Customer relationship management (CRM) software has typically been associated with sales and marketing teams. These tools enable growth marketers, digital marketers, and marketing strategists to promote and support lead growth, and help sales teams turn leads into customers.
CRMs have become a critical tool for promoting overall customer engagement and adapting to ever-changing consumer preferences.
However, the role of CRMs has expanded to project managers—regardless of their functional department. From keeping track of client interactions to tracking partnerships with vendors, project managers have a crucial part in helping customer-facing teams keep track of customer relationships.
A CRM can be a valuable asset to your project management strategies, but which tool is right for you?
Freshworks and Insightly are two popular and widely-used CRM tools on the market, and they both can bring some exciting features to add ease to your workday.
What is a CRM System?
Years ago, CRMs were optional. However, today, they are seen as necessary for most companies to track relationships and turn interactions into lead generation opportunities. They can also be used to engage and retain current and former customers.
According to Nucleus Research, the return on investment for a CRM is $8.71 on every dollar spent. These tools are powerful if used correctly.
What are Freshworks and Insightly?
Freshworks and Insightly are CRM tools used by small and mid-sized businesses to manage the ins and outs of tracking customer relationships. Currently, Freshworks is used by over 150,000 companies and individuals, while Insightly has been adopted by more than 1.5 million users worldwide.
Both CRMs offer powerful automation and lead generation features for companies who want the bells and whistles of more well-known CRM options without the hefty prices.
While they share many similarities, they also offer some notable differences that should factor into choosing the best one for your project management teams.
If you are mulling over whether to dive into Freshworks or give Insightly a chance, we look at both tools in the areas of:
- Marketing Features
- Sales Features
So, between Freshworks and Insightly, which tool will help you potentially reap those benefits while enabling you to manage and cultivate leads? These points will help you decide.
Both Freshworks and Insightly allow you to test drive many of their features for free. However, most of the options are only available for a limited amount of time.
Freshworks’ free trial is 21 days, while Insightly’s is 14—however, it’s worth noting that when you sign up for the free trial, you get to test out the features that come with the professional tiered plan. Additionally, Insightly allows you to use their CRM past the 14 days, but only at the free tier with limited features.
Freshworks has three tiers for users:
- $29 per month for 1,000 active contacts— which is ideal for small businesses
- $69 per month for 2,000 active contacts— best for larger teams seeking efficiency
- $125 per month for 5,000 active contacts—for enterprises who are seeking more control and customization
Insightly also has tiered plans:
- A free plan with limited features—which can only be used by two users
- $29 per month—for some additional features beyond the free plan
- $49 per month—which is ideal for sales teams
- $99 per month—best for larger companies
Freshworks and Insightly have many options for project managers who want a robust system at an affordable price. These tools can even be ideal for solopreneurs and freelancers who need a CRM system.
Marketing features for Freshworks vs. Insightly
While Freshworks does offer most of the standard features associated with a typical CRM, it does differentiate itself from the pack. Most of their offers center around making the routine tasks of email marketing, digital communications, and lead tracking easier through automation.
- Users can:
- Create segmented audiences
- Group contacts based on various conditions
- Build email templates directly onto the CRM
- Create web forms
- And build automation and triggers to create multiple touchpoints throughout the marketing journey
Freshworks also stands apart by having a feature known as Out-Of-Office Detection where Freddy AI—the tool’s automated system—can let users know if a contact is out of the office.
Additionally, Freshworks has a feature that enables users to email and call contacts straight from the app. For project managers who need help managing communications on and offline, Freshworks can be a helpful tool.
Freshworks’ features are similar and comparable to Insightly’s offerings—including making calls and emails directly from the app. However, unlike Freshworks, Insightly makes a point to discuss their in-depth security features that are meant to protect and secure customer data on their marketing features page.
Nevertheless, the way that Insightly sets up its marketing offerings is reminiscent of a project management tool. The dashboard includes a project tab that allows you to turn internal and external tasks into projects. This can be impactful for project managers who want to turn CRM and marketing-related tasks into projects.
Sales features of Freshworks vs. Insightly
Users can add and track custom sales activities and while also producing detailed reports.
Freshworks also includes many of the standard CRM sales-related activities with an automated twist.
For example, automated workflows can allow customers to trigger automatic events once they accomplish a task (ex. signing up for an email newsletter or interacting with content). Users can also track social media mentions directly from the CRM.
Freshworks also shines with its use of AI for its pipeline management 2.0 feature. The AI-powered assistant can predict deals, forecast revenue, and help users break down the sales process into actionable tasks.
While Freshworks takes a task management approach, Insightly’s CRM system is similar to a database.This setup means users can capture and store datasets while creating relationships between these sets and objects. Those who have used databases in the past will likely feel at home with Insightly.
However, this app also shows its real value with the amount of control it gives. Users can build their own apps on the tool with customized validations and rules without the use of code.
Insightly also stands out from the usual offerings by enabling users to collect contact data by scanning business cards using the mobile app.
Both tools have over 30 app integrations. Freshworks integrations include other CRM apps like Hubspot as well as project management tools like Trello. They are also in the process of adding Shopify, an e-commerce platform, and DocuSign, an e-signature tool.
Alternatively, Insightly can integrate with apps that include to-do-list trackers like Evernote, time trackers like Hubstaff, and automation tools like automate.io.
However, it’s worth noting that both CRMs have a key integration: Zapier. Zapier is an online integration tool that expands the number of integrations that Freshworks and Insightly can take on through the app. Considering that Zapier connects with multiple apps to automate routine tasks, this integration can significantly benefit project managers who want to streamline processes.
Determine The Best Solution For Your Team
Regardless of which you choose, it is crucial to have a way to track the interactions your team members are having with clients, vendors, and partners.
Determining your project budget, workflow needs, and size of your customer base will help you make the best and informed decision. Insightly’s dashboard and task-based tools follow a project management style, while Freshworks gives powerful workflow automations that may save time for customer project teams.
Both Freshworks and Insightly can be beneficial to your project management teams, but one may fit your team better than the other. The breakdown above can help you make the most informed decision.
For a look at other project management software options, take a look at The Best Project Management Software & Tools in 2021.
Featured Partners: Project Management Software
If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:
monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.
Wrike is the ultimate solution for managing projects.
Discover the power of Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Maximize productivity using Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Streamline resource allocation, drive team alignment, and enhance forecasting. Benefit from AI-driven automation to save time on admin. Deliver impressive results, hit deadlines, and stay within budgets while elevating your team’s performance.
Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management.