Met a fella who ran operations for one of two national regions within a huge £80m turnover motor parts distributor just now called Jack, or as the guys in the telesales room called him, ‘Jacko’. They’ve been going for donkey’s years, experienced decent growth, and a sea-change in their industry that disrupted all sorts of things (the growth of Buying Group power) 4-5 years beforehand actually left them stronger.
They’ve several internal sales people, and at least 25 on the road. Yet they have no real ‘technology’ based reporting structures. One sales manager it seems gets text messages sent to him with updates each night and that’s about it.
In fact, they’ve gone a step further, by ensuring no reps have company laptops, and ‘hot-desk’ when they’re in a branch to pick up client emails and the like.
They dismiss the need to know “where sales people have been, who they talked to and what they’ve done”. Instead, they have official sessions at branches to talk about weekly plans and reviews. So, no crm required, it seems….