Insightly vs Salesforce: Choose the Best CRM for You

Check out our breakdown of Insightly vs Salesforce to see if either CRM meets your needs according to features, usability, price, and more.

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: Best for SMBs seeking an affordable and accessible CRM with project management tools and kanban-style organization (free to $99 per user, per month)
  • Salesforce: Best for large companies wanting a comprehensive CRM with deep analytics and myriad customization opportunities ($25 to $300 per user, per month)

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.

Insightly vs Salesforce at a Glance

insightly logosalesforce logo
Price Range (Annual)Free to $99 per user, per month$25 to $300 per user, per month
Core FeaturesFocus on data organization through project managementFocus on providing deeper client insights and analytics
Ease of UseSuitable for users of varying CRM experienceDesigned with the CRM power user in mind
ReportingBest for quick and easy reporting on deals and tasksIdeal for generating any type of CRM report
Workflow AutomationPrimarily automates tasks related to the pipelineAutomates nearly every sales and administrative task
Mobile AppCollects data via call logging and business card scanningCaches data for offline access, imbued with AI
App IntegrationsOver 250 apps availableOver 3,000 apps available
Customer ServiceAll plans include email-based supportAll plans include email and live chat support
Visit InsightlyVisit Salesforce

How We Evaluated Insightly vs 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.

Evaluation Criteria

First, we picked the five main factors when considering a CRM and weighted them based on significance to salespeople and teams. We then split the five categories into key subcriteria, using them to score both CRMs and determine the winner of each category.

Pricing:
25%
Features:
25%
Ease of Use:
20%
App Integrations & Customization:
15%
User Support:
15%

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.

Best for Pricing: Insightly

insightly logosalesforce logo
Free-for-Life OptionYes, for two usersNo
Free Trial14 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-OnsFrom $35 per monthFrom $5 per month
Monthly BillingYesEssentials only
Visit InsightlyVisit Salesforce

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.

Insightly pricing plans

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.

Salesforce pricing plans

Show More >>

Best for Core Features: Salesforce

insightly logosalesforce logo
Contact ManagementLink contacts to opportunities plus other related contactsComplete overview of contact activity and interactions
Lead ManagementUpdate lead status via drag-and-drop kanban boardMonitor multiple lead sources and campaigns
Opportunity ManagementTurn won opportunities into projects to manageTrack every sales stage and set up activity-based alerts
Advanced FeaturesComplete workflow automation, real-time insightsEinstein AI analytics, unlimited workflows
Visit InsightlyVisit Salesforce

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 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.

Opportunity management in Insightly

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.

Opportunity management in Salesforce

Show More >>

Best for Ease of Use: Insightly

insightly logosalesforce logo
Ease of SetupMostly straightforwardTime-intensive
Learning CurveLow to moderateSteep
Common Positive ReviewsClean UI, excellent project managementHigh level of customization, robust integrations
Common Negative ReviewsBroken integrations, user support costs extraLengthy setup, confusing UI that’s prone to crashes
Visit InsightlyVisit Salesforce

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.

Contact management in Insightly

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.

Contact management in Salesforce

Show More >>

Best for Reporting: Salesforce

insightly logosalesforce logo
Basic Report TemplatesAll plansAll plans
Custom ReportingAll plansAll plans
Advanced ReportingEnterpriseEnterprise and Unlimited
Reporting DashboardProfessional: Up to 20 reports
Enterprise: Unlimited reports
Up to 20 reports per dashboard
Visit InsightlyVisit Salesforce

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.

Dashboard in Insightly

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.

Dashboard in Salesforce

Show More >>

Best for Workflow Automation: Salesforce

insightly logosalesforce logo
Workflow Editor InterfaceVisual point-and-clickVisual point-and-click
Workflow TypesEmail sends, data entry, task creationDeal management, approval requests, notifications
Workflow Rule LimitsUp 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
Workflow Templates
Workflows From Scratch
Visit InsightlyVisit Salesforce

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).

Automation setup in Insightly

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.

Automation setup in Salesforce

Show More >>

Best Mobile App: Salesforce

insightly logosalesforce logo
Mobile App CostFreeFree
Mobile App PlatformsiOS and AndroidiOS and Android
Mobile Sync With CRM
Offline ModeNoYes
Standout FeaturesBusiness card scanner, 
call logging, audio notes
AI-powered insights, customizable elements
Visit InsightlyVisit Salesforce

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.

Insightly mobile app

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.

Salesforce mobile app

Show More >>

Best for App Integrations: Salesforce

insightly logosalesforce logo
App MarketplaceInsightly AppConnectSalesforce AppExchange
Number of Total AppsOver 250Over 3,000
Custom Integrations
Visit InsightlyVisit Salesforce

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.

Insightly AppConnect

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.

Salesforce AppExchange

Show More >>

Best for User Support: Salesforce

insightly logosalesforce logo
Standard Business Hours4am to 7pm PST (daily)Weekdays during local business hours
Support ChannelsEmail, phoneLive chat, phone, email
Knowledge Base
Community ForumsWith premium support plan
Certification ProgramsSalesforce Trailhead
Premium Support PlansFrom $1,500 per yearFrom 30% of the net cost of CRM plan
Visit InsightlyVisit Salesforce

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.

Insightly Help Center

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.

Salesforce Help Center

Show More >>

Who Shouldn’t Use Insightly & Salesforce?

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.

Who Shouldn’t Use Insightly

The following businesses would want to consider options beyond Insightly:

  • Companies Needing Sufficient (Free) Support: Insightly support is fantastic, but unless you’re willing to pay a handsome sum for it, you’ll be left wanting.
  • Small Businesses Looking for a Scalable Free CRM: Insightly’s free platform only allows two users and is extremely light on features, so it’s easy to outgrow it.
  • Data-Driven Enterprises That Need Ample Reporting: While Insightly’s reporting engine is by no means bad, there are other CRMs that offer more in this area.

Who Shouldn’t Use Salesforce

Salesforce won’t be suitable for these organizations or situations:

  • Sales Teams New to CRMs: Salesforce is not very beginner-friendly. If your sales team is largely new to CRMs, choose something that’s more accessible for first-time users.
  • Small Businesses, Startups, and Solopreneurs: The expense and complexity of Salesforce will be too much for a sole proprietor, startup, or small business or to handle.
  • Businesses Without In-House Tech Support: Salesforce is prone to crashes. Without a tech team to help solve those issues, you’ll lose a lot of time – and possibly more.

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.

3 Best Alternatives to Insightly & Salesforce

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:  

  • HubSpot CRM: Best for SMBs seeking a robust free CRM that’s scalable and easy to upgrade with premium features should the need arise (free starting price)
  • Pipedrive: Best for companies wanting to introduce an affordable, accessible CRM to teams that are mostly unfamiliar with CRM software ($14.90 starting price)
  • Freshsales: Best for mid-sized businesses that want AI sales forecasting at a cost much lower than most comparable CRMs (free starting price)

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.

Bottom Line: Insightly vs 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.

Selling Signals
Actionable advice for sales professionals
Address
355 Lexington Ave,
18th Floor,
New York, NY, 10017
COPYRIGHT SELLING SIGNALS, LLC – 2022