Salesforce is a powerful CRM tool with many useful features, including campaign management, customer and partner relationship management and analytics. However, this software has a steep learning curve and can be prohibitively expensive for some businesses. Today, several Salesforce alternatives on the market offer similar features in an easier-to-use package, helping businesses of all sizes manage their marketing and customer relations efforts in a scalable and efficient way.
Salesforce CRM overview
The Salesforce CRM system is an extensible system that companies in almost any industry can use. They can manage membership databases and subscriptions and track leads and support tickets. The platform allows integration with other popular business analytics, tracking and reporting tools, so it’s simple to bring Salesforce into an existing workflow. In addition, it’s one of the most popular CRM platforms, so it’s quite easy to find sales reps who are already familiar with the platform.
The size and flexibility of Salesforce are its biggest strength and its biggest weakness. Businesses can add and remove features to suit their needs. However, many features are paywalled, so it may cost more than first thought to unlock all of the platform’s desired features. The complexity of the software means it can take some time to learn, and those who have relatively simple needs may find it frustrating to use. Since it’s so heavily customized, even experienced users of Salesforce will need extensive training on your instance.
Salesforce alternatives such as Insightly offer similar features in a more streamlined package. Insightly offers powerful CRM and campaign management features to help sales and marketing teams work more effectively.
What to look for in Salesforce alternatives
Good CRM software should help your team work more efficiently. The ideal Salesforce alternative should:
- Be quick and easy to set up
- Be easily customizable without the need for outside integrators/consultants
- Require minimal maintenance over the long term
- Offer most of the features your team needs out of the box
- Support integrations with your favorite third-party tools
- Have an intuitive interface that your sales and marketing team can learn easily
- Include security and privacy features
- Offer responsive technical support when needed
- Provide ease of importing and exporting data
- Have transparent, affordable pricing
Every business will have its own requirements when it comes to features, reports and automation. Salesforce is a powerful jack-of-all-trades, but many smaller teams find it overly complex and expensive to get started with and maintain. Many Salesforce alternatives promise a more streamlined, simplified and affordable experience. However, it’s important to consider what each product has to offer carefully. Remember, companies such as Salesforce cater to businesses in a variety of niches, so they may not fully understand exactly what your sales team needs.
If you already use Salesforce and have a large leads database to transfer to your next CRM tool, consider how easily you can import your existing database when choosing an alternative to Salesforce. Many of the alternative CRMs have ready-made tools to allow you to transfer over a simple Salesforce database. However, if you’ve added a lot of custom fields to your database or use unusual data types, automated importers may not work well. Having a passionate and knowledgeable support team to help you transition your data to your new platform is essential.
Why Insightly is the best Salesforce alternative
Insightly is a versatile CRM designed with the needs of small and medium-sized businesses in mind. Rather than attempting to be a jack-of-all-trades, Insightly takes the most important features of Salesforce and focuses on getting them right. It is a robust, user-friendly and affordable CRM alternative that businesses can easily extend to provide more advanced features if required. The platform is built to be secure and SOC 2-compliant, using two-factor authentication, encryption and single sign-on features to protect your data and that of your customers.
Intuitive interface and ease of use
In most cases, salespeople and marketing managers are not developers or IT experts. Rather, they’re passionate about the products they’re promoting and are hired for their communication, sales, writing or design skills. Insightly is designed with salespeople and marketers in mind. The user interface focuses on what these specialists have to do and makes it easy for them to achieve their goals.
The platform has a web app and native mobile apps for Android and iOS. These are secure and compliant with EU and US privacy laws. Your sales teams can use these apps from the office or on the move, and you can feel confident the data they’re handling is secure.
Because the platform is so easy to use, new salespeople can hit the ground running. There’s no need to spend endless hours training the team to use arcane tools. Insightly makes recording information about leads and marketing campaigns a simple affair, so your organization’s data stays clean and accurate. If someone does make a mistake, it’s easy to put things right.
While Insightly is easy to use, it does have some powerful features, including reporting tools and third-party integrations. Should users require support with these options, there’s a helpline available to all customers. Those on the Professional tier or above receive priority customer support.
Powerful features without the cost
Salesforce offers a lot of strong features, but only some of them are available out of the box. The platform may suit large enterprises but can be prohibitively expensive for mid-sized companies that want access to some of the more sophisticated features. In addition, the time it takes for developers to customize Salesforce to suit the needs of your business can quickly mount up.
Insightly offers an impressive selection of features as standard, including lead routing, workflow automation and campaign management features. B2B sales teams can take advantage of powerful features such as relationship linking that help them track not only individual contacts but their positions and relationships with others in the business.
