SalesForce vs SugarCRM vs ZohoCRM Review

Salesforce Head to Head with SugarCRM and ZohoCRM

Does your business have a CRM solution in place? With many offerings like Salesforce, SugarCRM, and ZohoCRM, which one is right for your business? Most businesses have a pieced together sales process through email, spreadsheets, and notebooks. If you are looking for a better solution to get your business sales process firing on all cylinders you should have a CRM solution in place.

So what should I use for a CRM?

There are many offerings in the Customer Relationship Management space and we can not look at them all, this is a review of some of the most common cloud based solutions that we are familiar with. We will review Salesforce, SugarCRM, and ZohoCRM. Each of these solutions offer a cloud based platform and mobile support.


Salesforce vs SugarCRM vs ZohoCRMThis is probably the most well know crm platform in the cloud. Rightly so as I think the number of Salesforce users is around the 2 million mark. Salesforce is one of the original SaaS companies offering a fully cloud based application for users.

Features at a glance:

  • Over 2 Million Users
  • Offers Customer Support Tools
  • Tracks all steps in your sales process
  • Marketing Tools
  • Mass Emailing
  • Chatter Tool, Chat like tool
  • Customization to meet your requirements
  • Strong Social Media Integration
  • Google Apps Integration
  • Web-To-Lead Form Builder

Even though it is one most popular platforms, I am not a big fan. If you are looking to live in your CRM then Salesforce is a good choice, however if your organization is not currently using any type of crm you might find users will be overwhelmed with the number of options available in Salesforce. Setup can be a bit of a process to get rolling.

I believe Salesforce lends itself to the larger organization. The features are amazing but for small teams this can be daunting and if you are going to implement Salesforce be sure to work with a partner to get you started off with some training to speed up the learning curve.

Pricing: $65/User/Month Professional Plan
Rating: 3/5 Steep learning curve and the cost make this a lower rating for the SMB.

Email Marketing $19/Month!


SugarCRMSugarCRM is a unique platform because you have a cloud based solution or a self-hosted solution. Being open source you have access to customize the interface and database in the back-end. This also provides a large community of 3rd party tools and addons in the Sugar Exchange. One of the features I really liked was its easy to use marketing tools for things like setup of newsletters and email marketing campaigns.

Features at a glance:

  • Open Source
  • Cloud Based or Self Hosted
  • Tracks all steps in your sales process
  • Great Marketing Tools
  • Mass Emailing
  • Customization to meet your requirements
  • Some Social Media Integration
  • Some 3rd Party Google Apps Support
  • Web-To-Lead Form Builder

SugarCRM was quick to get up and running and fairly easy to get your data imported. Good integration with lead capture for your website, however it will take a bit of HTML knowledge to get the forms in place and customized to your liking.

Pricing: $30/User/Month Professional (Billed Yearly)
Rating: 4/5 Great integration with your marketing efforts and the access to the complete system SugarCRM is great tool. The only draw back is limited support of Google Apps and Social Media tools.


ZohoCRMZohoCRM is one that is starting to get some traction in the CRM space. We have personally implemented Zoho as our CRM of choice. It has great support for Google Apps and Gmail. The gadgets make it very easy to access your CRM right from Gmail. You can create leads, potentials, and tasks from within Gmail without having to jump back and forth.

Features at a glance:

  • Full Sales Force Automation
  • Great Lead Management
  • Tracks all steps in your sales process
  • Integrated Marketing Tools
  • Mass Emailing
  • Customization to meet your requirements
  • Social CRM Tools
  • Seamless Support for Google Apps for Business
  • Web-To-Lead Form Builder

The marketing tools are somewhat limited and I think if you are wanting to have a tight integration with your marketing then SugarCRM or Salesforce might be a better choice. However if you are looking for seamless support of Google Apps then ZohoCRM is the choice.

Pricing: $12/User/Month Professional Plan
Rating: 4.5/5 ZohoCRM offers great integration with Google Apps which tips the scale in favour of this solution. With the recent update of the interface and the cost to get the SMB started ZohoCRM is our choice for day-to-day sales and customer relationship management

¹Customer Relationship Management

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  • Brandon Bruce

    For those using or evaluating Salesforce, we make an app called Cirrus Insight that integrates Salesforce and Gmail (and soon Google Contacts and Google Calendar). 30-second install for Chrome or Firefox and 30-day free trial at

    • Matt Clark – Damang Media

      Hi Brandon, thank you for the notice. This will be great for some of the people looking at Salesforce.

