SugarCRM vs Salesforce CRM comparison with facts, differences and reasons – April 2020

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sugarcrm vs salesforce comparison by bhea

It is clear you understand the benefits of using a CRM Software and its advantages in processing a business. So if you are evaluating CRM software for your organization, Salesforce, SugarCRM and Microsoft dynamics may not miss your eye. Salesforce is no doubt the biggest CRM vendor of our time but is being bigger the best? 

Ofcourse, Not. It does not mean the best and also may not mean value for money. SugarCRM is the most popular cost effective alternative to Salesforce CRM. Yet the decision on the right CRM tool is very important and it has to be done responsibly at this important stage in your organization’s growth. SugarCRM vs Salesforce is a common comparison point for many CRM customers and we help you with all the necessary information to help make your decisions right.

Key Enterprise CRM Products 

In the mid-market and enterprise market there are three CRM vendors namely SugarCRM , Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics  who compete with each other.

Among these CRM companies,  SugarCRM and Salesforce are the two companies that only focus on CRM. Rest other companies are in the CRM market but their core product might be something else and might have joined the CRM bandwagon as an add on to their other products. For example, SAP and Microsoft both have ERP as their main focus and offer CRM functionality.

SugarCRM and Salesforce CRM are niche because they focus all their energies in satisfying their customer relationship management and customer experience management areas.

When we are looking at Salesforce vs SugarCRM, co-incidentally they both originated out of the San Francisco Bay area and started in 1999 and 2004 respectively.

This article compares the feature benefits between the two products.  Definitely the Salesforce brand has gained more popularity in comparison to SugarCRM but it is still imperative that you understand the feature differentiation to evaluate your ROI.

Salesforce vs Sugar CRM Branding

Typically, companies create branding and market value around themselves to stay ahead.  Salesforce from day one is a marketing company and has spent a lot of money on brand building. Salesforce is also number one in the market in terms of its revenue. However, it has never reported a profit even for a quarter in the last two decades due to its extensive marketing budget. 

While, Salesforce spends a lot of money on marketing and branding, on the other hand, SugarCRM spends most of its money on product improvement and usability.

In 2018 SugarCRM partnered with Accel KKR and with the infusion of new funds Sugar re-branded with a new Sugar logo. It added new products such as Sugar Market, Sugar Connect, Sugar Discover and many more to extend its product family. 

Let us look at these two crm systems and see their differences and similarities

Salesforce crm vs Sugar – product offerings

Being the full suite CRM companies, both Sugar and Salesforce offers the following products

Name DescriptionSugarCRMSales Force
Marketing AutomationEmail Marketing, Drip marketing, Lead Scoring, Web Tracking SolutionSugar MarketMarketing Cloud
Sales Force Automation / Sales CRMLead Management, Account & Contact Management, Opportunity Management, Sales Pipeline management, Forecast, Quote Management etcSugar SellSales Cloud
Customer Support Automation / Support CRMTicketing / Case Management, Knowledge Base, Customer Self Service PortalSugar ServeSupport Cloud 

Typically, companies create branding and market value around themselves to stay ahead.  Salesforce from day one is a marketing company and has spent a lot of money on brand building. Salesforce is also number one in the market in terms of its revenue. However, it has never reported a profit even for a quarter in the last two decades due to its extensive marketing budget. 

While, Salesforce spends a lot of money on marketing and branding, on the other hand, SugarCRM spends most of its money on product improvement and usability.

In 2018 SugarCRM partnered with Accel KKR and with the infusion of new funds Sugar re-branded with a new Sugar logo. It added new products such as Sugar Market, Sugar Connect, Sugar Discover and many more to extend its product family. 

Sugar On Premise Products includes:

1. Sugar Professional Edition

2. Sugar Enterprise Edition

SugarCRM vs. Salesforce CRM- Function & Pricing

Let’s look at salesforce pricing, there are too many options, addons and choices. This might make salesforce a one stop solution for any organisation initially. On the flip side, it also gives scattered experience while deciding and so it may confuse the first timers or small & medium businesses. 

