SugarCRM vs Salesforce CRM comparison with facts, differences and reasons – Nov 2023

SugarCRM vs Salesforce CRM comparison with facts, differences and reasons

When it comes Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, choosing the right CRM software can make a significant difference for businesses. It can lead to increased profits and reduced costs in marketing, sales and service.

However with numerous options available, identifying the right solution can be a complex process.

Two popular CRM solutions in the market are SugarCRM and Salesforce. Each solution has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to understand your business needs before making a decision. Here are some common questions people ask when comparing SugarCRM products with Salesforce products.

Deployment Methods – Salesforce vs SugarCRM

One key difference in deployment between SugarCRM and Salesforce is that Salesforce is deployed exclusively on the cloud, while SugarCRM is available for both cloud and on-premise deployment.

Both companies offer subscription or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models. However, if you prefer an on-premise CRM or Hosted CRM, SugarCRM is the only option. SugarCRM provides an On Premises CRM with two choices: Enterprise Edition and Enterprise+ Edition. These options can be installed on the customer’s own servers or can be hosted on a public cloud, giving complete control over the CRM.

Deployment Architecture – single tenant vs multi tenant

Salesforce Single Tenant CRM structure example
SugarCRM supporting multi-tenant customer architecture
Cloud and On-Premise

In terms of deployment architecture, Salesforce and SugarCRM differ significantly. Salesforce follows a single tenant model where all customers are differentiated at the database level, but access the CRM system through one single URL.

On the other hand SugarCRM uses multi-tenant / multi instance architecture. Each customer gets his own instance and his own URL and their database is separate.

Since Salesforce does not have an on-premise CRM solution, this article focuses on comparing their cloud CRM with SugarCRM’s cloud solutions.

SugarCRM vs Salesforce – completeness of CRM Platform

When it comes to the completeness of the CRM platform, both Salesforce and SugarCRM offer three major components.

  1. Marketing Automation
  2. Sales Force Automation
  3. Customer Service Automation

However, they use different names for these components. Salesforce adds “Cloud” to their names as mentioned below :

  • Marketing Cloud
  • Sales Cloud
  • Service Cloud
  • Sugar Market
  • Sugar Sell
  • Sugar serve

Provide your sales team with precisely timed leads using Sugar Market, the comprehensive marketing automation software designed to cater to marketing experts

Salesforce vs SugarCRM – Pricing, Costs and Editions

Salesforce and SugarCRM, two popular CRM platforms, have distinct pricing policies that are designed to meet different needs of businesses. While both have their own advantages and disadvantages, it is important to explore the available pricing options they offer.
Salesforce CRM follows a tiered pricing structure, providing multiple editions for each of its CRM components. This approach allows businesses to start with a lower-tier edition and gradually upgrade as they need more and more advanced features. By offering various editions, Salesforce caters to businesses of all sizes and budgets.
On the other hand, SugarCRM takes a slightly different approach by offering fewer options compared to Salesforce. This focused approach simplifies the decision-making process for businesses, as they don’t have to navigate through numerous editions and features.
SugarCRM focuses on providing a comprehensive CRM solution with a fixed set of features and extensibility, ensuring that businesses have access to all necessary tools without the complexity of multiple editions.

Sales Cloud vs Sugar Sell Pricing Comparison

All prices are per user per month in USD

Pricing Comparision of SalesForce CRM products











When comparing the pricing options of Sales Automation products, Sales Cloud and Sugar Sell, it is clear that Salesforce offers more choices with five options compared to SugarCRM’s three options. The prices of Salesforce range from $25 per user per month for the Starter plan to $500 per user per month for the Unlimited+ plan.

On the other hand, SugarCRM’s prices start at $49 per user per month for Sell Essentials and go up to $135 per user per month for Sell Premier.

Service Cloud vs Sugar Serve Pricing Comparison

All prices are per user per month in USD

Pricing Comparision of SalesForce CRM products











Moving on to the Service Automation products, Service Cloud and Sugar Serve pricing comparison, Salesforce once again provides five options while SugarCRM only offers one option. The prices of Salesforce’s Service Cloud range from $25 per user per month for the Starter plan to $500 per user per month for the Unlimited plan. For SugarCRM’s Sugar Serve, the price is fixed at $80 per user per month.

