Customization, CRM, Business Systems, Sales Process

Customization: Creating Options that Really Work

Cookie cutter plans are great for a lot of things. They are quick and simple, and usually save time. But pre-designed options often require us to sacrifice what we really want or need. One size might work for all, but it doesn’t really fit. As we recently drew up plans for our new home, I loved that we could change things to fit our specific needs. We took out an extra bedroom to make room for a bigger master suite. Instead of a formal living room, my home office is at the front of the house with clear views of the mountains. Customizing our house plans let me create options that work for me, my family and our current lifestyle.

Customization is key to making anything work well for you, especially in business. Stock programs and easy solutions might seem to fit at first, but the opportunity to customize systems makes all the difference. I work with a variety of businesses around the world, each with their own unique needs. One of the reasons I recommend Insightly CRM is the ability to create a custom fit for each of my clients.


While standard “cookie cutter” information is valuable, each business needs to capture data that is unique to their industry, product and customer. By using Custom Fields in Insightly to track data specific to each customer, lead, opportunity and project you can access all of the information you need in one place. This customization gives you the insight you need to make decisions and to provide the best products and services.

For example, a Realtor would need to capture data unique to their customers such as:

  • MLS #
  • Lot size
  • Number of Bedrooms
  • Desired neighborhood
  • And any number of other preferences

By creating custom fields, this information can be captured, tracked and viewed quickly and easily in Insightly. Custom fields can also help you to better understand your lead sources. Know where each lead came from by tracking:

  • Sign calls
  • Door Knocking
  • Website
  • And other sources specific to your Real Estate business

Further, custom fields can be used to group clients by listing or buying, and even track how often they have worked with you in the past. Customizing Insightly by creating custom fields will capture any relevant data needed to maximize each opportunity and provide the best level of service.


Labeling your data can help you quickly find the information you need. Using categories and tags are two easy and effective ways to do this. In Insightly, categories are used to label tasks, opportunities, projects and other files. Once a category is assigned, you can use custom filters to find and group data, making it easily accessible. Categories are also color coded so you can see items in each group at a glance whether you are viewing tasks, projects or other lists.

Using our realtor example, you can quickly identify clients and opportunities by creating two categories, one for listing and one for buying. As different processes apply to buyers than those who are listing a property, categories can quickly help you identify contacts, opportunities and projects in each group.

Another way to label your data is by using tags. More flexible than categories, tags are a quick and easy way to add more detail to your records. Tags can be added for:

  • Locations such as towns or neighborhoods
  • Groups
  • Agents
  • Square footage for homes or lots
  • Number of bedrooms or bathrooms
  • Appraiser or Inspector
  • Any anything else you want to label

Tags are also good for temporary labels. When a record is deleted the tag will be deleted as well. For more permanent custom labels, use groups or custom fields.


Opportunity states and lead status are other ways Insightly can be customized. Rather than just marking opportunities as won or lost, you can create custom reason states that give you valuable insight into what is working and what isn’t. Knowing if an opportunity is on hold because a seller is not ready to list, or if you lost an opportunity to another agent will help you evaluate your sales process. Customization gives you personalized, unique information that enables you to make the best decisions for your business.

Understanding the status of leads is another crucial part of your sales systems. Tracking your lead status can help you manage your sales funnel making sure that leads are qualified and sales are closed. Tracking your lead status can give you better insight into your marketing efforts as well. You can also customize this part of your process with unique lead status and lead source information.


One thing many businesses underestimate is the power of data. In addition to managing contacts and sales, your CRM can record and track information that is specific to you customers and processes. A powerful CRM will also use this data to produce reports that give you an accurate picture of how your business is doing. By customizing the information you record and track in Insightly, you can then create, run and understand the right reports for your business.



Just like custom trim and fixtures in a home reflect your preferences and personality, you can customize Insightly the same way. Here are a few more quicky and easy ways to customize your CRM:

Dashboards: Quick, visual display of your information. While there are several standard dashboards available in Insightly, you can also create and edit your own dashboards. Choose the information you want to include, the type of graphic, even the size and placement. Dashboards put your most important information right in front of you.


Keystroke Shortcuts: These shortcuts allow you to navigate and enter data quickly and easily. Rather than using your mouse or touch pad, you can quickly move around in Insightly with simple keystrokes. Keystroke Shortcuts can be turned on and off by clicking on your profile icon and checking or unchecking the Enable Keyboard Shortcuts option.


Kanban Views: Kanban is Japanese for visual signal or card. Using the idea of Kanban in Insightly, lets you view all of your projects, opportunities or leads as cards on a page. You can see the status of everything you are working on at a glance. You can also advance the stage of a project or opportunity by clicking and dragging it to the next stage. This simple customization lets you change the display and organization of projects in the way that works best for you.


If the thought of choosing a CRM is as daunting as sifting through 500 shades of white paint color options, we can help. We’ll narrow down your choices and tell you the pros and cons for each program. If you’ve already chosen Insightly CRM for your business, we’re here to help you customize it for your business. Your CRM is on of your most powerful business tools. Customization lets you maximize the power of your CRM to truly fit the unique needs of your business.


Are you a busy realtor? Our Real Estate for Insightly program will help you set up and customize your CRM  to fit exactly what you need.

Check out our customization hours for even more personalized support.

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