Xero CRM comparison
A 10 step Xero CRM provider comparison to help you choosing a CRM product that integrates with your Xero accounting workflows

Xero CRM provider comparison: review of 4 of the best from the Xero App Marketplace

Published:
November 16, 2020

Nobody had ever really undertaken a Xero CRM provider comparison. This article is our balanced view at putting that right. You, like us, are a Xero fan and user. We recognise that when it comes to choosing a CRM product that integrates with both your Xero account and accounting workflows that you have a sometimes confusingly wide variety of choice on Xero's UK app marketplace in the CRM category.

Similarly, it needs to map to the way you do sales and marketing in your business. Our site compares how Connectably stacks up in features that might have benefit to your business. The purpose of this feature summary is to present an honest comparison of Connectably's core functions against other popular software in the CRM category on the Xero UK Marketplace.

The summary is broken down into 10 key areas:

  1. In their own words
  2. Xero integrations and sync
  3. Other core integrations
  4. Lead management
  5. Email marketing
  6. Appointment scheduler
  7. Quotes & proposals
  8. Getting paid
  9. Other functions
  10. Pricing

Xero CRM comparison: In their own words

How does each vendor describe their service in one sentence on the Xero App Marketplace?

Connectably

"Connectably manages sales, marketing and workflows quickly and simply, integrating with Xero, GoCardless, Stripe, GSuite, Zoom and Zapier."

Insightly

"Insightly is the easiest customer relationship management solution (CRM) to use for managing deep customer relationships."

Exsalerate

"Exsalerate CRM is an Operating System for your Sales Team and Account Managers that's integrated with Xero and WorkflowMax (XPM)"

Capsule

"A simple online CRM used by thousands of businesses worldwide. Capsule integrates seamlessly with Xero to provide a complete picture of your customers."

Xero CRM comparison: Xero integrations and sync

Xero has strict acceptance criteria to be accepted as a 'Connected App' on its marketplace. Our four apps in the Xero CRM provider comparison do considerably more with Xero than most CRMs.

All Xero CRM provider comparison apps provide rich functionality. But Connectably has been developed to sync direct debit and credit and debit card transactions as well between partners GoCardless and Stripe and Xero. Consequently, users do not need to re-key or import sales information, and transactions get automatically reconciled.

Additionally, richer reporting is possible by syncing to Xero's tracking categories with marketing lead sources that are tracked and applied by Connectably. Consequently users can view sales and profits by the lead source of where sales have first come from for better-focused marketing activities.

Here's a summary of the Xero functions the apps connect with and sync:

Connectably

Organisations
Contacts
Invoices
Sales History
Payment Statuses
Products/Services
Tracking Categories
GoCardless sync
Stripe sync

Insightly

Organisations
Contacts
Invoices
Sales History
Payment Statuses
Products/Services
Tracking Categories
GoCardless sync
Stripe sync

Exsalerate

Organisations
Contacts
Invoices
Sales History
Payment Statuses
Products/Services
Tracking Categories
GoCardless sync
Stripe sync

Capsule

Organisations
Contacts
Invoices
Sales History
Payment Statuses
Products/Services
Tracking Categories
GoCardless sync
Stripe sync

Xero CRM comparison: Other core integrations

You can develop a clear perspective of a software vendor's culture and perspective on their desired position as a component of your business' workflows by seeing how they integrate with other software and services you use or would like to use. The summary below is drawn from each vendor's integrations or features pages:

Connectably

GoCardless
Stripe
GSuite
Gmail (emails)
Office365
Outlook (emails)
Zoom
Zapier
Docmail

Insightly

GoCardless
Stripe
GSuite
Gmail (emails)
Office365
Outlook (emails)
MailChimp
Zapier
Slack

Exsalerate

GoCardless
Stripe
GSuite

Gmail (emails)
Office365
Outlook (emails)
Zoom
Zapier

WorkflowMax
MailChimp

Capsule

GoCardless
Stripe
GSuite

Gmail (emails)
Office365
Outlook (emails)

Multiple quote, helpdesk, time tracking apps
MailChimp
Zapier

Xero CRM comparison: Lead management

How you manage leads is a critical factor in choosing a CRM system. The 'R' in 'CRM', managing the 'Relationship', is the key word. We even wrote a blog on the topic.