Marketing Cloud vs Sugar Market Pricing Comparison

All prices are per 10,000 Contacts per month in USD and Premium is 75,000 Contacts

Pricing Comparision of SalesForce CRM products

Additional 10000 Contacts at $100 per month


10000 Contacts


10000 Contacts


10000 Contacts


75000 Contacts

Pricing Comparision of SugarCRM products

Additional 10000 Contacts at $150 per month

Sugar Market

10000 Contacts

When it comes to the Marketing Cloud and Sugar Market pricing, Salesforce offers four options based on the number of contacts. The prices for Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud range from $1250 per 10000 contacts per month for the Growth plan to $4400 per 10000 contacts per month for the Advanced plan. Additionally Salesforce allows for the purchases of additional 10000 contacts at $100 per month.

On the other hand Sugar Market’s pricing starts at $1000 per 10000 contacts per month and allows for the purchase of additional contacts at $150 per month.

In terms of pricing strategies, Salesforce’s tiered pricing system allows businesses to choose the features they need, providing flexibility but potentially leading to higher costs for comprehensive features sets. On the other hand, SugarCRM offers a simplified pricing model that includes access to all features at a fixed price. Making it easier for businesses to budget and plan.

Ultimately, Salesforce pricing with flexible options may be beneficial for businesses that require specific features, while SugarCRM pricing may be more suitable for businesses looking for simplicity and predictability.

SugarCRM vs Salesforce : User Experience (UI / UX) , Ease of Use and User Adoption

Salesforce started as a company in 1999 and SugarCRM started in 2004.
From the beginning Salesforce focussed on adding more and more features to the platform whereas SugarCRM focussed on improving the User Experience of the platform year after year. But by 2023, SugarCRM has improved and given a boost to the UI / UX multiple times. In the last decade it improved it UI completed in 2013, 2019 and in 2023.

In 2013, SugarCRM made a significant upgrade to its platform, aiming to adapt to the evolving mobile technology revolution. This upgrade not only brought changes to the user experience (UX), but also revamped the development platform to align with the latest advancements. Although Sugar had been making UI improvements since 2004, the 2013 upgrade was a major transformation in terms of technology.

The new version introduced a highly flexible user interface (UI), enabling users to customise their experience according to their needs. Moreover SugarCRM implemented a client side MVC ( Model-View-Controller) framework, resulting in faster and more efficient CRM experience compared to other platforms.

Continuing their dedication to improving user experience, SugarCRM released Sugar 9 in 2019 with renewed focus on UI and UX enhancements. Again in 2023, SugarCRM revamped and gave a better look and feel by actively seeking feedback from customers and partners. SugarCRM aims to make their platform more user-friendly and efficient.

In October 2016, Salesforce followed suit and introduced a complete revamp of its UI and UX, naming it Lightning. Prior to this transformation, Salesforce had maintained the same UI for nearly 17 years. However, due to its single-tenant architecture, it is unlikely that Salesfroce’s new UI will change in the near future.

In contrast, SugarCRM remains committed to continuously improving its UI by actively engaging with customers and partners. By prioritising user feedback, SugarCRM ensures that its platform remains intuitive, efficient and adaptable to evolving user needs. On the UI / UX side SugarCRM keeps continuously innovating and its multi-instance deployment architecture helps it to roll out the UI/UX changes easily.

SugarCRM vs SFDC – Configurability and Extensibility

Both SugarCRM and SFDC have implemented a configurable, no code- low code framework to enhance the functionality of their systems. This means that users can easily add new custom fields and modules through a drag and drop admin framework, making the process simple and user-friendly. Additionally, both platforms allow adding validation and verification code for further control and manipulation of data and processes..

However, there is a difference in the technologies used for extensibility between SugarCRM and Salesforce. SugarCRM is a commercial open source product that is built using PHP, MySQL and JavaScript technologies.

Technology stack difference for SugarCRM and Salesforce extensibility

It is a 100% RESTFul application, which means that integrations can be done with any technology of the other application. One advantage of SugarCRM is that normal developers who are working on PHP or JavaScript technologies can add extensibility and API code to the platform without needing to learn any additional proprietary languages.

This offers a wide range of possibilities for customization and integration, giving users the freedom to tailor their CRM system to their exact requirements.

On the other hand, SFDC is a closed source product that exposes all its functionality to be modified using a proprietary language called APEX. This means that extension to the platform is only possible with the exposed APIs and by APEX language trained resources.

Users are limited to the functionalities and resources provided by Salesforce’s training and certifications. While Salesforce offers a robust and reliable platform, the use of a proprietary scripting and development language may restrict the flexibility and customization options available to users.

SugarCRM's RESTful API enables easy integration

In summary, both SugarCRM and Salesforce offer configurability and extensibility through a no code, low code framework. However SugarCRM’s use of open source technologies like Php and JavaScript provides users with greater flexibility and customization options compared to SFDC’s proprietary language.

