SugarCRM vs Salesforce: A Marketing Automation Comparison


Marketing Automation is on the rise. Features like lead nurturing, prospect profiling and comprehensive ROI reporting have become an integral part of most leading CRMs. With this in mind, we compare the marketing automation features of Sugar and Salesforce. However, we will only focus on the marketing automation functionalities provided by their respective vendors. Third party Marketing Automation services and integrations are a very interesting discussion for another day. 

Lead Management

Although both Sugar and Salesforce let you quickly identify and track hottest leads from different campaigns out-of-the-box effectively, Salesforce takes it up a notch with Einstein. Einstein automates the lead scoring process by identifying the accounts most likely to convert based on factors such as relationship history and past purchases. Advertising Studio also enables marketers to uncover and advertise to new similar prospects by identifying audiences with matching profiles, based on online behaviors from existing CRM data.

Email Templates

Both Sugar and Salesforce let you create completely custom templates from scratch. Both come with a WYSIWYG editor for ease of use as well as an HTML editor for advanced users. You can also choose one or more email types when creating email templates depending upon the functions you intend the email to serve. These include automated email responses and tracker emails that show if an email was sent, opened and also what links the recipient clicked on.

Mass emails per day

Sugar and Salesforce let you quickly send targeted emails to groups of leads, contacts, and accounts while tracking engagement metrics. They also let you control the flow rate of outgoing campaign emails by letting you send them at designated intervals of time or in batches. You can easily view pending emails in a queue.

In Sugar, there’s no hard limit to the number of campaign emails you can send in a day but your email service provider may throttle the number of messages that can be sent over a given period of time. Salesforce however, only lets you send 500 emails per user at a time and 2000 in a day.

Web-to-Lead forms

Sugar provides you with a simple drag and drop interface in the Campaigns module that lets you create Web-to-Lead form. Once these are embedded into your website, the form creates a lead in SugarCRM every time someone fills it up. The lead is also automatically associated with the relevant campaign and added to the leads module to be fed to your Sales team. An appropriate auto-response can also be sent to the lead.

Salesforce offers more or less the same capabilities. You can even add Web-to-Lead forms to pages that use your Pardot tracking code. In this case, the lead info will go into Salesforce only. Pardot won’t track the information in the Web-to-Lead form, but it will send the site visitor a cookie to track them anonymously across the web. However with Pardot forms, you can collect information about visitors and turn anonymous visitors into identified prospects. Hence, when a user submits their information through a Pardot form, not only have you collected them as a lead but you have now captured critical data that is linked to that visitor. This allows you to sell and market to them more effectively. When visitors come back to your website Pardot is able to track their activity while adding additional information about that visitor to their contact information inside Pardot and Salesforce.


Your marketing automation tools are only as good as the person using them. To help you get the most of these, you need proper guidance and readily available support services. You get ample support features such as case submissions, online support communities, online training content and technical assistance with all Sugar and Salesforce licenses.

Sugar also offers 24/7 telephone support on their Enterprise and Ultimate edition out-of-the-box. In addition to this, you get live weekly training, on-demand training videos and specialist consultation sessions on all editions of the Salesforce B2B marketing automation cloud.

Analytics and Reports

Sugar lets you measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts from initial contact to closed opportunity. It also provides you with concise marketing analysis and lets you know your ROI on marketing programs from which you can track which channel is most/least profitable and replicate successful campaigns in a few simple steps.

Salesforce offers B2B Marketing Analytics, powered by Artificial Intelligence. This is an Einstein Analytics app containing Salesforce and Pardot data populated via your existing Salesforce connector. It lets you explore data, get insights into marketing performance, and quickly take data-driven actions. By combining marketing and sales data, the performance of marketing campaigns against targeted sales opportunities can be assessed in a single dashboard. This helps uncover insight into which campaigns perform best and why. In addition, new Multi-Touch Campaign Insights allows marketers to identify the attributes of marketing campaigns that have the highest potential to drive sales for targeted accounts. Along with addition utilities such as SEO monitoring and Competitor monitoring, you can easily share insights with your team from anywhere.

Pricing and Availability

Sugar comes fully featured out-of-the-box. You get the same marketing automation features on all editions of Sugar.

Edition   Price/user/month (USD)
Professional    40
Enterprise    65
Ultimate   150

A breakdown of Salesforce sales cloud is as follows:

Edition   Price/user/month (USD)
Lightning Professional    75
Lightning Enterprise   150
Lightning Ultimate   300

For dedicated B2B marketing automation features, Salesforce offers:

Edition   Price/month/up to 10,000 contacts (USD)
Standard   1000
Pro   2000
Ultimate   3000

The Bottom Line!

If you’re looking for a CRM with substantial out-of-the-box marketing automation capacities, SugarCRM is the way to go. Features like drip campaigns, lead routing, web forms, a landing page builder, email marketing, newsletters, and campaign dashboards make it a good choice for all your marketing needs.

Salesforce shares several core functionalities with Sugar but can provide you with some advanced capabilities that you expect from a dedicated platform. For full-scale marketing automation, SugarCRM’s built-in features put up a good fight but premium offerings like Pardot, Einstein Analytics and highly dedicated support features place Salesforce in a league of its own.

If you need more help deciding which CRM is better for your business, you can read our general comparison of SugarCRM and Salesforce. We also offer SugarCRM consultation and Salesforce consultation and would be glad to assist you. You can start your free session by clicking here.

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