Thinking About Insightly CRM? Read this BEFORE You Sign Up

Insightly LogoInsightly is one of my favorite cloud-based CRM systems. What it may lack in marketing automation and customization features, it more than makes up for in a friendly user interface and simple implementation.

It is near the top of my short list of CRMs for companies that need an uncomplicated, easy-to-use CRM.

One of Insightly’s strong points is its tight integration with Google Apps through the Insightly Gmail gadget, linking to files in Google Drive and contact and calendar sync .

Herein lies the rub:

You must opt for the Google Apps-integrated Insightly account when you sign up for Insightly. You cannot change from a standard Insightly account to an Insightly Google Apps integrated account after sign up. If you have a standard account and want an Apps-integrated account, your only option is to export your data from the standard account, open up a new Insightly account with Apps integration, and then import your data into the new account.

This seems like a simple thing to do. Yet half of the companies that I have talked to that set up an Insightly account (before talking to me), set up a standard account, even though they use Google Apps. At this point, they have either scrapped their standard account and started over, or decided to keep the standard account with all of Insightly’s Google Apps integration features.

To sign up for a Google Apps-integrated Insightly account:
  1. Click on “Sign Up Free” on the Insightly web site (you can upgrade it to a paid account later if you need to), and click on the Free account sign up on the next page.
  2. Complete the registration form.
  3. Insightly will check your email address. If it is a Google Apps domain, the next screen will give you the option to link your Google Apps account. Alternately you can sign up through the Google Apps Marketplace.Insightly Google Apps Sign Up Screen
  4. Either connect your account, or sign up through the Google Apps marketplace. Don’t click on “No Thanks”, thinking you can do it later. It will register your account as a standard (not Apps-integrated) account. Once this happens, there is no way to change it. The only option is to cancel this account, and start over again with a new Insightly account.
  5. If you have not previously enabled API access for external applications in your Google Apps account, you need to now. For instructions on how to enable API access in Google Apps, see Insightly’s Google Apps set up documentation here.

Its integration with Google Apps is one of Insightly’s best features. If you are a Google Apps user and want to give Insightly a try, it is important to sign up for an Apps-integrated account at sign-up, as you cannot change a standard Insightly account to a Google Apps-integrated account after the fact. It must be done at sign up.

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