Salesforce vs SugarCRM – Integration with third party Applications

Both SugarCRM and Salesforce have designed their applications to seamlessly integrate with any third-party software. However, there are certain differences in the integration capabilities and restrictions between the two.

Integration flexibility differences in SugarCRM and Salesforce

Salesforce, being a single tenant application, imposes limitations on the number of APIs that can be utilised per month. As the integration needs increase, it becomes necessary for organisations to allocate a larger budget to accommodate the usage of additional APIs. This can potentially impact the financial planning and scalability of businesses relying heavily on integrations,

On the other hand, SugarCRM does not impose any restrictions on the number of APIs that can be utilised.

This provides businesses with the freedom to integrate as many third-party applications as required without worrying about exceeding API limits. Additionally, SugarCRM offers the flexibility to transition to an On-Premise deployment if excessive API consumption starts to affect system performance. This gives organisations the ability to optimise their infrastructure according to their specific needs.

SugarCRM vs Salesforce – Extensions Marketplace

SugarCRM has a dedicated marketplace where Sugar Partners and other software vendors can build an add-on to SugarCRM or an integration capability or industry specific solution and offer it to all Sugar Customers. Sugar maintains “” , a marketplace for Sugar customers to find out of the solutions on top of SugarCRM.

Marketplaces comparison between SugarCRM and Salesforce

Salesforce maintains a Platform As A Service ecosystem for and an App Exchange that caters to Salesforce customers.

Comparatively, the Salesforce ecosystem is much broader and comprehensive when compared with SugarCRM, but SugarCRM is catching up with dedicated community building activity and outfitters.

SugarCRM and Salesforce both have their own marketplace where they offer extensions and add-ons to enhance their respective customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.

SugarCRM has a dedicated marketplace called, where their partners and other software vendors can develop and offer add-ons, integration capabilities and industry-specific solutions to all Sugar customers.

This marketplace provides Sugar customers with a wide range of solutions to choose from, allowing them to customize and tailor their CRM experience to their specific needs. On the other hand, Salesforce maintains a platform called, which serves as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) ecosystem. Within this ecosystem, Salesforce customers can access the AppExchange, a marketplace that caters to their specific needs. The Salesforce ecosystem is known for its broad and comprehensive offerings, providing a vast array of extensions and add-ons that can enhance the functionality of the CRM platform.

While Salesforce’s ecosystem is currently more extensive and diverse compared to SugarCRM, SugarCRM is making efforts to catch up. SugarCRM is actively building a dedicated community and expanding its marketplace to offer more solutions to its customers.

In Summary, both SugarCRM and Salesforce offer marketplaces where customers can find extensions and add-ons to enhance their CRM platforms. While Salesforce’s ecosystem is currently broader and more comprehensive, SugarCRM is working towards building a strong community and expanding their marketplace to provide more options for their customers.

Sugar vs SFDC – Platform Support for Web and Mobile

CRM mobile platform support for Salesforce and SugarCRM

Both Salesforce and SugarCRM are well established companies in the field of CRM for the web and mobile. Salesforce was founded in 1999, while SugarCRM started in 2003. Both companies initially focused on developing a CRM application for the web, but as mobile technology advanced, they created the CRM mobile application that works with its web application.

Today, both Salesforce and SugarCRM offer highly functional mobile applications that are compatible with both Android and macOs platforms. In the past decade, there has been a significant shift towards “Mobile First” applications, which are primarily designed for mobile devices but can also be accessed through web browsers.

In 2013, SugarCRM made strides towards adopting a mobile-first design approach by transitioning their architecture to be fully RESTful with a client-side MVC framework. This move allowed for a more seamless and efficient mobile experience. In terms of functionality, there may not be a major difference between SugarCRM and Salesforce’s mobile applications.

However SugarCRM’s mobile application stands out for its lightweight nature, offline support and ease of customization through a no code / low code studio provided for administrators. On the other hand, Salesforce’s mobile application offers the ability to extend its capabilities beyond customer relationship management (CRM). It provides a comprehensive platform for adding additional features and functionalities. While SugarCRM’s mobile SDK allows for some feature additions, it may not be as extensive as Salesforce offers.

On the other hand, Salesforce’s mobile application offers the ability to extend its capabilities beyond customer relationship management (CRM). It provides a comprehensive platform for adding additional features and functionalities. While SugarCRM’s mobile SDK allows for some feature additions, it may not be as extensive as Salesforce offers.

