Mastering SugarCRM – CRM Personalization, Configuration, and Customization Explained

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SugarCRM is a robust customer relationship management (CRM) tool known for its flexibility in adapting to an organisation’s sales process and to individual salespersons. As a commercial open-source no-code / low-code platform, SugarCRM offers the flexibility to modify existing features and build new ones, making it a highly versatile tool.

As a SugarCRM partner since 2007, we have implemented numerous CRM solutions, tailoring them to fit our customer’s needs through personalization, configuration, and customization. Let us explore them with examples.

What is Personalization of SugarCRM

Let us consider the implementation of SugarCRM in a company, where the sales process is carefully aligned with the organisation’s needs. Each salesperson and service executive is trained to effectively use SugarCRM for seamless adoption. Whether it’s Sugar Sell or Sugar Serve, SugarCRM offers customizable features tailored to individual preferences and needs.

For instance, a sales team operating in Singapore may need to quote in SGD, while a team in the USA needs to quote in USD. Configuring the default currency and time zone at a user profile level showcases personalization in SugarCRM.

Additionally, users have the ability to customize features according to their preferences. For example, a salesperson in the USA might modify the Leads module columns to display only specific fields, like “Name”, “Status”, “Phone Number” and “City”. Such configurations are visible only to the individual user, ensuring a personalized experience. This level of personalization in SugarCRM aims to enhance user adoption post-implementation.

What is Configuration of SugarCRM

While personalization in SugarCRM is specific to individual users, configuration involves making system-level changes that apply to all users. For instance, adjusting the default currency from USD to AUD for a company based in Australia is a form of configuration. Similarly, adding currencies and exchange rates in different countries fall under configuration. Additionally, configuring teams, roles, access rights and modifying module fields and layouts are system-wide changes that impact all users.

The key difference lies in the fact that while personalization can be done by any end user of SugarCRM, configuration can only be carried out by specially designated SugarCRM administrators. These administrators may need to undergo training, which is offered regularly by SugarCRM and other training providers like Bhea.

The power of SugarCRM is in its configuration capabilities. You can change module names, layouts, and mobile views without touching any code. Additionally, administrators can automate many business processes using the drag and drop mechanism of SugarBPM – the Business Process Manager. 

Due to its extensive configuration capabilities like System Configuration, Developer Tools  and SugarBPM, SugarCRM is considered a no-code / low-code CRM platform.

What is Customization of SugarCRM

While most of the needs of companies can be done by the configuration features like SugarCRM Studio, Module Builder and SugarBPM, there are certain things that need to be done with the help of a Developer. For example if the CRM needs to be integrated with an ERP or website, there is a need for extending the system that requires developers to come into play. Integrations, or any extended functionality that needs to be developed is called Customization.

Most company needs can be addressed using configuration features like SugarCRM Studio, Module Builder and SugarBPM. However, integrating the CRM with an ERP or website, or implementing any extended functionality that requires external applications, requires involvement of developers. This type of work is referred to as customization.

Customize vs Configure in SugarCRM

SugarCRM is a powerful CRM with many standard features that meet the needs of many organisations. However there may be slight differences in terminology and different sales and support processes.
For example, an educational institute may refer to its customers as “Students” while SugarCRM use the default label “Accounts”. Adjusting these labels and implementing standard business processes is done by configuring SugarCRM.

It is important to have a well-defined discovery process before the project to understand what falls under configuration and what falls under customization.

Customization and The Power of Third Party Plugins / Add-Ons

When implementing a CRM or adding an extra feature to SugarCRM, management is concerned about the time it takes to configure and customise the system. The longer it takes, the more worried they become about delays in the Return on investment. This is where companies with competency in SugarCRM develop additional features as deployable plugins tailored to specific industry needs, additional features, or integration with third-party applications. These add-ons help accelerate the process.

Customization and

SugarCRM has a marketplace called SugarOutfitters. It helps companies display their add-ons. Companies can decide quickly between fast implementation and comprehensive development using add-ons from this marketplace.

Personalization and Training for User Adoption

After a company decides to buy and implement SugarCRM, the next challenge is getting user to adopt it. SugarCRM’s user experience (UX) and personalization can help with adoption. However, expecting user to figure out all the features on their own can be tricky, so SugarCRM training helps user understand the features and personalization capabilities. Bhea provides training programs that include End User Trainings, Admin Trainings and Developer Trainings. You can access details


The power of commercial open source SugarCRM lies in its configuration, customization and third party add-ons. If they are used along with the training programs implementing SugarCRM for your organization will give maximum return on investment.

Bhea is SugarCRM partner for more than a decade and guide your organization with the whole SugarCRM Implementation process. Contact us for demo of SugarCRM.

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