Best Practices: Configuring Insightly for Consulting

Whether you're a one-man show or a powerhouse team, having a CRM that helps you build lasting relationships from deal to delivery is a must.

Here are our best practices for configuring Insightly CRM to organize client and project information in one place.

1. Configuring Leads to bring in new business

If you are new to Insightly, a Lead is a cold prospect that has either reached out to you for more information, or someone you have identified as a potential client.

Either way, you still need to make contact with them and find out if they (and you) are a good fit to do business together before you convert them to an opportunity

First things first - do you have a form on your website where people can request to be contacted or sent more information about your services? Create a Web to Lead Form so as people submit their information, they are added as a Lead to Insightly automatically. 

Update your Lead Sources so you can track what channels are bringing business to your doorstep. Examples of these would be pages on your website, sales, marketing, referrals or business development efforts.

Use the Lead Status to track where leads are in your qualification process. You can add as many Open or Closed statuses as you’d like. Some examples we've seen for Closed are 'Send to Marketing' and 'Future Potential'.

Add custom fields to capture the data that's important to your business. Out of the box, Insightly will track general contact information, but if you need to know their budget, timeline, and desired market, you will want to create custom fields. 

2. Customize Opportunities for new business and client development

Consultants are constantly selling, so keeping new business and client development organized in your CRM can be achieved easily using Opportunity Pipelines, Custom Fields, and Categories. 

Opportunities are created by either converting a Lead to an Opportunity for new business, or simply adding a new Opportunity to an existing Contact or Organization. 

At Insightly, we use Categories to identify the different kinds of opportunities our team manages at any given time. For example: New Business, Upsell, or Renewals. You can also create a Custom Field to segment as an alternative. 

We then have different Opportunity Pipelines that correspond with each Category that guide our sales team through the required steps for closing business.




3. Leverage integrations to streamline your operations

Insightly has integrations with PandaDoc or QuickBooks Online that will make preparing and sending contracts and viewing invoices quick and easy.

The integration with PandaDoc helps automate the process of creating documents by merging information from the Insightly record with your PandaDoc templates.

If you're creating a proposal for an Opportunity record in Insightly, the template will be populated with field values from the opp and any linked contacts to the opportunity will be added to document's recipient list.


With Insightly's integration with QuickBooks Online you can:

  • View information from the accounting program in Insightly
  • Copy and link data between the two systems
  • Create new QuickBooks Customers from Insightly


4. Deliver satisfaction on time with Projects

After you close the deal, the real work starts. Won opportunities are converted to Projects and provisioned for project management.

Categories can be customized and applied to Projects as well as Opportunities to define what kind of Project it is based on the verticals you work with, services you provide, or any other high-level segmentation criteria you use for organizing your projects. You can also create a custom field to segment as an alternative. 

If your Projects follow a consistent linear pathway, you can use Pipelines to track progress. You can add Activity Sets to your pipeline stages that automate the status report reminders and due dates. You can also use Workflow Automation to achieve a similar effect - you can read more here. 

Here are two examples of what your Pipelines could look like:


Project Custom Fields should be customized to track the scope of work, responsible team members, and important dates.

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5. Use Custom Objects to track billable hours and expenses

Log your expenses and track billable hours on Project records using Custom Objects. This information can be logged and viewed on a Project's Related tab, as well as included in Reports and Dashboards.


6. Layer Automation to send notifications, update records, and email clients

Workflows are like smart robot assistants that live in your Insightly account. You tell them what to do and when to do it, and they will take action when needed. Examples include:

  • If an opportunity with a value over $15,000 is won, then send an email to notify the appropriate team members
  • If a project status is changed to In Progress, then create a check-in task for the project manager 7 days later.

Check out our Workflow Automation guide to learn more about how this powerful tool can take some manual work off your plate. 

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