In conclusion, both Salesforce and SugarCRM have made significant strides in providing robust mobile applications. While SugarCRM excels in its lightweight design, offline support, and ease of customizations, Salesforce stands out for its versatility and ability to extend beyond CRM functionalities.

Customer Support and Online Communities

Customer support and online communities have become vital in today’s business landscape, especially product companies like SugarCRM and Salesforce. These companies heavily rely on their customer support teams and online communities to provide product support and gather enhancement ideas and solutions. Both SugarCRM and Salesforce offer customer support that is tiered and SLA based on the level of service a customer has subscribed to. The response times and level of comprehensiveness depend on the tier.

Salesforce has developed the Trailblazer community platform, which not only facilitates interaction among community members but also provides extensive training and learning resources. This platform serves as a hub for Salesforce users to enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest industry trends.

In addition to customer support, both companies maintain online communities, video tutorials, and help content. The video tutorials and online help content is one way delivery of content whereas online communities are used for two way communication, where users can exchange ideas and find solutions.

The video tutorials and online help content is one way delivery of content.

whereas online communities are used for two way communication, where users can exchange ideas and find solutions. On the other hand, SugarCRM offers the SugarClub, a dedicated online community where partners, developers, and end users of SugarCRM can collaborate, learn and improve their usage of SugarCRM. Here, they can share best practices, brainstorm innovative ideas, and find solutions to their challenges. The SugarClub fosters a sense of community and encourages knowledge sharing among SugarCRM stakeholders. In 2023, SugarCRM surpassed the milestone of having over 10,000 members in its community.

This growth demonstrates the increasing importance and popularity of the online community in the realms of customer support and idea exchange.
In a nutshell, both SugarCRM and Salesforce recognize the value of customer support and the power of online communities. By investing in these resources, they empower their customers to find solutions, enhance their product usage, and contribute to the overall success of their products.

Finally Salesforce vs SugarCRM – Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) or Enterprises

Salesforce & SugarCRM comparison for SMBs and Enterprises

When it comes to choosing between Salesforce and SugarCRM, the extensive features and options provided by Salesforce make it suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries. The scalability and flexibility of Salesforce are particularly appealing. However, selecting the right features and product can be a daunting task if a company lacks detailed expertise in the field. Making decisions based on immediate needs or future requirements can also be complex.

While partners of Salesforce can be helpful, it’s important to note that the sales targets of the partner may influence the recommended product. Therefore, even though Salesforce seems like a good fit for all types of organizations, only large enterprises or those with sufficient competency will be able to effectively choose and purchase the product.

In such circumstances, SugarCRM offers a great option for small and medium businesses (SMBs) and mid-market enterprises.

Choosing SugarCRM allows them to quickly move forward without encountering many surprises in terms of future expansion. Furthermore, maintaining Salesforce, even for a decent-sized company, requires a certified Salesforce administrator or developer. These certified professionals can be quite expensive compared to PHP or JavaScript developers. Large enterprises that can afford the cost of hiring Salesforce admins and developers, which can range from $250000 to $30000 per annum, may find Salesforce a suitable choice. However mid-market enterprises can achieve similar outcomes by using a customised SugarCRM at a more affordable cost.If a company wants to customise and maintain its CRM platform in-house to significantly reduce costs, SugarCRM is the best option. In terms of features, it is on part with Salesforce.

While Salesforce has placed a lot of focus on sales analytics and marketing analytics, SugarCRM has strengthened its analytics engine through an acquisition in 2019. However if a large organisation heavily relies on sales and marketing analytics, Salesforce is the preferred choice over SugarCRM. On the other hand, mid-market enterprises and small companies that prioritise ease of use and simplicity in their CRM selection will find SugarCRM to be a perfect fit.


In conclusion, incorporating the appropriate CRM solution can have a transformative impact on businesses. Two prominent CRM solutions in the market are SugarCRM and Salesforce, each offering their own unique strengths and weaknesses.

To determine which CRM solution is the right fit for your business, it is essential to understand your specific needs, consider your budget, and evaluate your internal resources. By doing so, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your requirements.

Salesforce stands out as the undeniable market leader, serving a staggering 150,000 customers worldwide. Its extensive customer base speaks to its reliability and wide-ranging capabilities.

On the other hand, SugarCRM, despite having a smaller customer base of around 5000 worldwide, has emerged as a compelling alternative to Salesforce. With its emphasis on innovation, simplicity and user-friendliness, SugarCRM has garnered attention and loyalty from businesses seeking a more streamlined CRM experience.

Ultimately, the choice between SugarCRM and Salesforce depends on your businesses’ specific needs and objectives. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can confidently select the CRM solution that will truly be a game-changer for your business.

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