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June 22, 2018 Business Technologies

Salesforce vs SugarCRM Price Comparison

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By Sonja Fridell

1. Salesforce Pricing Structure

Unlike SugarCRM, Salesforce’s pricing structure is determined only by cloud-based, SaaS applications. This means that you cannot host Salesforce on-premise. You can host SugarCRM on premise, but most people elect not to anyways. There is a simple, monthly-based subscription fee for Salesforce, just as there is in SugarCRM, but you do have to pay for the costs for a year up front. Below is a breakdown of Salesforce license pricing structure. For a full comparison between Salesforce and SugarCRM, check out our 2015 article, updated for 2018, “SugarCRM vs. Salesforce – The Facts” .


Salesforce Edition Monthly Cost per User Annual Cost per User
Essentials $25 $300
Professional $75 $900
Enterprise $150 $1800
Unlimited* $300 $3600


Sugar Edition Monthly Cost per User Annual Cost per User
Professional $40 $480
Enterprise $65 $780
Ultimate* $150 $1800

* Salesforce Unlimited and Sugar Ultimate are comparable software packages.

Salesforce vs. Sugar Hidden Costs:

Salesforce has much higher data storage costs than Sugar, which some consider to be “hidden” costs. In short, Sugar’s data storage costs appear expensive at first, as an extra gig of data is $200, unless you host it yourself. Sugar does require a large minimum annual purchase of user licenses and Salesforce does not.

Salesforce vs. Sugar Implementation Costs:

A typical Salesforce implementation runs about double the cost of a Sugar implementation. Because Salesforce is built in a proprietary language called APEX and is not open-source, meaning they don’t let you access the software code, it is a harder to find affordable developers. Conversely, because Sugar is open-sourced, popular PHP, meaning the code is available to manipulate, it has a development community that can more affordably implement and customize the software.


When is Salesforce a Better Value Than Sugar?

If you’re a company that tracks inventory line items, where sales are broken up into a bunch of individual products), you’re going to need the Enterprise level of Sugar. Sugar Enterprise is still more affordable than Salesforce Professional, but the line-item situation is the only circumstance where Salesforce can match the value of Sugar. If you do choose Sugar Enterprise, that unlocks advanced workflow functionality that would cost a considerable amount more in Salesforce Salesforce Enterprise costs a user $150 per month while Sugar Enterprise costs a user $65 per month.

2. SugarCRM Pricing Model

SugarCRM offers a very similar pricing structure to that of Salesforce except for the license costs themselves. SugarCRM is far more affordable than Salesforce for the same functionality, although they require a minimum annual purchase. In short, SugarCRM aims to limit the “hidden fees” that some CRM providers do not include in their base license costs.

Why SugarCRM needs to be considered a direct competitor of Salesforce:

It’s important to note again that SugarCRM’s operating costs often come in at less than half of Salesforce. Salesforce continues to tout its brand name as a major selling point, but as Sugar’s CEO explains, they have a much more scale-able system.

“I think we measure up better … than anybody in the industry when it comes to extensibility of platform.” — Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM

For a more in-depth version of Salesforce vs SugarCRM, download the full white paper below:


Editor’s Note: This blog was updated on June, 22 2018 to reflect new pricing and features.

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author bio

Sonja Fridell

Sonja is very active in architecting CRM, ERP and marketing automation solutions for clients across North America. As an ex-journalist, she is adept at exploring a client’s needs and coming up with cutting edge, elegant solutions that fit, drive adoption, and create real results.

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