced features such as real-time insights, predictive forecasting, and unlimited workflows.
|Link contacts to opportunities plus other related contacts
|Complete overview of contact activity and interactions
|Update lead status via drag-and-drop kanban board
|Monitor multiple lead sources and campaigns
|Turn won opportunities into projects to manage
|Track every sales stage and set up activity-based alerts
|Complete workflow automation, real-time insights
|Einstein AI analytics, unlimited workflows
Winner: Salesforce gets the edge here for its advanced sales features – specifically its rich analytics and sales forecasting.
Insightly stands out for its integrated project management tools. Creating projects in Insightly is as simple as converting won opportunities, eliminating the need to manually re-enter sales data. From there, users can track milestones, client activity, and deadlines in one central location. Insightly also has Insightly Voice, a built-in telephony service for call logging and call analysis, but it costs an extra $35 per user, per month and isn’t available for its entry-level Plus plan.
Salesforce, on the other hand, is one of the most loaded CRMs on the market. Each plan comes with a wealth of contact, lead, and deal management tools, including 360-degree views of client and lead data so no detail is overlooked. That’s in addition to Salesforce’s rich analytics and sales forecasting, areas in which Insightly is lacking. Telephony can be added to any Salesforce plan from just $5 per month for features like call logging, forwarding, and caller ID.
|Ease of Setup
|Low to moderate
|Common Positive Reviews
|Clean UI, excellent project management
|High level of customization, robust integrations
|Common Negative Reviews
|Broken integrations, user support costs extra
|Lengthy setup, confusing UI that’s prone to crashes
|With premium support plan
Winner: Insightly offers plenty of functionality for veteran CRM users, while its visual UI won’t totally alienate newbies.
Insightly will suit users who are already familiar with CRMs, but the barrier to entry is low enough that newbies won’t be too intimidated by its array of features. A colorful and visual UI, combined with a fairly simple setup, makes Insightly a more palatable option for businesses that neither have the time or resources to devote to in-depth training sessions. However, Insightly lacks certification programs, and its knowledge base isn’t as comprehensive as Salesforce’s.
Salesforce’s customizable, complex UI will appeal to CRM power users, but even they won’t be spared the hours it’ll take to properly set up and learn it. And proper setup here is key, as any implementation missteps can translate to future errors. That’s the trade-off for being one of the most feature-rich CRM platforms on the market. While Salesforce has a steep learning curve, users can rely on its free learning resources thanks to its comprehensive Trailhead Academy.
|Standard Business Hours
|4am to 7pm PST (daily)
|Weekdays during local business hours
|Email, phone, live chat (chatbot and live rep)
|Phone, email, live chat for all plans
|Premium Support Plans
|From $1,500 per year
|From 30% of the net cost of CRM plan
Winner: Salesforce provides a greater range of free amenities, from email and live chat to step-by-step onboarding tutorials.
Insightly offers limited chat support for all users and email assistance for its paid subscribers. To avail yourself of phone support and faster turnaround times, you need to purchase Premier Success plans, starting at $1,500 per year. Customers subscribed to this plan also need guided onboarding for a one-time fee of $1,500, which includes implementation guidance and ongoing CRM support. Insightly’s user support has a solid reputation overall, but it comes at quite a cost.
Every Salesforce plan comes with standard email, live chat, and phone support (for business-stopping issues). There are also premium support plans available that add amenities such as 24/7 support, one-on-one coaching, and advanced diagnostics. Pricing for Salesforce’s premium support plans is available upon request. While its premium help is an additional cost, users can check out free learning resources on CRM implementation via Salesforce Trailhead.
|Basic Report Templates
|Enterprise and Unlimited
|Professional: Up to 100 reports
Enterprise: Unlimited reports
|Up to 20 reports per dashboard
Winner: Salesforce’s powerful reporting engine allows businesses to generate any type of CRM report so they can see key information at a glance.
Insightly includes nine legacy reports that focus on opportunities and activities. These templates are a quick and simple way to run reports, so they’re extremely limited in their parameters. However, all plans include the option to generate unlimited custom reports using drag-and-drop filters. Custom dashboard cards can be created using Insightly data on the Professional and Enterprise plans; however, lower tiers only feature Insightly’s fixed standard dashboards.
Salesforce also includes pre-made and custom reports with all of its plans – and extends the ability to create custom dashboards to even its cheapest options. Better yet, Salesforce’s higher-tier plans offer more variables and deeper analytics than Insightly’s comparable tiers. Features like cross-filtering and bucketing will help businesses better manage their data while also granting them greater freedom in generating CRM reports most relevant to their goals.
|Workflow Editor Interface
|Email sends, data entry, task creation
|Deal management, approval requests, notifications
|Workflow Rule Limits
|Up to 50 rules per object type (Professional and Enterprise only)
|Starter: No workflows offered
Professional: Up to 5 flows
Enterprise: No limits
Unlimited: No limits
|Workflows From Scratch
Winner: Salesforce is capable of automating nearly every sales process and admin task without any coding required.
All Insightly plans come with templated sequences called activity sets, which are used for creating automated tasks or events related to the sales pipeline. However, Insightly’s Professional and Enterprise plans allow for broader workflow sequences and more specific triggers, with a maximum of 50 rules permitted per object type. For more flexibility, developers can create custom actions in multiple coding languages via lambda functions (Enterprise only).
