Salesforce vs. Insightly for Law Firms

Choosing the right CRM for your law firm

Is your law firm outgrowing spreadsheets? You need the right platform to run your business. With a team of associates and office staff all working independently in their roles, it’s highly important for your firm to have a feature-rich application that is the single source of truth for your operation. That application is often a customer relationship management system (CRM).

How do I choose a CRM for my law firm?

You’re convinced…you know you need a CRM for your law firm – whether you are operating a small practice, a mid-size operation or a team of hundreds. Which CRM should you select? Salesforce and Insightly are both popular CRM platforms that cater to a wide range of industries, including law firms.

These platforms offer features and functions designed to help practices and businesses like yours do more, including automating workflows and repetitive tasks, managing client relationships, and creating efficiencies. The platform will also have to work seamlessly with your marketing automation platform used to drive leads, nurture them into customers, and grow your practice.

In the context of the various types of law firm firms, let’s compare Salesforce and Insightly across various key features and functions. Keep in mind that Salesforce is considered a legacy CRM whereas Insightly is a modern CRM, so many of these comparisons will be conducted with that fact in mind.

  1. CRM Scalability:
  • Salesforce: Salesforce is especially designed for global, fortune 1000 companies. Since most businesses don’t fall into this category, it is not a popular choice for the overwhelming majority of companies. Its highly customizable platform would allow your business to adapt and grow as your client base evolves. However the sheer size and complexity of the platform would make it a highly unlikely choice for businesses other than the national or global brands and organizations that are household names.
  • Insightly: Insightly is designed for growing businesses, which means that it can be a powerful, affordable tool for growing law firms that are seeking power and value. Your team is able to access the full feature function of Insightly which is comparable to that of Salesforce. This is because it has the features and power available in Salesforce but at a much more affordable price and with significantly less complexity. Insightly is popular with all types of law firms in that it can accommodate all types of budgets. 
  1. Customization:
  • Salesforce: The diverse needs of your firm and your team means that a CRM has to be customizable to truly work for your staff. While Salesforce excels in offering extensive customization options, enabling all types of teams and professionals to tailor the platform to their unique needs, these customizations come at a price. As such, rather than pay expensive integrators or developers, many mid-sized and smaller law firms simply use Salesforce out of the box which renders one of its best selling features meaningless. 
  • Insightly: Insightly offers extensive customization features that are as robust as Salesforce in terms of flexibility. However, since Insightly is a modern CRM, customizations are easy to make with in-house resources. Since your growing practice must be tailored to the needs of your client base, it will be easy in Insightly to address the client tracking needs you have and to adapt workflows in Insightly accordingly. For example, one client type or product line may use one workflow in Insightly while another has its own and so on.
  1. Integration Capabilities:
  • Salesforce: Your business must have a CRM that integrates with apps you use to run your business like storefront software accounting systems for billing (e.g. QuickBooks), communication systems (e.g. Slack/Teams), and HR. Salesforce has an ecosystem of technologies that work with the platform, facilitating integrations with  third-party applications. This is valuable, but integrations are costly and those costs add up quickly. As such, if your team selects Salesforce, you’ll likely need to prioritize your requested integrations and you may need to skip a few at the outset due to budget constraints. 
  • Insightly: Integrations in Insightly are facilitated by AppConnect, a middleware product that is part of the Insightly platform. AppConnect offers the ability to create low-code/no-code integrations and there are more than 1000 pre-built connections that are ready to use. The connections that the typical law firm team needs are pre-built and available (e.g. Gmail, QuickBooks, Slack); others can be established via an open API.
  1. User-Friendly Interface:
  • Salesforce: Your staff and team of professionals may find Salesforce to be slow…in terms of processing and page speed. While it’s great that there is a plethora of detail on each page, you’ll need to wait for it to load every time. This is because Salesforce is a legacy CRM, and therefore its interface is dated. While it has improved its user interface to be more intuitive and user-friendly, page load speeds are still slow and the interface appears complex. This also can lead to long training periods and a big learning curve for new users in your firm who will be hands-on with the software.
  • Insightly: Insightly is often praised for its user-friendly interface, making it easier for both associates and your support teams and leadership to adopt quickly. Insightly looks like a lot of the apps your team already uses. The popular blade view allows users to drill down into data without loading additional pages. And when pages are loaded, they load quickly. The intuitive interface means the training for Insightly for your office staff and leadership will be much shorter than it is for Salesforce.
  1. Pricing:
  • Salesforce: Salesforce is a high-end, enterprise grade CRM solution and is priced like one. The comprehensive features may be justified for multi-billion dollar enterprise firms that operate globally, but it could be a significant cost factor for small to mid-size law firms.
  • Insightly: Insightly generally offers more affordable pricing plans (and even a free plan if you’re just starting up and only have a need for 2 users), making it an attractive option for growing businesses. As such, most law firms will find Insightly’s CRM price point to be quite competitive. 
  1. Project Management:
  • Salesforce: How will you manage projects for your clients after the sale? These long-term relationships are vital to the long-term growth of your firm. Salesforce is a CRM primarily and does not have post-signing project tracking built in. You’ll need to acquire an additional application to manage client workflows once a new client signs with you. 
  • Insightly: Great news – Insightly has a plethora of project management functions built right into the CRM. Using the familiar sales pipeline interface from your sales process, you can create care pipelines to track your clients, tasks and relationships. This can be a real money and time saver for businesses who don’t want to acquire multiple pieces of software. Set up a series of steps for new client onboarding for clients and follow them along with each new contract signed. It’s easy in Insightly.

Insightly vs Salesforce for law firms

The choice between Salesforce and Insightly as a CRM for law firms of all sizes depends on factors such as the size of your operation, your customization needs, your budget, and the number of integrations you’ll need to operate your business. Salesforce is costly, but with its scalability and extensive enterprise features, it could be a good fit for enterprise-sized firms with operations in multiple offices internationally, with hundreds of teams and thousands of associates. Insightly is a modern, affordable CRM that is an attractive option for law firm firms of all sizes looking for a CRM that offers good value to grow.