(Last updated on February 17th, 2022)

SugarCRM or Salesforce, which CRM software would be a better pick in 2022?

Read this in-depth, data-driven SugarCRM vs Salesforce CRM comparison to make a smart choice.

Customers are now considered the most valuable asset of any business, that’s why customer relationship management is an important part of the marketing strategies of various companies. 

Thus, the importance of customer relationship management has made CRM one of the most popular software in the business industry as CRM software acts as an essential tool in customer relationship management. However, when there are dozens of CRM programs available in the market, the selection process becomes very complex. 

If you are looking for a CRM system for your business, you must have heard of Salesforce. Undoubtedly it is the main player, but is it really a perfect fit for your business? Other players are also emerging in the digital market. One of the main players competing with Salesforce is Sugar by SugarCRM. Sugar adoption is increasing as it offers great value to its customers. 

But which one should you choose between Salesforce and SugarCRM? Both of them are used by various satisfied clients and hold excellent reputations in the CRM world.

So let’s discuss in detail some of the factors that go into choosing a perfect CRM for your business like, what are CRM features they offer, what kind of support do they provide, and which type of businesses can benefit from each solution.

About SugarCRM

SugarCRM is an open-source platform that can be cloud-based or self-hosted and customized. SugarCRM enables you to track the entire sales process and provides a wide variety of marketing tools. It has great customer service tools as well as plenty of training and support.

There is a robust community to help you in this regard. This platform is suitable for enterprise-level businesses rather than small businesses, as it requires a development team to help you get the most out of it. SugarCRM helps organize your team with a lead funnel, contact management, and customer service features. SugarCRM has a direct impact on your business by providing the right support team for your employees.

About Salesforce

Salesforce is suitable for businesses of all sizes and offers solutions based on industry, business size, and needs. Ultimately, customers get their hands on impressive customization options in every version of Salesforce.

It is the best option for companies of any size who need a well-established and well-supported platform and doesn’t want a more intimate relationship with a smaller software developer. Salesforce is a complete CRM allowing you to choose your desired features. This customizable CRM helps you close deals and generate revenue.

Breakdown Of Comparison

In a rush? Check out the summary of this SugarCRM vs Salesforce Comparison below:

CriterionWinnerNotes
Workflow AutomationSalesforceSalesforce offers more advanced workflow automation features taking it to a next level.
Ease of UseSalesforceSalesforce wins in this category because it is easier to use as compared to SugarCRM, but overall both options struggle in this area.
Sales Process toolsSalesforceSalesforce provides more advanced and unique sales tools than SugarCRM.
Marketing featuresTieHere is a tie as it’s hard to choose the one with better marketing features.
Pricing SugarCRMIn comparison to Salesforce, SugarCRM has comparatively low prices across all tiers.
Reporting/AnalyticsSugarCRMSugarCRM provides more simplified and in-depth insights whereas Salesforce reports might be complex to understand.
IntegrationSalesforceIntegration through an open-source platform, like SugarCRM, is a little more difficult, giving Salesforce an edge in this area.
Customer SupportSugarCRMSugarCRM provides more helpful customer support than Salesforce, giving it a win.

SugarCRM Vs Salesforce: Short Verdict

After comparing both of these options, Salesforce is the overall winner holding a slight advantage over SugarCRM because with a full suite of customer support tools, social media access, bulk email sending capacity, and customization options many businesses find Salesforce a great solution. 

Being the most popular CRM platform, it offers tools for each line of your business and lots of convenient integrations. It allows you to pick and choose your desired features. 

However, SugarCRM is not far behind. If you are looking for an easily implemented marketing campaign, then go ahead for SugarCRM. SugarCRM is the right choice for small businesses looking for a CRM option that is easy to use and affordable in price. SugarCRM enables every single user to have their database and add their desired applications. 

1. Workflow Automation

SugarCRM offers workflow automation in Ultimate and Enterprise editions. This is especially useful as people can receive notifications via a web browser or email, even on the mobile app. 

There is a rules-driven automated workflows feature and all processes can be tested for reliability with the help of dashboards and analytical tools. 

Salesforce stands at the forefront of technology. By acquiring companies and adapting their product directly for Salesforce, they have been successful in expanding their products. 

This applies to the Salesforce collaboration tool, Quip. Quip being a workflow and project management tool, integrates directly with Salesforce, but you have to pay for the upgrade. 

Sugar and Salesforce make it easy to quickly identify and track the top leads across campaigns, but Salesforce Einstein’s marketing automation takes it to the next level. 

Einstein automates the lead scoring process by identifying the accounts that are most likely to convert based on past purchases, relationship history, and other factors.

Advertising Studios allows marketers to discover and advertise new leads by identifying audiences with matching profiles that are based on their online behaviors from existing CRM data.

So, providing more advanced and diverse workflow automation, Salesforce is the winner here.

