Industry Insights

Insightly Helps Businesses Build Better Customer Relationships

A company’s interaction with its clients is the most critical aspect to the survival of business today. Using a CRM system will give a company the upper hand allowing them to manage the client interactions along with collecting pertinent data. In this competitive field, there are so many options available, back in August I wrote a piece reviewing Salesforce alternatives. Insightly has been popping up all over the place and is getting a strong foothold in the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) market.

Anthony Smith founded Insightly in 2009 in Perth, Western Australia, in an interview with Business News Daily he spoke about how the company came about: “I have a passion for small business, and I helped several small businesses to get up and running using the Google Apps email and calendar system. They all needed a customer management software to share their contacts internally, save email correspondence and track tasks with co-workers. We tried several systems together, but none of the staff liked them because the systems were not designed for small business, were too expensive and had poor integration with email. I spotted a need there and decided to build a customer management system designed from the ground up for small business, and Insightly was born.”
Insightly is a cloud-based CRM solution that is geared towards small to mid-sized businesses. Since launching the product into the Google Apps Marketplace, they hit tremendous popularity and now grown to become one of the world’s most popular CRM software for Google and Office 365 users. They have created a very intuitive user interface that is complete with data gathering and even project management tools that are very easy to use and set up. Using Insightly will allow you to increase your sales, build better relations and deliver projects.  

Initially, the platform was designed to specifically integrate with Google Apps when the company relocated to San Francisco with the help of $3 million in funding led by Emergence Capital Partners, Insightly started developing its platform to be an independent CRM outside of the Google Apps platform. That same year they came out with a CRM app for iOS devices and which  followed with several integrations. Since integrations are key to CRM user adoption, Insightly offers a variety of featured integrations across email, document management, accounting, and messaging platforms.

Along with opening an engineering office in Vancouver BC, 2018 has been a year of updates and upgrades for Insightly. Unveiling its new web user interface and user experience, which included three important updates: a modified interface based on other popular applications to encourage intuitive, immediate productivity; a cleaner, simpler design that prioritizes the most‐used features and a 65 percent increase in speed relative to the previous design. They then released a new dashboard and, Insight cards, that will allow users to visualize their operational and customer data directly within Insightly CRM. Insightly has been listening to its user and released dynamic customization features that allow greater flexibility in how they structure and access their customer data.

So, what makes Insightly CRM different? I reached out to them and was lucky enough to connect with Tony Kavanagh CMO of Insightly where he gave insight into the company history along with its future outlook and what sets them apart.

For our readers that aren’t familiar with Insightly, could you tell us all little about your company and who your customers are?

"Insightly provides customer relationship management (CRM) software for small, midsize and enterprise businesses across a range of industries such as manufacturing, consulting, professional services, financial services, education, advertising and media and others. With more than 1.5 million users worldwide and 25,000+ customers, Insightly is the most popular CRM software on the G Suite Marketplace, as well as the most popular CRM for small and midsize business using Office 365. Insightly helps businesses grow faster by building stronger customer relationships, accelerating sales and managing projects at every stage of the customer lifecycle. With U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, Insightly has raised $50 million in funding to-date with backing from Emergence Capital, Sozo Ventures, Cloud Apps Capital Partners and TrueBridge Capital Partners."

What would you say have been some of the contributions that landed Insightly where it is today?

"Insightly is extremely good at building the right product for the markets we serve. At our core, we believe in making the very complex, simple and we are maniacally focused on ensuring our customers are happy. During our first 5 years of operation, we built a very successful company serving primarily the small business market. Midway through 2016, we reached a significant milestone in the companies history, with a Series C round of funding. This investment marked the beginning of our march into the midmarket. Over the 3 years that followed, with input from our extensive customer base, we expanded and deepened the capabilities of our product to meet the very specific needs of relatively more sophisticated companies in the midmarket.

We also began offering out-of-the-box capabilities to the midmarket that were formerly available only to larger enterprises, such as custom objects, custom apps and enterprise-grade reports and dashboards. We are further differentiated from others in the market in that we offer Project Management capabilities native to the CRM at no additional cost, ensuring what gets sold actually gets delivered on time, and to the exact specifications of the customer. The companies mission is to put the "R"(relationship) back in CRM. We fundamentally believe that the future success of any business depends upon how well businesses manage the relationships with their customers over time. And we are the only CRM that has built functionality that helps businesses map and measure the health of their customer relationships with relationship linking."

Insightly is up there as one of the Salesforce alternatives – The big question is how do you differ/compete against them?

