Check out our breakdown of Insightly vs Pipedrive based on features, cost, and other criteria to see if either CRM is right for your needs.
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 CRM 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 below for our full breakdown of Insightly vs Salesforce.
|Price Range (Annual)||Free to $99 per user, per month||$25 to $300 per user, per month|
|Core Features||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|
|Reporting||Best for quick and easy reporting on deals and tasks||Ideal for generating any type of CRM report|
|Workflow Automation||Primarily automates tasks related to the pipeline||Automates nearly every sales and administrative task|
|Mobile App||Collects data via call logging and business card scanning||Caches data for offline access, imbued with AI|
|App Integrations||Over 250 apps available||Over 3,000 apps available|
|Customer Service||All plans include email-based support||All plans include email and live chat support|
|Visit Insightly||Visit Salesforce|
Insightly and Salesforce are both capable CRMs, providing companies with tools for organizing sales data, streamlining workflow, and working remotely. However, as our breakdown will show, their approaches to these objectives vary. In evaluating the similarities and differences between Insightly and Salesforce, we honed in on five criteria businesses weigh most when shopping for a CRM: cost, core features, usability, integrations and customization, and support.
Meanwhile, we separated three core CRM features into their own categories: reporting, workflow automation, and mobile app. (Salesforce swept all three categories.) We chose to emphasize these particular areas because companies typically seek CRM software that will help them optimize their processes and make actionable decisions.
|Free-for-Life Option||Yes, for two users||No|
|Free Trial||14 days (Plus and Professional plans)||30 days |
(14 days with Essentials)
|Starting Price (Annual)||$29 per user, per month||$25 per user, per month (10-user maximum)|
|Enterprise Price (Annual)||$99 per user, per month||$300 per user, per month|
|Add-Ons||From $35 per month||From $5 per month|
|Monthly Billing||Yes||Essentials only|
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 Insightly’s three paid tiers, which range from $29 to $99 per user, per month. All plans include contact and project management tools; upgrades yield advanced automation and business intelligence. The best no-strings-attached way to try Insightly is to sign up for a free 14-day trial.
Salesforce’s high costs are geared toward medium-to-large businesses that can handle the expense. However, the entry-level Salesforce Essentials plan is slightly less than Insightly’s base tier at $25 per user, per month, but there’s a 10-seat maximum. Standard with all Salesforce plans are sales cycle management and custom reports; upgrades include deeper analytics plus unlimited workflows. The only way to use Salesforce for free is via a 15- or 30-day trial.
|Contact Management||Link contacts to opportunities plus other related contacts||Complete overview of contact activity and interactions|
|Lead Management||Update lead status via drag-and-drop kanban board||Monitor multiple lead sources and campaigns|
|Opportunity Management||Turn won opportunities into projects to manage||Track every sales stage and set up activity-based alerts|
|Advanced Features||Complete workflow automation, real-time insights||Einstein AI analytics, unlimited workflows|
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 a built-in telephony service for call logging and call analysis, but it costs an extra $35 per month and isn’t available for its entry-level Insightly 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||Mostly straightforward||Time-intensive|
|Learning Curve||Low to moderate||Steep|
|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|
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 falls short when it comes to app integrations, which some users say are prone to breaking.
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, but despite its steep learning curve, fans of Salesforce also acknowledge that there are endless sales possibilities on the other side.
|Basic Report Templates||All plans||All plans|
|Custom Reporting||All plans||All plans|
|Advanced Reporting||Enterprise||Enterprise and Unlimited|
|Reporting Dashboard||Professional: Up to 20 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 10 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||Visual point-and-click||Visual point-and-click|
|Workflow Types||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)||Essentials: Up to 5 rules|
Professional: Up to 5 rules
Enterprise: No limits
Unlimited: No limits
|Workflows From Scratch||✔||✔|
Winner: Salesforce is capable of automating nearly every sales 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. Salesforce Essentials and Professional both include a maximum of five workflow rules, while Enterprise and Unlimited don’t impose a cap on the amount of rules allowed.
|Mobile App Cost||Free||Free|
|Mobile App Platforms||iOS and Android||iOS and Android|
|Mobile Sync With CRM||✔||✔|
|Standout Features||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.
|App Marketplace||Insightly AppConnect||Salesforce AppExchange|
|Number of Total Apps||Over 250||Over 3,000|
Winner: Salesforce boasts over 3,000 apps in its Salesforce AppExchange, compared to the 250+ offered by Insightly.
Insightly AppConnect offers more than 250 CRM app integrations – including native connections to Xero, PandaDoc, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp. 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 3,000 apps, spanning a range of use cases and a variety of industries, from finance and 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 Enterprise and Ultimate but costs an extra $25 per user, per month with Salesforce Professional.
|Standard Business Hours||4am to 7pm PST (daily)||Weekdays during local business hours|
|Support Channels||Email, phone||Live chat, phone, email|
|Community Forums||With premium support plan||✔|
|Certification Programs||✖||Salesforce Trailhead|
|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 support to community forums and certification programs.
Insightly offers a rudimentary support plan with all of its subscriptions that includes access to Insightly’s knowledge base and email-based assistance. To avail of phone support, faster turnaround times, and onboarding help, a standalone support plan is required and starts at $1,500 per year. Insightly support has a solid reputation overall, but it does come at quite a cost.
Every Salesforce plan comes with standard email and live chat support, as well as access to community forums, a knowledge base, and Salesforce Trailhead certification programs. 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 are available upon request.
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 your organization may not get what it needs from either Insightly or Salesforce.
The following businesses would want to consider options beyond Insightly:
Salesforce won’t be suitable for these organizations or situations:
If neither Insightly nor Salesforce matches the features and price points you have in mind, there are other CRMs on the market that may meet your desired criteria better.
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:
We've also written an article on the best Salesforce alternatives, which discusses other CRM options' features, pricing, and use cases. Check it out to learn more about your choices beyond Insightly and Salesforce.
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. Of course, the best CRM for you should suit your sales needs and be within your budget. Based on your unique criteria, the best CRM may be Insightly, Salesforce, or another platform altogether.