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Has anyone used Sugar CRM and do you prefer it to Salesforce.com?

I have used salesforce.com in the past, but not crazy about it. I have seen some brief demos about Sugar CRM, and I was curious if anyone has used Sugar CRM, and do you prefer it better than Salesforce.com?

I want to use it to set up a remote sales force of about 10-20 people. They would be selling advertising in the $240 - $600 per year range. My main goal is to be able to:

1) load up their funnels
2) see activity & allow sales people to send emails, etc
3) see sales funnel
4) all sales people to take credit card payment, or send invoice
5) see sales (by day, week, month, quarter, year)
6) see sales by category/product type
7) see sales dashboard
8) allow sales people to see company sales dashboard

I foundsalesforce.coma bit clunky and I was not crazy about the UI. I guess I am looking for something a bit more clean, elegant, and intuitive.

9 Replies

Eric Rogness
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Eric Rogness Entrepreneur
Technical Product Manager
Be sure to also check out Zoho CRM. (no affiliation, not a pitch) And yes, that includes apps to keep your mobile team connected. I'm not in a position to compare and contrast with the other platforms.
Dennis Velasco
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Dennis Velasco Entrepreneur
Technopreneur & SMB Evangelist
I've used Sugar, SFDC, Zoho and a number of others. Depending on your business needs, there are pros/cons to each. Feel free to email/call me if you'd like me to fill you in. *Dennis Velasco* mobile: [removed to protect privacy] email: [removed to protect privacy] skype: dennis.velasco [image: Inovado]
Devin Voorsanger
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Program Director, Tech Entrepreneurship @ Zahn Innovation Center at City College
Eric, I have used both in the following scenarios (caveat: most of this work was between 2005-2012): *1) Development*: - *Role*: I was lead SLDC Project planner for the CRM and reporting stacks of a marketing automation software startup. - *Project used for:* We used the open source version of SugarCRM for development purposes and connected to SF via an API for CRM functionality. - *Findings*: Sugar CRM was a breeze to use in a development environment. Intuitive and flexible. Basically a joy to work with. SF was a bit of a bear. The acceptance cycle was forever and they system was not (at the time 2007) for smaller teams of developers to work with it easily. *2) Day to Day Use: * - *Role*: I was head of enterprise sales for the agency division of same software firm. - *Project used for:* We used of both systems in a day to day sales management environment. (Started with Salesforce and them moved to Sugar CRM) - *Findings*: The majority of the flexibility in Salesforce comes into play once you pop up to the "Enterprise level" this can get expensive for a startup. The problem is that a startups business is not a one size fits all business model and the system (below Enterprise) does not take that into account. Moving to SugarCRM allowed us the flexibility to customize it to our specific business needs at a lower cost. *3) Set up for a client*: - *Role*: I was lead project planner for several (2-3 major installations) of Salesforce and a couple (2 minor installations) of SugarCRM - *Project used for:* Installation projects were as follows: SF - SF - Marketing and Enterprise sales of an E-learning into the healthcare community - SF - Marketing and B2C sales into the general market - SF - Sales to the SMB community - SugarCRM - Marketing and Sales to the SMB community - SugarCRM - Marketing and Sales for a Tier 3 Automotive dealership. - *Findings*: We found three issues; one is the same as above (I still listed it below as finding #1) and inherent to SF, the second is inherent to all CRM systems and the third has to do with ecosystem around SugarCRM. - 1)The majority of the flexibility in Salesforce comes into play once you pop up to the "Enterprise level" this can get expensive for a startup. The problem is that a startups business is not a one size fits all business model and the system (below Enterprise) does not take that into account. Moving to SugarCRM allowed us the flexibility to customize it to our specific business needs at a lower cost. - 2) Salespeople are inherently uncomfortable with sharing their data and doing anything "managerial". Basically the good sales people want to be on the phone all day or somehow in front of clients. This in direct conflict with the nature of CRM. So we had to program in lead scoring devices and marketing automation processes that "rewarded" the salespeople for entering data into the system. So entering the address for the e-learning software scored the area as a "hot lead" based on census data and the delta in natural language speakers from last census to latest. Correctly entering in the stages of the sale and the information needs of the potential client led to that client being included in a weekly email that was personalized to the target with language specifically for objection management of that individuals issues and customized to the specific stage they were at in the sale. - 3) Salesforce has a significantly more robust ecosystem of developers, consultants and software APIs that can be used to expand the functionality and support for the use of it. SugarCRM had less (not none) that basically meant that we had to provide all service, training and software development for expansion and use to the client. Hope that helps.
Gil Allouche
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Gil Allouche Entrepreneur
Founder @ Metadata
I've used SugarCRM in the past. Was easy to setup from scratch -- it's working and easy to setup. However, the ecosystem around SFDC is very significant -- so just by using SFDC you have the ability to add cool components like data.com, scoring models (e.g. infer), abm tools (e.g. insightera) and many others. To summarize -- if you are an SMB and don't need the all the 'bells & whistles' -- sugarCRM is perfectly fine. There are much newer, cooler and lighter CRMs available these days -- check out Hubspot's new CRM -- I think it will take over in a few years time/acquired by SFDC. SugarCRM is a good solution for SMBs that are looking for a CRM option without the complexity and cost of Salesforce. In addition, SugarCRM allows each user to have their own database and add applications that they already use and need. But SugarCRM does not have some of the advanced features of Salesforce nor can it match the ecosystem of apps that Salesforce offers and integrates seamlessly with its platform. (source: diffen.com) I'm happy to help you make that decision/initial setup if you have a need. --Gil
0
0
X
Entrepreneur
There was a big discussion on CRMs for startups last week on FDhttp://members.founderdating.com/discuss/1703/What-are-the-best-CRM-systems-for-a-small-startup-or-business that has salesforce and others.
Shingai Samudzi
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Shingai Samudzi Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO at ProjectVision
Personally, I have found the major benefit of Salesforce to be in the hosting and support side of things. They also have a pretty robust ecosystem of user-created plugins and extensions. That said, If you have internal IT staff and good internal knowledge of AWS, there isn't much benefit from Salesforce given the very high per seat licensing cost. SugarCRM also has its own app ecosystem. From a pure UI usability standpoint, they are neck and neck. So value really comes down to budget, internal technology capabilities, and the amount of customization you need from the off the shelf version.
Aaron Schumm
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Aaron Schumm Advisor
Co-Founder, Chief Customer Officer at FolioDynamix
I've used both. Recently, I canceled SF for our firm to leverage the open source self-hosted version of Sugar. It works well for my revenue generating team. However, we are now upgrading to the hosted version of Sugar to leverage additional tools like Marketo, etc., to track engagement at a greater level.

