John Gravely, an entrepreneur with deep Microsoft channel ties, dies at 53

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John Gravely, a serial entrepreneur with deep roots in the CRM industry and the Microsoft channel, has died. He was 53.

His family announced the news in an obituary.  

In the Dynamics community, Gravely was known as a successful entrepreneur who launched multiple CRM-focused software businesses. 

News of Gravely’s death began reaching the community today.

“John Gravely wrote the first book on #Dynamics CRM, founded @ClickDimensions and C360 Solutions,” wrote Microsoft MVP Mark Smith. “It’s sad we have lost this great entrepreneur. My heart goes out to Kim and his family.” Smith also worked together with him as part of the SalesSpark team.

Microsoft senior director Brian Galicia wrote on LinkedIn, “I personally got to know John back in the Onyx days and then at various ISVs he built and founded (C360, ClickDimensions, SalesSpark).”

In his professional life, Gravely was known as a shrewd observer of technology trends and an able tactician in the world of startup entrepreneurship.

He navigated successful exits for two of his companies,  C360 and ClickDimensions. Notably with ClickDimensions, Gravely led a high-growth team that faced down much bigger competitors in the frenetic early years of marketing automation and emerged as the leading vendor in the segment among Microsoft Dynamics usres. With SalesSpark, Gravely was again starting a business that would compete with larger, venture-funded firms in a niche that is still in its early stages, but with big possibilities.