"Firstly, we integrate right out of the box with Google's G-Suite and Gmail, and with Microsoft's Outlook and Office 365. By integrating with the world's most widely-used productivity suites, we help businesses to take the drudgery of data entry away from the users, something that has plagued CRMs since the very beginning; in essence making the complex, simple. Secondly, we are only 6 years old, as a company. Salesforce is 20 years old. Our product is built on the latest available technology and not using legacy technology. We have engineered Insightly CRM from the ground up to be simple and easy to use, and to meet the specific needs of modern and growing businesses.

Our most recent release of custom objects and custom applications placed us on functional parity with Salesforce and all the other major players in the CRM market. In 2018, we were the only new entrant to the Gartner Sales Force Automation (SFA) Magic Quadrant which now includes just 15 of the top SFA vendors, and we received Gartner's Peer Insight's Customers' Choice Distinction ahead of Salesforce, Microsoft and Oracle. Finally, by offering Project Management and Relationship Linking fully integrated at no extra cost, we enable businesses to put their customers at the center of their respective worlds. This is something no other vendor offers. What's more, we offer all this at a price that is less than half that of Salesforce and other vendors."

Where do you see your company’s growth/focus in the next 3-5 years?

"In 2019 and beyond, we will continue to build out our Sales Force Automation and Project Management capabilities and we will add Relationship Intelligence, Scoring and Mapping. We also plan to add 2 new products, one for marketing automation and another for customer service and support. All products will be built on our industry leading Customer Relationship Platform. This too will be unique to the CRM market as it will allow Insightly customers to truly see a complete high-definition view of their customers, from the time of first engagement to the last."

Here are just a few of the features that Insightly CRM provides:

Relationships - Building strong relationships with your customers oftentimes involves understanding a complex web of their interactions with teammates, bosses, other teams within the business, and partners. Insightly helps map and better understand complex customer relationships through flexible record linking functionality.

Sales – Accelerate Sales - Distribute leads to the right reps with automated lead capture and routing. Close more deals faster and with fewer clicks with workflow automation. Manage opportunities in kanban view, and send tracked emails to prospects in a couple of clicks.

Projects - Convert won opportunities to projects seamlessly without losing any data. Track milestones, manage processes, and integrate with external systems to ensure on-time delivery and happy customers.

Process - Build and deploy custom applications with the Insightly platform across web and mobile in just a few minutes. Capture the data you need from customers or external systems with custom objects, and relate that to information you've already stored with relationship linking.

Mobile - Manage everything on the go with award winning mobile applications for both Android and iOS. Scan Business cards, update projects in real time all on the go.

Integrations - Keep connected to the tools you already use. Never lose a doc with links to your file services. Get relevant data and take action right from your email inbox. Always have your contacts and calendar synced and at hand. Track accounting and email marketing right from your CRM. Make more happen with webhooks and our open API.

Security – Keep your data safe and secure, using single-sign-on via industry standard authentication protocols; support for two-factor authentication; encryption of data in transit and at rest a long with being EU/US Privacy Shield and GDPR Compliant.

New Features and Key Platform Updates

Recently Insightly just announced a series of product updates along with new features to their CRM. These features will boost productivity and will enable users to customize their CRM with industry-specific needs.

Custom Objects - This functionality allows businesses of any size and in any industry to add custom data fields and model every touchpoint of the customer journey. A real estate business can now customize their CRM with property type, seller, buyer, and broker info, and listings; a manufacturing business can keep track of equipment, shipping, logistics, and work order; and so on.  

Custom Apps - This new feature is all about user adoption and efficiencies, which are critical to a successful CRM implementation and the future-proofing of businesses. The Custom Apps capabilities allow Insightly users to tailor their daily CRM interactions to the very specific needs and individual preferences, at every customer touchpoint.

Insightly Voice - Insightly Voice allows users to make and receive phone calls from within their browser software with click-to-call functionality, and makes placing and receiving calls dramatically more efficient with auto-call logging, so no data entry is required.

User Interface Improvements - With 20+ product refinements, Insightly users can now customize their workspaces with custom logo rendering, last-used column width maintenance, and additional date and time formatting options, to name a few.

Ending Notes

Recently Insightly was recognized as a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice in Sales Force Automation and with more than 1.5 Million users, they have been building a robust CRM platform for some time. Making them a go-to platform in the CRM industry.

Depending on your business size, Insightly offers many different prices points to choose from offering monthly and yearly subscriptions and also includes a free offering to a company with one or two employees. Click here for more information about Insightly or any other CRM solution, our team of analysts would be happy to help guide you through the selection process.

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans has over 16-years in the tech industry and currently works as the event coordinator and tech reporter for CMS-Connected, keeping up-to-date on what's happening in and around the Content Management industry.

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