Sophisticated reporting tools help team leaders track new leads, conversions, the performance of individual sales staff and various campaign results. The web dashboard is easy to use, and the platform offers an Android and iOS app designed to provide a fluid, mobile-first experience for those working on the go.
Insightly’s transparent pricing structure ensures you always know how much you’re spending on your marketing and CRM tools. The pricing tiers are easy to understand and structured in a way that makes the platform affordable for businesses at each stage of their growth.
Made for small- and mid-sized businesses
Because Insightly is designed with small- and mid-sized businesses in mind, it’s less bloated than many other Salesforce alternatives. Whether you’re focused on reporting, simplifying workflows or managing contacts, you can get the job done with just a few clicks of the mouse. Small businesses can get started with the platform in minutes, but the tools are powerful and robust enough to manage huge databases and generate the kind of complex reports a larger organization might need.
Granular permissions and the ability to assign multiple projects make Insightly a practical choice for growing teams. You can designate each salesperson with the projects and contacts they’re in charge of. The platform helps reduce human errors and data inconsistencies, keeping everything moving smoothly.
The Insightly platform has three pricing tiers:
Companies using any of these three tiers get access to the core CRM platform, including features such as email templates, lead management and task tracking. The Professional tier offers extra support and productivity tools, while Enterprise customers can take advantage of a wider range of automation tools.
Highly customizable with tons of integrations
Insightly can grow with your business. Out of the box, it supports most of the features a small to mid-sized business will need. However, if you already have certain tools in your workflow or want to extend the platform with additional features, it’s relatively easy to do this, thanks to AppConnect, a low-code/no-code integration tool.
Insightly can integrate quickly and easily with a huge number of platforms, including:
- Google Workspace
In total, Insightly offers native support for more than 500 different business apps, ranging from reporting tools to collaboration suites, document sharing, communications and even AI or machine learning platforms. You can use the powerful web services API to integrate the platform beyond the AppConnect tool.
Developers can export data from Insightly to use in MySQL, MongoDB or other databases. Insightly provides easy-to-use libraries for Java, .Net and Python, so developers can use the Insightly API to process the platform data in innovative waysThe world of sales force automation and marketing analytics is constantly evolving. New tools are emerging on an almost monthly basis. Having the ability to use AppConnect to connect with other apps ensures Insightly is future-proof, and no matter how you manage your business, the tool will grow with you and remain a useful part of your workflow.
Salesforce alternatives available in the market
There are several other Salesforce alternatives to choose from. Each of these options is designed with a specific use case. Some of the most well-known alternatives to Salesforce are:
- Active Campaign: This option is an affordable CRM platform designed with email marketing in mind. The email-centric approach to CRM works well for online businesses; however, it’s not as easy to use for companies that do a lot of telephone marketing.
- HubSpot: HubSpot is a popular digital marketing platform that has many useful CRM features. However, the platform’s UI can be confusing and make it difficult to manage large B2B databases. HubSpot is a closed system that works best when you use its tools together; as such, integrations can be tricky.
- FreshSales: This sales force automation platform offers easy-to-use AI features for marketing automation, reporting and lead tracking. While the system is generally easy to use, some reviewers complain that the team’s technical support is lacking.
- ZenDesk Sell: This sales force automation platform aims at small- and medium-sized businesses. The platform is easy to use, and you can customize it to suit most companies. However, the interface is not particularly mobile-friendly, so it may not work well for companies with salespeople who need to work on the go.
- SharpSpring: The people behind Constant Contact acquired this platform, so it’s quite polished and flexible, offering lots of easy API integrations. SharpSpring charges based on the number of contacts the business has, which means it may be prohibitively expensive for small businesses, depending on the size of their marketing database.
- Nutshell: The Nutshell CRM platform offers email marketing and customer relationship management features aimed at smaller B2B organizations. It’s less suited to B2C marketing or organizations with extensive contact lists.
- Zoho CRM: The Zoho CRM suite could be a good choice for those who already use Zoho for email, docs and other services. The suite is easy to use, but its features are slightly limited compared to some rivals.
Why over 25,000 teams choose Insightly
Insightly is the CRM platform of choice for more than 25,000 teams worldwide. It’s popular with small- and medium-sized businesses looking for a simple, robust CRM solution to unify all of their customer and marketing data. Thanks to its responsive tech support team, clear documentation and easy-to-use interface, the software works well for people with all levels of IT experience. If you’re new to the world of CRM software, or you find that Salesforce doesn’t quite meet your needs, it’s a great time to explore Insightly’s marketing, service and CRM tools.
Powerful data importer tools make it easy to transfer your existing data to Insightly, and the platform is simple to use on desktop and mobile. Sign up for a free trial today to see the power of our CRM platform for yourself. Alternatively, if you’d like to learn more about Insightly and how it can help you grow and build your business, contact us now to book a personalized demo.