What is SugarCRM?

Sugar Sell (formerly SugarCRM) is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution for medium to large enterprises. Its key advantages are high customizability including a drag-and-drop builder and numerous third-party integrations.

Who uses SugarCRM?

SugarCRM boasts two million users across 120 countries, mostly medium to large enterprises requiring ample customization. Most businesses using it have 10–200 employees and generate $1M–$50M revenue.

Users tend to be in the computer software and information technology and services industries. Other industries include marketing and advertising, financial services, internet, telecommunications, hospital and healthcare, computer hardware, education management, and retail.

Unlike most other CRMs, SugarCRM subscriptions require a minimum of 10 users. This makes the CRM less suitable for businesses with fewer than 10 employees or small businesses with limited funds.

What are the key features and benefits of SugarCRM?

Besides core CRM features like lead tracking, management, data visualization, and reporting, SugarCRM offers a high degree of customization, third-party integration, and education and training.

SugarCRM customization

SugarCRM delivers a high degree of customization out of the box. Custom fields and layouts can be created with a drag-and-drop builder. The CRM supports multiple dashboards to display the information needed for a given user role all in one place. Elements on the dashboard (known as Sugar Dashlets) can be arranged to display active tasks, contact history, forecast charts, and more.

Users can receive assistance from the report-building wizard to create custom reports that can be filtered in real time. Reports can be scheduled for regular delivery and exported as CSV.

SugarCRM formerly supported an open source CRM version but now is offered only as commercially licensed software that is built with open source components and features an open API. The mobile software development kit helps developers tailor the responsive mobile apps for Android and iOS. These features give developers greater control and flexibility to tailor the software to business needs.

SugarCRM integrations

Native integration with third-party integrations are available, including with common productivity tools like Microsoft Outlook and Google Apps. Numerous integrations are available through third-party connectors such as Zapier and Piesync.

SugarCRM training and education

SugarCRM makes onboarding and customization easier through regularly scheduled webinars and live classes. A digital library of training materials and certification courses teaches users how to make the most of the CRM. Support features are also built into the application itself.

Plans and pricing

Pricing starts at $52 per user per month with the annual contract, but can max out at $1,000 per month for the Sugar Marketing plan. Each plan has its own separate cost which can add up if you want to build a unified, all-in-one solution that bridges various departments.

Each plan also offers its own level of technical support. Additional fees apply for integrations such as the Customer Journey Plug-in or the Hint integration (sales intelligence that automatically enhances customer information, such as drawing information in from social media accounts based on user name and email address).

The various plans available include:

Sugar Professional—Cloud-based CRM for small businesses

Sugar Enterprise—CRM for large enterprises that want greater customization that allows them to stay compliant with industry policies and standards. Includes SugarBPM, a workflow, and automation designer

Sugar Serve—Includes self-service portals to help customers find answers to their questions. Sugar Serve comes with SugarLive, which integrates with Amazon Connect to provide omnichannel connection with customers

Sugar Sell—A CRM application that focuses on tracking leads, transactions, and sales. Sugar Sell comes with SugarPredict for data analysis, insights, and smart suggestions to help boost sales

Sugar Market—Marketing automation software to help improve lead conversion rates. Sugar Market features a drag-and-drop campaign builder, advanced data analytics, lead collation, and customer interaction scoring

SMBs may find that the biggest drawback of SugarCRM is its cost. The requirement for a year-long commitment and the 10-user minimum place it on the higher end of pricing for comparable CRM services. The decision to commit is all the harder due to businesses only having a seven-day free trial period to assess whether SugarCRM suits their needs.

Alternatives to SugarCRM

Alternatives to SugarCRM feature a solid core of CRM functionality, strong customization capabilities, and support such as extensive education and training materials. Some alternatives include:

Learn more about CRM

While the numbers vary, studies agree that CRM adoption failure rates are high. This means adopting the right CRM software is an important choice, as it can either multiply productivity and ROI (return on investment) or present businesses with a costly failure to launch.

For more background and tools to help with the research and selection of the ideal CRM for your organization’s needs, check out this comprehensive look at CRMs, including user reviews and comparisons of top systems.

Lucas Ledbetter
Lucas Ledbetter
Lucas Ledbetter writes about technology in marketing, education, and healthcare and provides content strategy consultation for small businesses. In his spare time, he studies languages, dabbles in poetry, and tinkers with his Raspberry Pi. Follow him at thinkbettermarketing.com.
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