Winner: Salesforce

2. Ease of use

SugarCRM is filled with features. Since it is an open-source platform, it is built for enterprise-level businesses that have their development teams. Consequently, the software has a steep learning curve so it is not a good match for CRM novices. 

Users can learn more about the software through Sugar University, many of the courses are free, but few advanced courses can cost hundreds of dollars.

Of course, many people admire Salesforce, but this does not mean that it is for beginners. Signing up for Salesforce and getting started is not difficult, but the learning curve can be challenging for some users as there are so many features they might not know about without training. 

You can improve your learning and take advantage of many powerful tools by attending Salesforce University, but again it costs you a week out of your schedule and thousands of dollars.

Being the most powerful CRM tools, both CRM struggle a bit in terms of usability. But we will give a slight win to Salesforce here.

Winner: Salesforce

3. Sales process tools

SugarCRM is built to help companies manage the entire customer life cycle. For sales teams, this means identifying opportunities and matching products with potential buyers.

Sugar offers built-in activity streams to share media, documents, and links. With the help of personalized home pages available online, on-premises, or native mobile apps, sales representatives can access system information such as tasks, accounts, and products. 

Sugar Sell is the major tool for your sales team that helps them collect every single piece of information about their customers. It gives an overview of the entire customer journey to evaluate where they stand in the sales cycle.  

Salesforce Sales Cloud is based on contact and opportunity management. It helps salespeople to stay productive from any device, like smartphone, laptop, or even smartwatch. 

Salesforce Chatter enables teams to collaborate on topics, projects, and sales opportunities through a centralized news feed and an enterprise social network.

Salesforce has some unique sales tools that you will not find in SugarCRM.

  • Territory management: Model your territory and develop territory strategies. Based on custom assignment rules it sends reps to be the right customers.
  • Sales performance management:

Administrative and coaching tools that enable your reps to meet their quotas and show good performance.

  • Partner management: 

Connect reliably with distributors and channel partners for collaboration in goals, campaigns, and pipelines. It also shares opportunities and leads in real-time.

Winner: Salesforce

4. Marketing features

If you want the best CRM software with out-of-the-box marketing tools, SugarCRM is a perfect choice. All three Sugar editions offer a full suite of features for marketing teams which includes lead routing, email marketing, campaign dashboards, drip campaigns, and web forms. 

You may not get some advanced features, but Sugar has plenty of marketing automation tools. “Sugar Market” creates marketing campaigns with highly customizable options. It collects data that helps marketing teams to track their performance.

Salesforce, in addition to lead management, possesses most of the marketing automation tools that are available through multiple Marketing Cloud apps including Social.com, Social Studio, Pardot, and ExactTarget. 

This means that there are additional charges, but it also gives you access to various powerful features like lead scoring, social listening, ROI reporting, and predictive intelligence. When it comes to full-scale marketing automation, SugarCRM’s built-in features cannot compete with Pardot and ExactTarget.

Both of the CRM software hold compatible and advanced marketing features, so there is no clear winner.

Winner: Tie

5. Pricing

One of the major considerations when choosing between SugarCRM or Salesforce is the price charged for both CRM. SugarCRM and Salesforce both have a common paid licensing model. As you upgrade to a more expensive edition, you will get more features. 

Both CRM options provide per-user, per-month packages and offer different tiers so that you can choose your desired features. Sugar offers sales, marketing, and customer service features at a single, monthly price, starting with the most basic “Sugar Professional” package. 

It is unique among CRM providers because it doesn’t require separate add-ons and additional subscription fees for marketing and service features. 

Its two pricing tiers, Enterprise and Ultimate have advanced features for medium to large businesses including 24/7 support, dedicated account manager, and additional storage. 

Sugar allows you to choose between cloud or on-premise deployment at all tiers. Subscription pricing is all-inclusive, backed by a “PurePrice” policy, and much cheaper than Salesforce. It has a “community version” for free, although installation, web server, database, and PHP are required.

SugarCRM has the following pricing options:

  • Professional: $40/user/month
  • Enterprise: $65/user/month
  • Ultimate: $150/user/month

Pricing in Salesforce is not straightforward. There are different focus areas with different pricing tiers which include Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud. 

That means you cannot buy one product for all of your teams. But each Cloud plan is more effective in its field as compared to a multipurpose CRM. Buyers can combine sales and services and reduce the cost per user.

Salesforce offers the following pricing options: 

  • Essential: $25/user/month
  • Professional: $75/user/month
  • Enterprise: $150/user/month
  • Unlimited: $300/user/month

Although Salesforce offers the best price on the ground floor which is $25/user/month, SugarCRM gets the win here because on average it has lower prices at all options.

Winner: SugarCRM

 6. Reporting/ analytics

For any business, analytical data and reports are the most standard requirements. Analytics enable data-driven decision-making so that you can create, render, and implement the right strategies for establishing and retaining customer relationships.