There are certain minimums - managing contact information in a GDPR compliant way, recording notes, setting to-do's and reminders. All our Xero CRM provider comparison apps do these functions.

In addition, there are a number of mini-processes that you don't tend to think about until you see the gap that not having them creates in your business. For instance, capturing leads on your website and immediately segmenting them with tags in your database as they go straight into it. Additionally, being able to book meetings that record in your Google Calendar (GSuite) or Outlook's calendar (Office365). Finally, seeing visually how leads are progressing through stages of your sales and marketing activities. The summary below is drawn from each app's features pages:

Connectably

Web forms
Tagging
Workflows
Drag & drop cards
Book meetings
Create notes
Manage to-do's

Insightly

Web forms
Tagging
Workflows
Drag & drop cards
Book meetings
Create notes
Manage to-do's

Exsalerate

Web forms
Tagging
Workflows
Drag & drop cards
Book meetings
Create notes
Manage to-do's

Capsule

Web forms
Tagging
Workflows
Drag & drop cards
Book meetings

Create notes
Manage to-do's

Xero CRM comparison: Email marketing

There are some great advantages to managing email marketing within your CRM software, especially automated email sequences:

  • Treating every lead or contact in the same way - as most CRMs do - means sending the same generic email marketing to your entire list. However, when email marketing sits within your CRM software with contacts segmented by tags along interest areas, you can create highly targeted messaging in your communications. In other words, tailored communications by contacts segmented by buying status, value, lead source, previous activity etc.
  • As leads move between different stages of your sales and marketing workflows, or indeed your delivery and support workflows, you can trigger focused and drip-fed scheduled email content to them over time. Changes to their status (how they're tagged, the stage they're in) can be automatically tracked and contacts can be automatically transferred into different follow-up email marketing sequences.
  • All activity can be tracked against one version of the contact record. For instance, individual emails, bulk emails, responses, clicks on links etc. Having a single view of the contact enriches engagement with them. When you are on the phone, or checking on your mobile on your way to a meeting, you can clearly see what your prospect and client has interacted with.

As a single-point sales and marketing workflows solution for small client services businesses, Connectably stands alone as the only provider within our Xero CRM provider comparison apps to offer email marketing within the CRM to Xero users:

Connectably

Email builder
Mobile responsive
Brandable design
Create on mobile
Schedule emails
Automate emails

Insightly

No in-app email builder

Exsalerate

No in-app email builder

Capsule

No in-app email builder

Xero CRM comparison: Appointment scheduler

Poor management of time is one of the greatest inhibitors to client services businesses. That is to say that it is what you do with the limited time in your working week that gets you paid by clients.

Early adopters of Connectably were big fans of using Zapier to connect Connectably with their preferred meeting scheduling software (e.g. Acuity, Calendly, ScheduleOnce) - where based on calendar availability, and setting meeting durations and space between them - prospects and clients can book time directly into their Google Calendars or Outlook (Office365) calendar.

Such was the popularity amongst these client services businesses, and given Connectably had all the components at its disposal already (calendar, email, booking forms), we took the decision to implement our own simple, quick to use version of appointment scheduling software.

On booking an appointment based on diary rules, contacts are added to the system, tagged appropriately, and can be added to follow-up email sequences using the booking information in confirmation and reminder emails. If meetings are online, and the user has a Zoom online meetings account, then Connectably will not only automatically set up both the meeting in the user and the meeting booker's diary, but also include Zoom meeting details in the appointment that has been set up.