SugarCRM comes with a plain and simple pricing policy and follows one price for one product mechanism. For the price you pay, you get all the features and there is no selective entailment or disablement.

FeatureSugarCRMSalesforce
Marketing AutomationSugar Market Priced at USD 1000 per month per 10K ContactsAnnual Prepay – USD 12000Salesforce Marketing Cloud – Pardot B2B Growth Priced at USD 1250 per month per 10K ContactsAnnual Prepay – USD 15000
Sales Automation or SalesCRMSugar SellPriced at USD 80 per user per month10 Users Minimum with Annual Prepay – Starting at USD 9600Salesforce Sales CRM – Sales Cloud Enterprise EditionPriced at USD 150 per user per month For 10 Users with Prepay – Starting at USD 18000
Customer Support Automation or helpdesk CRMSugar Serve Priced at USD 80 per user per month10 Users Minimum with Annual Prepay – Starting at USD 9600Salesforce Service CRM – Service Cloud Enterprise EditionPriced at USD 150 per user per month. For 10 users Annual Prepay – Starting at USD 18000
For Sales Force Automation along with Customer Support AutomationSugar Sell + ServePriced at USD 110 per user per month 10 Users Minimum with Annual Prepay – starting at USD 13200Salesforce Sales + Service CRM – Enterprise EditionPriced at USD 175 Per user per month. For 10 users with Annual Prepay – Starting at USD 21,000
Other EditionsSugarCRM offers on premise customers Sugar Professional Edition and Sugar Enterprise Edition.Salesforce has other editions like Essentials priced at USD 25 and Professional Priced at USD 75, but feature wise they can’t be compared with Sugar products. Only the Salesforce Enterprise Edition is comparable to the Sugar’s Sales CRM and Service CRM.

For more details on SugarCRM pricing, please click here

In SFDC vs Sugar price comparison, SugarCRM wins on two parameters:

  1. It is available at 50% cheaper than Salesforce for the same / similar feature set.
  2. Price Simplicity – There is one price to choose from for SugarCRM. Whereas in Salesforce you need understanding of complex parameters.

SugarCRM vs Salesforce – Features

Salesforce is considered a leader in the CRM Market. In order to sustain as a leader, the company has to keep on adding more and more features to its CRM platform. In a mission to catch up and control the market, most other CRM solution providers try to offer all the features to be the chief provider in the market. SugarCRM offers almost all the features of Salesforce and also comes with a better look and feel as discussed below:

SugarCRM vs Salesforce- UI / UX

SugarCRM released an all new platform level upgrade in 2013 to shift its UX as well as development platform to suit the latest mobile technology revolution. Sugar has been revamping its UI often from 2004 onwards but the 2013 upgrade is a major change with technology.This new version has a highly flexible UI and also uses a Client Side MVC framework to make it a much faster experience than other CRMs. Sugar makes continuous changes to UI / UX and in Sugar 9 released in 2019, the focus has again been on UI / UX changes to improve usability of the platform. 

After 3 years of Sugar platform level upgrade,  in 2016 October Salesforce followed SugarCRM with a complete revamp of its UI / UX calling it Lightning. 

Salesforce UI was stagnant for a very long time from 1999 to 2016 close to 17 years and the new UI may not change in the near future due to its multi-tenant architecture.

Whereas Sugar continues to improve its UI by taking continuous feedback from customers and partners.

SugarCRM vs SalesforceUsability and Navigation

SugarCRM and Salesforce both have moved to new UI frameworks and have improvised the basic navigation of the system. Sugar has improved its top navigation whereas Salesforce has adopted the Tab / Twitter Bootstrap navigation ecosystem.

SugarCRM UI is very simple and easy to learn whereas Salesforce tried its best to give more features but at the cost of complexity. The UI is complex to visualise as well as navigate.

Mobile CRM

SugarCRM and Salesforce significantly invested in building a flexible and user friendly mobile app for their CRM. They are available for both Android and iPhone. The modules and fields that need to be visible on the mobile UI can be controlled from the Admin area. SugarCRM has improved its application with the new client side MVC framework by making it a responsive application.