SugarCRM has a reporting module that makes reporting requirements easy for your sales, marketing, and support teams. The report provides a complete picture of the factors affecting the company’s performance.

The results can be used to optimize business processes and gain complete control over business operations. Sugar allows its users to create reports with custom filters. It uses predictive analytics to uncover and nurture new audience segments. 

The SugarCRM Hints add-on gives additional contact information along with a few form fields. Sugar Discover by SugarCRM is a new “sophisticated analytics solution” that gives complicated revenue insights. Customers can automate CRM data constant monitoring. 

Salesforce provides a complete set of customizable dashboards with instant user behavior updates and predictions features with Einstein analytics. 

Artificial intelligence is a key innovation in the Salesforce arsenal that empowers sales and accelerates workflow. Salesforce reports can be as simple as a standard account report. In addition, you can filter reports to get specific results. 

Although Salesforce reports are high-grade, they are not as simplified and relevant as SugarCRM.

Winner: SugarCRM

7. Integration

A complete change in the way your business operates with new software can cause a system shock, that is why integration with other platforms is critical. 

SugarCRM provides SugarExchange which has a public API code for those who are concerned about its ability to integrate with other software. 

It helps you get emails, contact, reports, email, and more under one roof. The software can integrate with popular platforms such as G Suite and Slack.

Salesforce offers integration with all major business applications, including G Suite, Mailchimp, and Quickbooks. This provides businesses already using the platform a seamless transition to Salesforce with minimal interruption.

SugarCRM runs in Microsoft Outlook and has a mobile app so your team can interact with customers from anywhere. You can use tags for organizing custom information, and search functions in any tool. SugarCRM supports the following integrations:

  • Social media channels
  • QuickBooks
  • Sun and Bradstreet customer insights
  • Cisco WebEx
  • Telephony
  • Sage Intacct
  • Telephony

In addition to the integration with CMS, ERP, finance, and customer support tools, SugarCRM provides SDK and API for application builders wishing to expand their services. 

Salesforce AppExchange has probably all the apps you need. Ultimately, various software companies are moving to Salesforce to better match Salesforce.

Visiting the AppExchange website might feel overwhelming. It feels like visiting the Apple AppStore, but you can filter by cloud type, product type, or industry.

It has free Labs apps that extend Salesforce usability, custom integration that perform particular Salesforce features, and integration that brings ERP data, HR software, and many other data directly into Salesforce.

Although both offer third-party integration, Salesforce offers more smooth integration, giving it a win here.

Winner: Salesforce

8. Customer support

Both software gives strong customer support, but when it comes to access, there are some drawbacks.

SugarCRM doesn’t contain support as an extra add-on. It provides various support tools in its application and interface. Since the software was originally developed as an open-source tool, mostly the documentation is form format and technical. However, you will get full support from an account manager if you purchase an Ultimate plan. 

SugarCRM provides a free customer-facing self-service portal that enables team members to add informational documents and users to contact support.

To get phone support with SugarCRM, you must purchase it which is not unusual for enterprise-level software but it is a downside. You can get to an agent with the minimal waiting time. There is a form on the contact page for seeking help and a live chat option. 

SugarCRM offers you a robust support page where you can search for terms related to your issue. Results can be filtered by a version of the software, category, and even if you are an administrator or end-user.

The main downside of large organizations is that they lack personal customer service, and Salesforce appears to be a big company when you need any help. Luckily, their website offers plenty of self-help options for solving technical problems. Salesforce University also gives training and certification.

Salesforce customer support helps you to learn the tools, and the Trailhead learning community is extremely wide. Getting personal help over the phone is a little difficult. You must be a premier or partner premiere to receive assistance with standard issues, otherwise, you can only get help with “severity one” problems.

SugarCRM holds a slight edge because you can get an agent on the phone immediately. After all, nobody likes dealing a lot with an automated system and holding music.

Winner: SugarCRM

Final Thoughts

That was a head-to-head comparison of two of the best-performing CRM platforms, SugarCRM and Salesforce. The two are relatively compatible when it comes to pricing, features, and support.

In a nutshell, Salesforce and SugarCRM are great customer CRM choices. Sugar takes a holistic approach by providing sales, marketing, and service tools in one package. Whereas Salesforce divides its platforms by offering different products for different teams.   

Overall, Salesforce appears to be slightly better than its competitor SugarCRM by providing advanced workflow automation, better performing Sales process tools, simplified analytics, incredible usability, and sleek integration. But this doesn’t mean that Salesforce is the right choice for your company.

You can’t ignore the fact SugarCRM wins in terms of customer support and pricing, so If your business is looking to cut costs, pay more for customer support, and need more customization than what Salesforce offers, SugarCRM is a perfect option for you.

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