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SugarCRM Vs. Salesforce: Which CRM Software to Choose?

Wondering which one to choose in this SugarCRM vs Salesforce tussle?

When I started searching for the best CRM software for my business, I quickly narrowed it down to two major players: SugarCRM and Salesforce. Both platforms are renowned for their advanced features, competitive pricing, and intuitive designs.

Choosing between them, however, is not straightforward.

In this article, I will share the SugarCRM and Salesforce comparison in detail. I will cover everything from features and customer support to integrations and pricing.

SugarCRM Vs. Salesforce: An Overview

What Is SugarCRM?

SugarCRM Dashboard

Image Source: SugarCRM

SugarCRM is a market-leading, modern, robust, and AI-driven cloud-based CRM software that facilitates businesses’ delivery of an excellent customer experience. Organizations can use this CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software to integrate the work of marketing, sales, and customer service teams, providing a unified solution to customers.

The CRM system’s rich and extensive features offer insights into customer behavior that allow you to predict the future outcome of your strategy or campaign accurately. Besides that, analytics will assist you in making data-driven decisions and replicating your successes.

What Is Salesforce?

Salesforce CRM Dashboard

Image Source: Salesforce

Salesforce is a top CRM software system that connects your marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT teams from anywhere. Using this customer relationship management (CRM) system, organizations can attract more buyers, win more customers, deliver exceptional customer experiences, respond to customers faster, and automate time-consuming tasks by developing custom apps.

The CRM software is scalable and adaptable, allowing it to be embraced by businesses of all sizes and scales. Moreover, the system’s omnichannel routing automatically shifts cases and other tasks to the available agent, making customer service quick and efficient.

Likewise, management can fine-tune their strategy partially or wholly as needed on time by utilizing rich data analytics.

SugarCRM Vs. Salesforce: Features

As already mentioned, both tools have powerful features. However, the choice between Salesforce and SugarCRM often depends on your specific business needs and preferences for integration and customization.

Let me compare the features of these CRMs so you can decide which tool works best for you.

Contact Management

In my experience, both Salesforce and SugarCRM handle contact management well, but they do it differently.

Salesforce provides a comprehensive view of your contacts, integrating social media data and facilitating team collaboration. It’s like having all your contact details and interactions in one place, which is super helpful for staying organized.

Contact Management

Image Source: Salesforce

SugarCRM, on the other hand, is great if you like to tweak things to fit just right. It allows you to personalize the system extensively to follow your customer’s journey from start to finish.

Read More: What Is Contact Management?

Sales Pipeline Management

Moving on to managing sales pipelines, SugarCRM is pretty solid. It offers detailed tracking and robust tools that let you see where every potential deal stands, which can really help with forecasting and performance assessments.

Sales Pipeline Management

Image Source: Bhea

Salesforce shines here, too, with its powerful analytics and automation features that make managing your sales funnel a breeze. It offers flexible tools for sales pipeline management, which is perfect if you prefer tailoring the system to meet your unique business needs.

Sales Pipeline Management

Image Source: Merfantz

You get to see predictive insights and automated actions that can take some of the guesswork out of your sales strategies.

Marketing Automation

Salesforce Marketing Automation

Image Source: Salesforceben

Salesforce is a bit ahead when it comes to marketing automation. It uses an AI called Einstein to automatically score leads and identify the most promising prospects based on their past interactions and buying history. This can be a game changer by helping you focus on suitable leads at the right time.

SugarCRM offers solid marketing tools as well, but you might need to customize them more to achieve what you can readily do on Salesforce.

Read More: Maximize Your ROI With Marketing Automation


Here’s where SugarCRM really stands out. Thanks to its open-source nature, you can tweak nearly every aspect of the system. This is perfect if you have specific needs that don’t fit the standard options.

Customization in sugarcrm

Image Source: Dreamertechs

Salesforce offers customization, too, but typically within a more controlled ecosystem. To extend its functionality, you might need to use third-party apps, which can sometimes add complexity.

complexity in salesforce crm

Image Source: Salesforce

Reporting and Analytics

Both platforms are strong in this area, but they offer different experiences. Salesforce has advanced tools like AI-powered analytics, which help in making informed decisions by providing deep insights into data trends.

Reporting and Analytics in Salesforce CRM

Image Source: Capgemini

SugarCRM’s reports are very detailed, too, and what I like most about them is how customizable they are. You can tailor reports to fit precisely what you need to know about your operations.

Reporting and Analytics in SugarCRM

Image Source: SugarCRM

Mobile Accessibility

Both SugarCRM and Salesforce ensure that you can keep up with your CRM needs even when you’re on the move. SugarCRM’s mobile app is user-friendly and responsive, which I find handy for on-the-go access.

Mobile Accessibility of SugarCRM

Image Source: Software Suggest

Salesforce’s mobile app packs more features, which can be great if you need full functionality away from your desk.

Mobile Accessibility of Salesforce CRM

Image Source: Salesforce

Choosing between SugarCRM and Salesforce depends on what you value most in a CRM. If you need a system that offers robust out-of-the-box functionality with advanced features, Salesforce might be the way to go. But if customization and flexibility are more your style, SugarCRM could be the perfect fit. Either way, the best CRM is the one that aligns best with your business needs.

SugarCRM vs Salesforce: Integration

Salesforce offers a comprehensive range of integrations, making it compatible with a multitude of platforms and software that businesses frequently use. It is known for its advanced lead and contact management capabilities, customizable pricing options, and cutting-edge AI. This CRM boasts an extensive library of add-ons through its Salesforce AppExchange.

On the other hand, SugarCRM provides flexible integration options with a variety of software systems, including email marketing tools, accounting software, and other business applications. It is particularly appreciated for its strong forecasting capabilities and the wide range of integrations available via the SugarOutfitters Marketplace.