That way, it renders neatly on the mobile browser if you do not want to download the mobile app. For SugarCRM Enterprise Edition and Salesforce Enterprise Edition the mobile application works offline too.

In the mobile application, Salesforce offers the sales features like account management, lead management, opportunity management and activities management. On the other hand, SugarCRM offers all of what salesforce offers such as quote management, all custom modules and customisation. This way the SugarCRM mobile CRM/application is way ahead of salesforce.

Customisation and Extensibility

SugarCRM and Salesforce come with customization and extension capabilities. Both have a drag and drop field addition and field movement in UI.

However when you want to write a business logic or integration they use two different paths.

  1. SugarCRM uses open source technologies like PHP, JavaScript apart from the Business Process Engine SugarBPM.
  2. Salesforce uses custom proprietary language called APEX

Because of this difference, when you need deeper customisations and integrations, Salesforce becomes quite expensive when compared to SugarCRM.

Salesforce and SugarCRM both come with extensive web services API that help integrate the system with other systems. There may be inherent limits that control the usage of these APIs but if SugarCRM is hosted on the cloud or on premise these limits may not be an obstacle for integrations.

Apart from the admin area from which the system can be customised, SugarCRM being an open source CRM application, a lot more code level enhancements can be done efficiently. Most of the enhancements are done using Javascript related technologies and PHP.

So overall salesforce is weirdly stitched and confusingly expensive.

Sales Experience

Salesforce comes with an enterprise level sales team across the board. Once a sale is made by the salesforce sales team, it is handed over to the implementing partner for implementation. Sometimes for large implementations salesforce itself takes the implementation. Most of the time there may be an expectation mismatch once a sale is made by Salesforce.

Whereas SugarCRM sells mostly through their partners and SugarCRM’s partners can be small or large enterprises or can be of any size.  SugarCRM sales experience during evaluation and sales process will be much different than salesforce. The main difference between SugarCRM and salesforce can be observed that salesforce sells with their own sales team and implements it with the partner team.

In SugarCRM’s case, the partner does both the sale and implementation except for pretty large deals where SugarCRM will be directly involved.

Since pre sales and post sales your key point of contact is the partner and hence you may find SugarCRM implementations better than Salesforce.

SaaS CRM / Cloud CRM / Deployment Options

Salesforce is a pioneer in inventing the SaaS model or Software as a Service Model to counter the then existing packaged hosted solutions like SIEBEL. When salesforce came into existence in the late 1990s, CRM was very expensive. Salesforce made it an affordable solution by accepting payments for yearly usage rather than for buying and hosting in the company premises. Even though there is a definite shift over a period of time from hosted CRM to Cloud CRM / SaaS CRM, there is still a large market for Hosted CRM. In this scenario salesforce offers only SaaS CRM hosted on their own cloud.

SugarCRM offers a lot of flexibility in terms of deployment. It comes by default with SaaS CRM hosted on SugarCRM’s own cloud which it calls as ‘SugarCRM On Demand’ and the same application can be hosted on customer premise or any public cloud or private cloud. Unlike Salesforce’s csv file backup for migration, SugarCRM provides complete installation along with a database as backup so that anyone can restore it on their own hosting platform.

The deployment option is not a problem as long as there is no corporate policy to host inside the premises or country regulatory system allows customer data to be stored outside the country. If any of the above two conditions are a bottleneck, SugarCRM fares well against salesforce by providing an option to host. Since most of the companies are not maintaining their own data centres, SugarCRM is being hosted on public clouds like AWS or SoftLayer, or Microsoft Azure or private clouds provided by many cloud companies.

Many countries are slowly but steadily putting regulatory framework not to store customer data of financial institutes outside the country. In this scenario salesforce is altogether ruled out if they do not have their cloud hosted in that country.

Conclusion

From above all the points when put together, It can be concluded that SugarCRM provides better flexibility and effective solution with cost efficiency when it comes to CRM and Business Management. 

Bhea is a leading SugarCRM partner with more than decade expertise in implementing SugarCRM and migrating Salesforce to SugarCRM.

You can connect with us for further information and book a demo so that we can show you practically how SugarCRM is far better than existing CRMs in the market.

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