In the world of CRM, success often lies in the art of simplicity. Today, we’re delving into the concept of the MVP, not the Most Valuable Player in sports, but the Minimum Viable Product in the realm of CRM. It’s a strategy that forms the cornerstone of a successful CRM approach, emphasizing the philosophy that less is more.

The Foundation: Understanding the Crawl Phase of CRM

What is the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

For many small and medium-sized businesses, the journey to CRM often begins with a mishmash of spreadsheets, Outlook, accounting data, and even index cards. The MVP is the starting point, involving simple and basic tracking and management of records. In this initial phase, CRM addresses the chaos and inefficiencies prevalent in managing sales processes through various disjointed methods.

Essential Components of the MVP:

Accounts: Centralized tracking and management of prospects, customers, suppliers, and partners. Microsoft Dynamics is highlighted, offering a versatile solution.

Contacts: CRM distinguishes itself from accounting software by allowing extensive contact management. Track individuals associated with companies, spanning various roles.

Activities: Record all touchpoints, including phone calls, meetings, emails, and marketing interactions. Seamless integration with Outlook streamlines email tracking.

Sales Pipeline (Opportunities): Manage different types of opportunities and track sales progress. Flexibility in Dynamics allows for customized information based on the type of deal.

Automation: While the MVP is simple, the CRM journey doesn’t end there. Automation becomes possible in the future, streamlining processes like proposal follow-ups.

Customer Service Tickets: Handle customer issues, complaints, and internal concerns with a structured resolution process.

Overcoming Objections: The ‘Too Small’ Dilemma

Dashboards and Reports: Some might argue that the MVP is too basic and lacks advanced features like dashboards and reports. The crawl, walk, run philosophy is emphasized to ensure success without overwhelming complexity.

CRM is a Journey, Not a Destination: A reminder that CRM is a journey, not a one-time destination. Slow implementation and an iterative culture lead to quicker returns and user adoption.

Crawl, Walk, Run Philosophy: Based on over 500 CRM implementations, the philosophy ensures success and ROI. The temptation to implement everything at once is discouraged due to potential pitfalls.


The MVP approach is not the end-all but a fantastic starting point for those transitioning from manual methods to CRM. It provides immediate value, sets the stage for future automation, and ensures a smoother journey. The key takeaway is the importance of resisting the urge to rush through the process, embracing the crawl, walk, run philosophy for long-term success.

If you’re curious about implementing the MVP approach, check out our RapidLaunch program, which promises to get you up and running with the MVP within five weeks. Remember, CRM is not just a technology; it’s a strategy that transforms your business over time.

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Peter Wolf is the president and founder of Azamba. He has spent the last 20 years focused on helping small and medium-sized businesses become more profitable through effective and efficient usage of CRM.

His passion is blending the promise of CRM with the realities of business needs to create successful outcomes.