SugarCRM review

SugarCRM is a fantastic CRM tool for larger enterprises

SugarCRM logo
(Image: © SugarCRM)

TechRadar Verdict

A stable, well designed feature-rich CRM


  • +

    Many features to choose from

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    Great customization


  • -

    Steep learning curve

  • -

    Fairly expensive

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As a customer relationship management tool, SugarCRM has history on its side. Since debuting in 2004, it has served countless businesses, receiving praise for its customizability, advanced functionality and tight integrations. 

Of course, SugarCRM isn’t considered one of the best CRM software solutions on the market purely because of its longevity. The platform boasts 24-hour support and a deep feature set, including plenty for developers to sink their teeth into. 

As with most CRMs, SugarCRM is great for marketing, sales, and email communication but SugarCRM goes above and beyond all that. Overall, this is a CRM tool that boasts its fair share of complexity - which is both a strength and a weakness.


SugarCRM's interface has received plenty of praise (Image credit: Sugarcrm)

SugarCRM Review: Snapshot

Businesses with a sizable number of tech experts rejoice! SugarCRM is probably the right CRM tool for you. It comes with a substantial number of features and its above-average price tag is unlikely to scare you off. 

SugarCRM comes in a variety of flavors depending on your precise needs - whether it's marketing automation, customer service, or sales. SugarCRM proudly declares that it is “trusted by millions worldwide” and this includes some big-name clients like CBRE and Sennheiser. 

For smaller businesses, SugarCRM may not be quite right - it’s not the most user-friendly, after all. But that doesn’t mean it should necessarily be ruled out as an option entirely. SugarCRM may take smaller organizations a little longer to get up to speed with, but once they do, they'll discover a feature-rich CRM tool that can supercharge their growth.

SugarCRM Review: Plans and pricing

Top of the list of considerations for most businesses will likely be price. For all B2B software, cost considerations can’t be ignored, whether businesses are looking for cloud storage or online collaboration tools

Where SugarCRM is concerned, there are several pricing plans to consider. At the cheaper end of the scale, there’s Sugar Sell, which starts at $49 per user, per month. Then, there’s Sugar Serve, costing $80 per user, per month, Sugar Enterprise, priced at $85, and Sugar Market, which is $1000 per month for up to 10,000 contacts.

Altogether, these prices make SugarCRM among the costlier platforms available. Sugar Sell, for example, only provides you with basic account and lead management tools, unless you stump up for Sugar Sell Advanced or Sugar Sell Premium. These tiers provide added functionality, like guided selling tools, mail and calendar integration, and geo-mapping, but will alienate smaller firms that may not have access to larger IT budgets. 

If you’re comparing purely on price, it’s undeniable that SugarCRM has some work to do in order to match its competitors. Zoho CRM, for example, will only set businesses back $14 per user, per month for its cheapest plan. Of course, SugarCRM does have some pretty nifty functionality - so you might decide that it's worth the price tag.


(Image credit: Sugarcrm)

SugarCRM Review: Features

The features on offer with SugarCRM depend heavily on the exact plan that individuals sign up for. For instance, Sugar Market is an all-in-one marketing automation solution that ensures your employees have access to the most relevant leads. There is an option to engage with prospects across different channels - email, ads, social media, and more - as well as the ability for enhanced collaboration and tighter integration with sales tools.

Sugar Serve, meanwhile, streamlines your customer service operations by providing omnichannel engagement and self-service functionality. Real-time sentiment analysis is another hugely helpful feature, serving as a great way of collecting customer feedback, sharing it with your relevant personnel and, as a result, improving your customer retention rates. With the sometimes advanced nature of many of the features included in SugarCRM, the way the platform makes use of clear reports and dashboards is helpful for identifying the metrics that really matter to your teams. 

Moving on to Sugar Sell, the solution provides organizations with a much clearer overview of how their sales teams are performing. Sales reps can quickly identify customers and find out all the relevant information they need - stretching back to their first interaction with the company. Proactive alerts, root cause analysis, intelligent lead prioritization, and pipeline management are also all to be found here. 

And although cloud computing may be all the rage these days, there is still sometimes a need for on-premise solutions. SugarCRM meets this need through Sugar Enterprise. This version of Sugar CRM enables businesses to retain full control of their technology stack, without missing out on many important CRM features.

SugarCRM Review: Ease of use

One of the only real drawbacks of SugarCRM is that it is not especially user-friendly - especially if you are fairly inexperienced with using these sorts of platforms. The number of features on offer here can be a little intimidating, so if you don’t have a great deal of in-house IT expertise, making the best use of SugarCRM could be a struggle. 

As with other CRM tools, like Sage CRM, there is a fairly substantial amount of help on offer. The similarly named Sugar University, for example, provides seminars and workshops to help users find their way around. It’s also true that setting up dashboards on the platform isn’t too tricky - although things can get more complicated if you want them to. 

Overall, SugarCRM seems like it has been designed for larger enterprises - the kind that has dedicated tech teams ready to train up its staff on the intricacies of using the platform. If you’re a smaller firm that doesn’t have these kinds of resources, a more user-friendly CRM might be a better option.

SugarCRM Review: Final Verdict

In some ways, SugarCRM may be the best CRM tool we’ve reviewed. There’s simpy not enough space in this review to list all the features on offer here - particularly if businesses look across the various different platforms that come under the SugarCRM umbrella. 

That being said, this is a CRM solution that is geared towards larger enterprises - and, at times, it shows. The complexity on offer here may scare off smaller teams, but if they can get to grips with the functionality on offer, they will be richly rewarded.

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Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.