Bottom line:
SalesForce - is good, but clunky. A lot of cobbled together solutions that don't always work well together.
Sugar Open Source - is good enough, but not amazing. But, what can you expect for free?
Sugar Hosted - TBD, but the demos look great.
David Faith
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David Faith Entrepreneur
Managing Director at Certified Project Management
We use and contribute to Zurmo CRM. Zurmo has both a community (free) edition and a reasonably priced commercial version. The founders were ex-Sugar guys. The community is active and the product is stable. Zurmo was one of the first Open Source CRM's to include a 'gamification' engine (which helps with user adoption and performance tracking). It also features a complete workflow engine (so you can run automated marketing campaigns, or automate manual processes.) The paid version includes integration hooks to Zapier (3rd party application gateway) and Rapleaf (enhanced demographics).
0
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X
Entrepreneur
Hey Eric,
what do you want to use it for? Is it mainly for sales? Mainly for marketing? How many people will use the CRM in the next 12 to 18 months?
What was it that turned you off Salesforce?
I think it's really hard to make an useful comparison without that context. Depending on the use case, either one might be a better or worse fit.

Eric Bernal
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Eric Bernal Entrepreneur
Co-Founder, Director of Web Development & Design
I want to use it to set up a remote sales force of about 10-20 people. They would be selling advertising in the $240 - $600 per year range. My main goal is to be able to:

1) load up their funnels
2) see activity & allow sales people to send emails, etc
3) see sales funnel
4) all sales people to take credit card payment, or send invoice
5) see sales (by day, week, month, quarter, year)
6) see sales by category/product type
7) see sales dashboard
8) allow sales people to see company sales dashboard

I found salesforce.com a bit clunky and I was not crazy about the UI. I guess I am looking for something a bit more clean, elegant, and intuitive.
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