One of the primary pain points for any SMB is how they are best able to attract new business whilst manage existing clientele and customers.

Older software systems and spreadsheets are cumbersome and disjointed, meaning the time spent on managing a lead or sale detracts from the customer service your client deserves.


Xero CRM Add Ons

If you have started using Xero to streamline your accounting systems, then you may have glimpsed some of the multiple integrations Xero has with other software. Xero sits at the very epicentre of a web-like ecosystem of add on applications designed to help run small-medium size businesses, with CRM’s being an additional integration. 

Xero Add Ons Xero CRM

CRM Software (Customer Relationship Management) is integral to efficiently organising all interactions with your clients – past, present and future. CRM’s focus on improving organisational efficiency, productivity, internal collaboration and increasing sales whilst improving the customer experience.

It is for this reason that we have compiled an easy to navigate review of 2 of the most highly recommended CRM solutions in the Xero add on network.  

The Leaders- Insightly Vs Capsule

The two Xero add on CRM software options in the spotlight are Insightly and Capsule, we have extensively reviewed both of them for your convience and to help make the right decision. 

Both have advanced integrations with Xero allowing for an in depth analysis of each to demonstrate what type of business they would ideally suit, how they work and what their limitations are.

This will give you a good idea of the best CRM add on to use alongside your Xero accounting package. For even more information about general Xero add ons, click here.


The Criteria: Features, Performance And Price

To best understand the capabilities, limitations and uses of the Xero CRM’s under the microscope we must set a baseline of review criteria.

The key criteria for consideration are: 

  • User interface 
  • Client contact management 
  • Sales/lead management 
  • Task and project management 
  • Email and communication  
  • Reporting 
  • Xero integration 
  • Mobile apps 


The Pricing Model: How To Pay For The New Xero CRM

At the end of the day, if you are comparing apples with apples like we are here with these two Xero CRM options, the determining factor will be what you get for your money.

Insightly Versus Capsule

A feature rich Xero CRM at a low price is now attainable on a subscription model where your business only pays for what it uses on a low monthly fee. Both Insightly and Capsule fall into this category, making it easy to compare their services.

There are no lock in contracts for either Insightly or Capsule and both have a free trial period making it easier to try before you buy.  


User Interface

User experience is crucial to ensure your team use the system properly to get the most out of it. CRM’s are a keen example of the adage you only get out what you put in, so making it easy for staff to use is vital to getting improvements in your business.  

The user experience created by Insightly is intuitive and straightforward needing minimal training before a team can begin using it wholesale. The interface itself is reminiscent of Gmail and segmentation of information is easy to navigate making usage simple.  

By the same token, Capsule requires little training to orient the user as to the location of key areas for their attention.  

The Verdict: Capsule is the winner for design 


Client & Contact Management

The heart of any Xero CRM is the contact management and both options prevail with detailed contact and company information management.

Notes, comments and notifications can all be tied back to a contact or company record. Customised fields can be added to client details to hone in more closely and track the information your business needs.

Xero CRM

Projects, tasks and communications can all be tied back to the same centralised contact for easy tracking. Document storage and file storage against a customer file means there is little need to store information on your desktop and allows other team members to share and collaborate with greater ease.

There is no longer the need to email someone to ask for a file to be sent over or to request the details of a particular customer.  

Both Insightly and Capsule allow users to be assigned to particular customers as their client managers or opportunity owners.  

The Verdict: A draw 


Sales & Lead Management

A CRM is more than simply an address and contact book for your business, it is the beating heart of all new business opportunities and the place to collaborate to ensure new leads are converted into new customers.

A quality CRM allows the user to create and track new leads from start to finish logging all interactions with the client, any relevant documents and assigning tasks to ensure nothing is missed.  

Both Insightly and Capsule provide this functionality, although Insightly does it more seamlessly than Capsule. With its Gmail integration and ability to integrate with other email services like Office365, Insightly will capture and store all correspondence against a lead automatically.

This saves time and reduces the margin for user error in missing important details. Capsule allows the user to email using a ‘cc’ or ‘bcc’ address on each email which is effective although more open to errors.  

The lead management process can be customised into various stages on both Insightly and Capsule so it best fits your business workflow. All potential opportunities and leads can be assigned a dollar value to more which flows through into your sales pipeline to be reported on for sales forecasting and performance.

You would be splitting hairs to pick which is better at this aspect of lead management and ultimately, it often comes down to how you like the look and feel of each system.  

The Verdict: A draw


Project & Task Management

Project and task management sit at the peripheries of CRM softwares core capabilities, but we include it here as Insightly claims to offer project management tool as part of their CRM.

The Project management is limited when compared with specific project and workflow applications on the market like WorkflowMax or Accelo. However, both Capsule and Insightly allow for reasonable task management within their CRM to suit most small-medium businesses.

Tasks can be assigned to staff or groups of staff in each with notifications showing up both in the CRM and also in their emails. Capsule provides tasks and to-do items that link back to client records to easily establish what the task was and who it was for.

These records are tracked against the client’s details permanently. Items such as meetings and deadlines can be managed easily and simply with a level of transparency that allows the whole team to be able to view and collaborate on a task more easily.  

Insightly allows for greater detail and separation of projects from contacts in a more step by step manner.

The project capability enables the user to oversee a piece of work for a particular client within the same system as they manage their details, keeping things central and easy to track.

This is an advantage over Capsule as it is no doubt a capability that would be welcomed by any business that manages projects or jobs for/with it’s clients, but doesn’t need a full blown job management software.

For those in the professional services space, you will reach the limits of Insightly’s project management capabilities quickly as the lack of timesheeting, scheduling and quoting/invoicing becomes evident. Timesheets Xero: there are other options here that are worth looking into if this is a prioity.