Salesforce’s point-and-click Lightning Flow Automation tool grants users the ability to automate nearly every sales function – no outside coding required. It can even automate internal administrative tasks such as expense reports, performance reviews, and employee onboarding. Users can also create intelligent workflows based on changes in customer behavior with Salesforce's latest advancement in generative AI via Einstein GPT, combined with Data Cloud.
|Mobile App Cost
|Mobile App Platforms
|iOS and Android
|iOS and Android
|Mobile Sync With CRM
|Average User Rating
|4.4/5 stars (Apple App Store)
4.0/5 stars (Google Play)
|4.7/5 stars (Apple App Store)
3.8/5 stars (Google Play)
|Business card scanner,
call logging, audio notes
|AI-powered insights, customizable elements
Winner: Salesforce’s mobile app not only has offline access (crucial for field workers who lack a stable connection), it also features AI-powered analytics.
Insightly has a free mobile app for iOS and Android that serves as a companion to its parent software. In addition to offering the project management tools present in the main CRM, the Insightly mobile app can also collect new contact data via a built-in business card scanner, record audio notes up to 60 minutes long, and log phone calls with no additional cost required. While Insightly’s mobile app is quite solid, it lacks offline access to data – a huge omission.
Salesforce’s free mobile app, also available on iOS and Android, does have offline access. It can cache data for up to seven items at once, including dashboards and opportunities. The Salesforce mobile app also includes AI-powered insights from Einstein Analytics – a feature that’ll be expanded upon in the near future with the introduction of the Einstein Voice Assistant, which will work with Siri and Google Assistant to help call up data and streamline tasks.
|Number of Total Apps
Winner: Salesforce boasts over 7,000 apps in its Salesforce AppExchange, compared to the 1,000+ offered by Insightly.
Insightly offers more than 1,000 CRM app integrations for different industries, including native connections to Xero, PandaDoc, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp. However, you need to subscribe to Insightly AppConnect for $249 per account, per month for direct app access. Businesses that require integrations outside of those provided by Insightly can use a connector such as Zapier, or develop custom apps if they subscribe to Insightly’s Enterprise tier.
The Salesforce AppExchange features over 7,000 apps, spanning a range of use cases and a variety of industries, from finance to real estate. Notable integrations include DocuSign, Slack, Asana, and Eventbrite. Companies that need a tailor-made app can build one on the Salesforce Web Services API, which is included with Salesforce Sales Cloud’s Enterprise and Unlimited, but costs an additional $25 per user, per month with Salesforce Professional.
Insightly and Salesforce certainly have their fans; each CRM has received a substantial amount of kudos from a wide range of business owners and sales professionals. Despite that, neither CRM is a one-size-fits-all solution. There’s a possibility that you may not get what you need from either Insightly or Salesforce.
The following businesses would want to consider options beyond Insightly:
If your business belongs to any of these categories, don’t opt for Salesforce right away. Check out our independent Insightly review for a detailed analysis of when it may or may not be suitable for your needs. Then, take a look at who shouldn’t choose Salesforce below.
Salesforce won’t be suitable for these organizations or situations:
Before deciding against Salesforce, check out our review of Salesforce CRM. There, you'll find an independent breakdown of the CRM as well as a roundup of user reviews.
Insightly and Salesforce are both capable CRMs, but they might not be the best fit for your business. Whether you’re seeking advanced features at a lower price, or want a free CRM that’s ready to scale with your company, you do have other options to consider. Below is our list of the three best alternatives to Insightly and Salesforce. One of these may be the CRM you need:
Freshsales is rated as our top general CRM for salespeople, and is renowned for its AI-powered tools and high-level customization capabilities. Its free plan, offered for up to three users, includes robust contact management tools, a built-in telephone, and a live chat widget. Freshsales is an excellent sales CRM, but you need to upgrade to higher tiers for multiple sales pipelines. If you need more than one visual pipeline even in the lowest tier, try Pipedrive.
Pipedrive is a user-friendly CRM known for its highly-visual and customizable sales pipeline. It offers an affordable option for teams that are mostly unfamiliar with CRM software at $14.90 per month as a starting price. Along with its 24/7 chat support, it's straightforward and easy to implement if you're needing a CRM quickly. However, if you’re looking for a CRM with stronger automation capabilities and AI-powered tools, we recommend looking into Freshsales.
HubSpot CRM is top-rated free CRM software that’s scalable and easy to upgrade with premium features should the need arise. Its free-for-life version offers robust sales and marketing tools and hosts up to 2,500 users. However, premium upgrades may be too expensive for individual users and smaller teams. If you’re looking for software with more affordable paid tiers, check out Freshsales, which is our best overall CRM.
We've also written articles on the best Insightly alternatives and the best Salesforce alternatives, which discuss other CRM options' features, pricing, and use cases. Check them out to learn more about your choices beyond Insightly and Salesforce.
In assessing the similarities and differences between Insightly CRM and Salesforce Sales Cloud, we focused on six key criteria businesses and sales teams weigh most when shopping for CRM software. We then split these categories into weighted subcriteria and assigned an overall score out of five to determine the winner for each category.
On paper, Salesforce may be the “winner” thanks to its outstanding feature set, high level of customization, and better user support access. But Insightly is an excellent CRM in its own right, with a price point and user interface that’ll appeal to small businesses new to CRMs. Before making a decision on which CRM to go for, sign up for a free trial or live demo, browse through in-depth articles like this one, and read our independent review of the best CRMs for salespeople.