      • Josh De

        Sales force’s customer service and support is non existent. Unless you plan to us a system without support any issues STAY AWAY!!!

        • Matt Clark – Damang Media

          Hi Josh, thank you for letting the readers know. It is always disappointing to hear when a company does not follow through with customer support.

        • Robot Embryo

          I concur with Josh’s experience, Salesforce may have outgrown it’s capacity to achieve what should be at the heart of every business – provide excellent service. I have encountered so many technical issues during my evaluation, I’d have to get my head examined before paying $1300 up front to these clowns. Average wait time w/ customer care: over an hour, and unable to solve the issue.

  • Susan Metz (Susan Cline)

    Hi Matt – So which CRM system do you use?  :)

    • Matt Clark – Damang Media

      Hey Susan, that is a great question! We use ZohoCRM, great integration with Google Apps and simple to use for the team.

  • R C

    We were about to implement Zoho but came upon a big issue.  It doesn’t integrate with LiveChat.  Salesforce does.  We really want to go with Zoho because we are a small business.  Zoho offers an integration with another chat provider called Zoprim but Zoprim sends your chats to Zoho CASES!!  WTF.  All we want is the ability to quickly create a lead with each chat.  Ugh.  Stuck in analysis paralysis.  : (

    • Matt Clark – Damang Media

      Interesting, do you use Google Apps for your email system?

    • Chris Doig

      The cure for analysis paralysis is Wayferry Decision Support for Technology Purchasing – helps you compare products using your specific requirements.

  • Crm_learner

    We are growing up thx God, we are using Salesforce and we need some workflow and customization options. The issue is, we need to go from professional to enterprise license in order to get it. Obviously it going from $45 to $100/month/user (promotional price – loyal customers), so, we are looking around alternatives. Sugar sounds good but does Zoho has workflow? Does Zoho has a similar structure like Leads, Accounts, Oportunities, Contacts, Quotes and Products? Can you in Zoho hide fields depending on the User profile and Object type (eg. Oportunity type A vs Oportunity type B)?

    • Matt Clark – Damang Media

      Hi, yes many of the option your are looking for are in ZohoCRM, as well as some of the customization options you are looking for. I think overall ZohoCRM has a pretty similar feature set compared to Salesforce. You might want to get in on a trial and see if you would do what you are looking for. I think with a bit of tweaking you will get all the options you need for a lot less cost than Salesforce.

  • Jake

    The company I currently work is looking for a new more
    reliable program that offers certain services. I was curious if you could
    answer these questions directly for me. Here are the things I am curious if we
    can perform with ZOHO CRM. If Zoho is not what the company I work for is
    looking to utilize I would greatly appreciate some suggestions as to what
    programs would be.

    1. Ability
    to sort and/or search for a records History items by date, activity type, title
    or reference, and owner.

    2. Ability
    for reps to schedule calls in advance.

    3. Ability
    to design special-purpose workflows and assign specific tasks and activities to

    4. Ability
    to customize user interaction with the system such that records can be assigned
    to users based on specific criteria, i.e. date, activities and status.

    User is assigned as
    record owner only after they complete or schedule a call

    Record owner is
    returned to LawInfo if no new activity is completed after 30 days

    5. Ability
    to provide for field look-ups (drop-down lists).

    6. Is
    the API full read/write?

    • Matt Clark – Damang Media

      Hi Jake,

      These questions are very in-depth and I would suggest that you have a look at the ZohoCRM website for more details.

      You can also setup a call with us and we can walk through the questions you have an see if Zoho will be the right solution for you.

      Hope that helps,

  • Jason Diller

    I feel like nimble crm is going to be making big moves in the next few years

  • Tim Holum

    One new option recenlty open sourced, CRM42 ( Open source edition of SlimCRM )

  • Darren Fisher

    After researching, I came to the conclusion you did. Thanks fir blogging about it!

  • Julia Rozwens

    Hi Matt!

    Awesome article. Just to put it all together I leave here a comparison table betwwen those solutions:

    I think you might find it helpful!

  • Salesforce v/s Zoho CRM
  • CheckBiz

    Interesting comparison, thank you for that. if you are looking for additional Business software comparison you are welcome to visit: so you can access over 1,000 unbiased business reviews.

    • Matt Clark – Damang Media

      Thank you for the feedback and I will check out the site.

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