The Verdict: Insightly is the winner


Email & Communication

Insightly is the clear front runner for communication with its seamless email integration mentioned above. Having originally been developed for Google, Insightly allows you and your team to send and receive emails directly into your CRM with no extra steps.

The loophole that allows email correspondence to be missed is closed quickly and tightly. It also allows for mass emails to customers and templates can be established for communications to save time.

The number of emails you wish to send from Insightly will directly impact which pricing plan you require. 

Xero Add Ons

Capsule has a simple email ‘cc’ or ‘bcc’ address that allows you to send emails directly into the CRM to be assigned to a contact. The lack of direct emailing capability is a real shortcoming when compared with Insightly and should be seriously considered.  

Internal collaboration is impacted by the email capability of both systems as information needs to be accessible and detailed so any staff member can be informed of the status of a client or potential sale.

Both systems have internal notifications systems to keep users up to date with any changes or to do items that have been assigned to them to complete.  

The Verdict: Insightly is the winner



The similarities are strong between both Insightly and Capsule when it comes to reporting.

Both aggregate data in a manner that allows you and your team to view sales data based on client information, how each staff member is performing and where the bulk of your revenue is coming from based on clients and business segments. 

As this is not a financial reporting package, the details are limited and not entirely holistic, but they do deliver a real time glimpse at the historical, current and future performance of your business.  

The Verdict: A draw 


Xero Integration

As we are looking at this through the lens of a CRM to suit a new Xero user, the Xero integration itself is important. As discussed, Xero has a massive ecosystem of connected add on applications that integrate in varying degrees of sophistication to its core accounting solution.  

Insightly and Xero have a strong connection that allows you invite your finance team into your accounting package so they have operational information flowing from Insightly that can be analysed and financial information on your invoicing and billing in Xero 

Contacts can be created in Insightly and matched across to Xero if a record isn’t found, saving you time in managing your prospective clients and their billing details.

One of the more powerful components of the integration is your ability to create a draft invoice in Insightly and pass it across to Xero to be approve. This means your sales team can create and arrange invoices to be sent to clients after you have approved them. This saves time in jumping between multiple systems.

This invoicing feature is a key determinant in evaluating the integration of Insightly against Capsule.  

Capsule has a similarly efficient integration where contact details created in Capsule can be passed across to Xero. Just like Insightly, Capsule allows for a snapshot of the financial summary for a client to be viewed within the CRM including invoice history and overdue invoice information.

Unlike Insightly, Capsule has a constant and automatic sync of client and supplier records between the two systems to ensure nothing is missed.  

The Verdict: Insightly is the winner


The Mobile Apps  

Both Insightly and Capsule have mobile apps that enable you to use their systems easily on the go. To their credit, both provide a great resource for accessing contact, sales and task information on the move. Both are available on Android and Iphone. 

One key selling point of the Insightly business app is the ability to scan business cards gathered whilst conducting your business and more easily creating a contact from those details – it’s all about saving you time.  

The Verdict: Insighty wins by a hair's width



The CRM Pricing

To wet your appetite, Capsule and Insightly CRM both offer a free trial period of their products with Insightly giving you 14 days to test drive and Capsule allowing a full 30 days. At the very least, if this article hasn’t made your mind up for you on subjective features like user interface then you can sign up and try both without obligation.  

Xero CRM Pricing

Capsule keeps their pricing simple. It is free for 2 users with limits on the number of contacts and storage (100mb storage and 250 contacts). This is a great intro for a small firm or sole trader starting out with a CRM, but doesn’t allow for the integrations with other add ons like Xero 

Once you have reached the bounds of the free account, either by number of contacts or size of your organisation then it is a simple $12 USD per month per user for up to 50000 contacts, 2GB of storage and integrations with your preferred add-ons like Xero 


Insightly, has a tiered approach to it’s pricing based primarily on: 

  • If you wish to send emails on mass to your client base – the number of emails per day impacts the price.
  • The number of email templates you will use to automate your business. 
  • The number of custom fields you can use in managing your contacts and sales information. 
  • Storage provided at each price point increases as you pay more.  
  • Reporting functionality – the number of advanced reports you can produce.  
  • Email support – priority (rapid) or non-priority email support 


All except the free package come with online training and support content to get you up and running smoothly.  

Insightly starts at $15 USD per user for the Basic package billed monthly ($12 billed annually) for the basic package with limited advanced reports, 50 email templates. 500 emails a day and 1GB of storage.  

From the Basic you progress to Insightly Plus for $35 USD per user a month ($29 billed annually) which includes 25 Smart alerts, 100 email templates, 2500 emails a day and 10GB of Storage. This will be suitable for most small to medium businesses wanting a comprehensive solution.  

The Professional Package is $59 USD a month billed monthly ($49 billed annually) and includes unlimited email templates, 5000 emails per day and 100GB of storage. 

Finally, Insightly offers an Enterprise package that they recommend calling their USA based sales team to get more insight into.  

The Verdict: Depends on your business


The Xero CRM Winner: Insightly

For most businesses looking to begin using a CRM in their day to day operation, the clear choice is Insightly over Capsule.

The email integration, Xero integration and project/task management functionality is something that would benefit any business and is not to be overlooked. The look, feel and user experience of both software packages is so similar (in a good way) that it makes little difference other than to satisfy personal preference.

Xero CRM AddOn Insightly

Certainly, the price for Insightly Plus is dearer than Capsule, but we have found most of our clients would prefer to pay the extra money for the more advanced of the two solutions.  

Capsule provides a great solution at a competitive price, but ultimately is not quite the complete package Insightly proves to be.  


Further Resources 

Here are some useful links to help you make the right decisions



Topics: Accounting Software, Xero