Insightly: An affordable CRE CRM solution

After a recent blog post on CRM for CRE, I dug a bit further into Insightly. For anyone who is not familiar with Insightly, it is a cloud-based CRM add-in for Google Apps. This means you're going to need to use Gmail for your email provider. But using Gmail, does not preclude you from using Outlook as your email client, if some team members still want to do so.

What features does Insightly offer? From their product website, with some of their most helpful and unique features in bold.

Email Integration

At the core of Insightly is an awesome email management system. Because email is one of the most prolific methods of communication between you and your clients, it's important that data is managed and leveraged to maximum benefit. You can save any email to Insightly in just one click from within Gmail, giving you a full email conversation history between you and your client, all efficiently indexed and searchable. Associate important emails and their attachments with the relevant projects and opportunities - so you've got a record of exactly who said what right there on the page, and you'll never lose an important file attachment again.

Automatic Address Book

Keeping your address book up to date is a chore, so Insightly adds new contacts and organisations automatically as emails are saved, even going off to the wider Internet to retrieve more information about contacts and organisations for their profiles - keeping your address book up to date without you having to lift a finger. And Insightly cleverly uses advanced email analytics to discover the hidden associations between your contacts by analysing the From, To, and CC fields in emails to build up a knowledge of who knows who.

Lightning Fast Search

Storing everything together is not much use if you can't find anything down the road. Because of this, Insightly includes world class real time search - as you type - across everything it stores. From files to emails, contacts, organisations, projects, and everything else, just start typing in the search box conveniently located at the top of every page and watch the results flow in. Search thousands of emails in under a second, find contacts in the blink of an eye, and never lose a telephone number again.

Customer Relationship Management

Insightly is a great tool for the vital task of managing your contacts and related organisations, partners, vendors and suppliers. You can see everything about a contact on one page, from their complete email history, birthday and important dates, background, notes and tasks, and any projects or opportunities they have been a part of. Insightly also links each contact to the people and organisations around them - showing the relationships between contacts and employers, partners, suppliers, competitors, and co-workers etc.

Track Opportunities

Insightly tracks each business opportunity so you know instantly which proposals are pending, or which deals you've won or lost, so you have great guidance on upcoming work in the pipeline. You can link contacts to deals and specify the role they play in winning the bid. Attach tasks, meetings, notes, and emails to opportunities so you can keep track of what was promised, when and for how much. Attach important files with built-in versioning control - so you know that proposal is always up to date with the latest version. And all the information for each opportunity is conveniently kept together on one page, all searchable, and instantly available at anytime to employees from anywhere in the world.

Project Management

Insightly has an excellent project management system built right in. Define tasks and milestones for projects, and get email reminders of what's coming up and what needs to be done. Associate contacts and employees with projects and specify the roles they play. Add files to projects so data can be shared between participants. And with Insightly's email integration, you can link an email with a project in just one click, so important correspondence is kept right there with the project. And Insightly has a great project overview screen so you can see the recent activity on any project, and track project performance against milestones over time.

In addition to these features, the paid version offers a mobile app which allows users to search contacts and companies within their database right on their smartphone.

Insightly, it's worth a look.