Cloud software for [growing] businesses

SugarCRM vs Salesforce

Although SugarCRM is, by and large, shifting its focus to a more traditional paid licensing model, no one can deny that its open source roots have helped turn it into one of the biggest names in the cloud-based CRM market.

Its entry into the paid arena puts SugarCRM in even more direct competition with current market leader Salesforce and its Sales Cloud service, so lets see how these two major players stack up against each other.

Feature set

SugarCRM’s basic feature set reflects the typical offerings in most current cloud CRM solutions. All versions offer contact and lead management, activity tracking and history, sales forecasting, marketing and email campaigns, dedicated mobile apps, G Suite support, and varying levels of social media integration.1

Compared to SugarCRM, Sales Cloud’s feature set on the lowest tier is less rich. The Salesforce for Twitter and Facebook feature, for example, is only available in the more expensive Enterprise and Professional Editions and not in the entry-level Professional Edition. The same goes for features such as workflow automation and an editable knowledge base.2

That said, it’s still worth noting that Sales Cloud wins out over SugarCRM in terms of collaboration mainly due to the built-in Chatter integration. SugarCRM’s social collaboration tool only comes as a separate download that can be integrated into the CRM itself.

Data storage

With Salesforce, users get a gigabyte of data storage (notes, contact info) and 11 gigabytes of document storage (actual files and documents). It’s important to remember that these storage values are distinct from one another — additional storage space for each specific storage type costs extra.2

In SugarCRM, even the lowest-tier paid edition, Sugar Professional, comes with a total of 15GB of storage space that can be used for both data and documents. Each succeeding edition adds more storage space — Sugar Enterprise comes with 60GB, while Sugar Ultimate comes with 250GB.1

For small businesses that often use file attachments, the latter is definitely the better and more cost-effective alternative.


CRMSearch notes in its independent review of SugarCRM that it is “one of the lowest cost CRM solutions among the market leading players,” comparing it directly to Salesforce’s relatively higher price points.3

Both SugarCRM and Salesforce follow the typical paid licensing model — you get more features as you move up to the more expensive editions. Salesforce’s Sales Cloud, however, needs two additional apps — Service Cloud4 and ExactTarget Marketing Cloud5 — to supplement its rudimentary support and marketing features.

Note that each of these apps have their own pricing structures, making this option a far more expensive proposition than just moving up to the more expensive SugarCRM editions.

Why you need more than just a CRM

For startups and small businesses, the SugarCRM vs Salesforce debate is won largely by the former thanks to it being a more cost-effective alternative to the latter. Although development on SugarCRM’s free open-source edition has basically been discontinued,6 it remains a viable alternative for tech-savvy businesses who don’t have the budget and are willing to spend the effort and hours required to tailor it to their needs.

That said, both CRM solutions remain limited in scope. Although essential, contact management is but one part of the business equation. Other critical business management processes such as project management are left to be handled by separate apps. This approach can not only lead to increased company overhead, it can also affect productivity by lengthening the time needed for training, onboarding, and full implementation.

WORK[etc] addresses this issue by meeting it head-on: the system is designed to handle every stage of the customer life cycle, from turning any email into a lead, contact, or support ticket all the way to creating and rolling out projects and providing customer support.

WORK[etc] vs Salesforce and SugarCRM Comparison

Data based on SugarCRM and Salesforce Sales Cloud Editions & Pricing1,2

As a complete cloud-based business management solution, WORK[etc] is built to be scaleable. A small three-person startup will be able to get as much out of it as a full-fledged small business and beyond. With a single system, users have complete control over all aspects of the business, including sales, billing, and marketing. Built-in collaboration and discussion tools open up each and every project to collaborative efforts between the entire team and their clients.

Sign up for your free 14-day WORK[etc] trial today.


1. “CRM Software packages and Pricing”. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
2. “Sales Cloud Full Edition Comparison Chart”. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
3. “SugarCRM Competitors”. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
4. “Customer Service Software & Support Software Service Cloud”. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
5. “ExactTarget Marketing Cloud”. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
6. “SugarCRM in the Next 10 Years”. Retrieved August 27, 2014.

All trademarks, product names, and company names and logos appearing on this Site are the property of their respective owners. Information may change from time to time and you should not make a commercial decision or otherwise on the basis of any information provided herein.
Salesforce, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, Chatter, and others are trademarks of, inc.
SugarCRM is a registered trademark of SugarCRM in the United States, the European Union, and other countries.
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