I talk to companies every day about Salesforce.com (SFDC) vs. SugarCRM, and a recurring theme I’ve noticed is how Salesforce.com scares companies off from Sugar by saying that running Sugar requires knowledge of PHP. “Clicks vs. Code” is the message Salesforce portrays.
Instilling fear, regardless of truth, is a great selling tactic for a company with brand recognition such as Salesforce.com. The truth, though, is that their claim is bogus and easily debunked by a quick demo of Sugar’s Studio , but might have been true when Sugar was in its infancy in 2004. Let’s take a look at the facts in 2013:
- Both SugarCRM and Salesforce have robust, drag-and-drop Admin studio tools for non-technical users.
- You can reach limitations in both Sugar and Salesforce’s Studio tools.
- Once you reach limitations in SFDC, you must use APEX, a proprietary, complex programming language that only a select few know.
Depending on your CRM requirements, you may or may not reach these limitations with Sugar and Salesforce.com’s studio tools. The point being, though, that if you do reach these limitations, both solutions require coding, and the cost of coding PHP is significantly less expensive than the cost of coding in APEX.
Smoke and mirrors.
Salesforce.com markets themselves as the superior platform/program, and with double to triple the prices of SugarCRM, they have to. The problem with this for Salesforce.com, is the ‘facts’ have now become rhetoric, Sugar has caught up (SFDC started in 99, Sugar in 2004), and companies are noticing. It’s extremely tough for SFDC marketing dollars to maintain their image as the best, When Sugar has all the value, if not more, for half the price. Additionally, with frequent billion dollar acquisitions, it’s safe to say that SFDC is not yet done raising prices.
Because of all of this, we believe Salesforce.com is the risky solution, not SugarCRM. I understand being a manager and going with the historically ‘safe’ solution of Salesforce.com, but if you’re an executive, it’s financially irresponsible to not evaluate SugarCRM against Salesforce.com.