One of the unique features of SugarCRM is the Sugar Exchange, which allows users to access custom integrations from external developers. This means that SugarCRM can be connected to a variety of niche apps that Salesforce may not support.

While SugarCRM excels in customer support and pricing, Salesforce has a slight edge in terms of ease of use and integration, and its feature set is unparalleled. Therefore, the choice between SugarCRM and Salesforce would largely depend on the specific needs and preferences of your business.

SugarCRM vs Salesforce: Deployment Options

When it comes to deployment options, SugarCRM and Salesforce each take a distinct approach to how their systems are set up, which can influence your choice depending on your organization’s needs.

Salesforce operates on a single-tenant architecture. This means that all users access the system through a single URL. It’s deployed exclusively on the cloud, which simplifies access and maintenance but doesn’t allow for installation on private servers. This cloud-only approach suits businesses that are comfortable with external hosting and prefer the ease of not managing physical servers.

On the other hand, SugarCRM uses a multi-tenant architecture, where each user has their URL to log into the system. This setup is available for both on-premise and cloud deployment, providing greater flexibility. Organizations can choose the option that best fits their IT strategy, whether they prefer to keep their data on-site for security reasons or enjoy the scalability of cloud solutions.

Therefore, if your organization requires on-premise deployment or seeks more flexibility in deployment options, SugarCRM might be the better fit. Conversely, if you’re looking for a cloud-based solution and do not need an on-premise setup, Salesforce would likely be more suitable.

SugarCRM vs Salesforce: Ease of Use

Another critical aspect to consider when deciding on the best CRM software is its ease of use. Both SugarCRM and Salesforce CRM are sophisticated CRM systems that are complicated, especially for beginners.

Both include advanced features that are foreign to novice users, making the tools difficult to use. However, users can become acquainted with the software by enrolling in CRM’s respective universities.

For example, you can learn about the SugarCRM solution through Sugar University. The university provides introductory courses for free. However, for advanced courses, you will need to pay fees.

Similarly, you or your team can enroll in Salesforce University to better understand Salesforce CRM software. Again, just like at SugarCRM University, the basic courses are free, while premium or advanced courses are not.

Both the SugarCRM and Salesforce CRM systems are somewhat challenging to use, especially for beginners. However, if you or your team have previously used any of the advanced cloud-based CRM for small businesses, you will find these tools very easy to use.

SugarCRM vs Salesforce: Customer Support

When it comes to selecting the best CRM software, you need to check their customer support. So, let’s compare how both the CRM systems fare in terms of customer support.

SugarCRM provides a robust knowledge base of support articles and other online resources to help users better understand the product. Besides, it allows premium subscribers to contact SugarCRM support for assistance whenever needed.

The primary way to contact the SugarCRM support team is through the SugarCRM Case Portal. However, if you prefer, you can also send an email to [email protected]. You can also share your concern with the Sugar team by filling out the form on their Contact Us page.

When compared to SugarCRM software, the Salesforce CRM system provides multiple and straightforward ways to connect with its support team. You can get in touch with the Salesforce team via multiple routes, including requesting a call, making a phone call, via live chat, or providing feedback.

SugarCRM vs Salesforce: Pricing

SugarCRM pricing has three tiers designed to accommodate businesses at various stages of growth. The Essentials plan starts at $19 per user per month and is aimed at small teams of 3-5 users. It provides basic support and an easy upgrade path.

For more advanced needs, the Advanced plan at $85 per user per month includes sales force automation, Mail & Calendar integration, and built-in AI. The most comprehensive option, the Premier plan, costs $135 per user per month and is targeted at larger teams requiring advanced forecasting, sales intelligence, and enhanced support.

Pricing of SugarCRM

Salesforce, on the other hand, offers a broader range of options that can accommodate everything from small startups to large enterprises. The Starter Suite, at $24 per user per month, includes basic CRM functionalities like lead and opportunity management, suitable for up to 10 users.

The Professional plan, at $80 per user per month, and the Enterprise plan, at $165 per user per month, add more sophisticated features such as rules-based lead scoring, sales cycle forecasting, and advanced reporting. For those needing the most comprehensive support and capabilities, the Unlimited plan at $330 and the Einstein 1 Sales plan at $500 per user per month offer extensive services and 24/7 support.

Salesforce Pricing

Why BIGContacts Could Be Your Next CRM After SugarCRM and Salesforce?

While both SugarCRM and Salesforce are robust CRM platforms, they might not be the ideal fit for every business due to certain limitations.

In my experience, SugarCRM, although powerful, often lacks a comprehensive view of the customer and falls short in automation features. It can also be quite challenging for those who are new to CRM systems. Salesforce, while extensive, imposes strict limits on the use of shared resources. These “governor limits” can restrict the number of database queries and updates you can perform, which might hinder the scalability of business operations as you grow.

As the best Salesforce and SugarCRM alternative, I’ve found BIGContacts to be a viable option for many businesses. It’s known for its streamlined contact management and robust sales and marketing automation. BIGContacts also offers excellent flexibility, allowing customization to meet specific business needs, making it particularly appealing for small businesses.

Many users appreciate its ease of use and cost-effectiveness. Additionally, features like automated reminders ensure that you don’t miss any critical information, meetings, or tasks. From my perspective, BIGContacts presents a compelling choice for businesses looking for a user-friendly and affordable CRM solution.

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About the author

The BIGContacts Editorial Team is a passionate group of CRM experts dedicated to improving your customer relationships with top-notch content. We stay ahead of the curve on trends, tackle technical hurdles, and provide practical tips to boost your business. With our commitment to quality and integrity, you can be confident you're getting the most reliable resources to enhance your contact management and business process automation initiatives.