Connectably

Online scheduler
Availability rules
Zoom integration
G Suite sync
Office365 sync

Insightly

No online appointment scheduler

Exsalerate

No online appointment scheduler

Capsule

No online appointment scheduler

Xero CRM comparison: Quotes & proposals

When a customer asks you to quote or agrees to receive one, it means they're seriously considering doing business with you. New business is won or lost at this stage, so it's important to get it right. And yet, they can take forever to create without templates or systemisation.

Quotes and proposals are an essential part of running client service businesses. They help you and your customer understand each other and bring you closer to a sale. Furthermore, they build trust by helping you structure your pricing and the services you offer. Above all, a proposal presents your offering more professionally than just following up by email or phone call alone. In short, they encourage the customer to make a decision.

Of our Xero CRM provider comparison apps, Connectably is the only provider to offer the creation of quotes/proposals directly within the CRM - on both desktop and mobile views of the application. In conclusion, proposals save you time, improve professionalism and allow you to quote more comprehensively than you might otherwise do. And, in so doing, this increases the likelihood of more profit per sale:

Connectably

Template builder
Xero product picker
Staged payments
Sent by email
PDF attachment
Create on mobile
E-signatures
Get paid online

Insightly

No quotes / proposal functionality in app

Exsalerate

No quotes / proposal functionality in app

Capsule

No quotes / proposal functionality in app

Xero CRM comparison: Getting paid

One of the greatest inhibitors to small business survival itself, let alone success, is the cost and impact of late payments. Data from Small Business Insights, Xero's monthly snapshot of the health of the small business economy, shows that invoices with 30-day payment terms are paid in 39 days on average.

Connectably stands alone as the only provider on the Xero marketplace to offer secure payments functionality without need for 3rd party add-ons, e-commerce products, or frustrating manual follow-up to try to get late payers to pay.

With payment partners GoCardless and Stripe, Connectably users can reduce average payout timings by 82-87% to 5 days for existing direct debit mandates (6 for new ones), and 7 days for debit / credit card payments taken via Stripe. Payments can be scheduled to be taken with minimum delay or to be taken on specific days of the month.

Connectably

Secure order forms
Take direct debits
Take card payments
Invoice sending
Reconcile payments
Bank fees handling

Insightly

No function to take payments in app

Exsalerate

No function to take payments in app

Capsule

No function to take payments in app

Xero CRM comparison: Other functions

Connectably

Works on Mobile
Send Letters, Postcards, Greetings Cards using Docmail

Insightly

Mobile app
Dashboards
Manage projects
Business card scanner

Exsalerate

Mobile app
Reporting dashboard

Capsule

Mobile app
Reporting stats from integrated apps

Xero CRM comparison: Pricing, based on 5 users

Connectably

£500/yr

Unlimited users on same domain

Watch demo

Insightly

£2146/yr

$49/mo per user,
billed annually,
$1=£0.73 (18/08/21)

Exsalerate

£832/yr

$19/mo per user,
billed annually,
$1=£0.73 (21/12/20)

Capsule

£720/yr

£12 / mo / user

Note: The article is intended to present an honest comparison feature of Connectably's core functions against other popular software in the CRM category on the Xero UK Marketplace. This feature summary and wording is regularly checked against Xero's UK Marketplace and vendor's site links from that marketplace. Please report inaccuracies to support[@]connectably.com and our marketing team will review, analyse and rectify any discrepancies. Last updated: 18th August 2021, v1.6.

About

Connectably

If you run a B2B or B2C service business and your expertise or a physical skill is why your clients pay for your help, then Connectably is for you. We uncomplicated business management software to give you more quality time for your clients, your prospects and you. We're a small business, run for the benefit and success of other small businesses. Watch a demo here.
Author: Gareth Everson - Founder Connectably

Could Connectably be right for you?

Connectably helps everyday businesses to manage workflows, processes and communications that would normally require much more expensive software and skills to manage. It's simple to use, easier to implement than continuing to do things manually, and will help you to think about your business in a different, more scalable, and less time-intensive way.
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