ERP Lead Qualification: An Offshored Summer Job?

I have a love-hate relationship with offshoring’s political/social associations. On the one hand, I’m guilty of laughing every time Russell Peters makes a crack about Indians. On the other hand, I get a little irked when someone says offshoring takes away jobs just so companies could give summer ones to Third World hicks.

Not only is that kind of talk borderline racist, it’s not a very accurate picture of BPO countries in the developing world. Qualifying an ERP lead isn’t exactly summer job fare. Furthermore, a difference in seasons is hardly good enough reason to believe it’s good to outsource during some parts of the year and not in another. (This sounds contrary to reports saying that companies are planning to further expand their outsourcing.)

To start, let’s look at the differences between summer in Asian and Pacific regions and that of North America. Summer in the latter usually occurs a few good months after that of the former. This means while Americans are prepping for a Caribbean cruise or the 4th of July, their Asian counterparts could already be rushing to the malls to buy school supplies.

That means there’s actually more of a chance that people in an offshored company would be putting in a few extra hours for their pay check. But wait, what about their summer? Wouldn’t that mean there’s still another time of the year where they’re looking to take their own few days off?

Even if that were the case, it wouldn’t be any different from what you’re doing now. Summer might mean a few days off for you but that doesn’t exactly mean you’ll be out for the whole duration. More likely, you’ll be working just as much to get the cash for your own fun in the sun.

With that said, here are a few more reasons why qualifying an ERP lead isn’t just some typical summer job:

  • It’s all year-round – You can’t compare this to some gig at the cash register at your local Taco Bell. Qualifying any sort of B2B lead takes commitment to understanding prospects, the target market, and more importantly, aligning it with your sales objectives. This isn’t something you get into and then just jump ship once school starts.
  • It’s not exactly mundane – There’s a lot of things that can go wrong in a lead generation process. That’s why QA analysts and lead generators have to always stay on their toes. Forget a cleanup on aisle 5. Any issue with lead quality will have the outsourced vendor (onshore or offshore) scrambling on an organizational level.
  • It requires multiple tasks – You’re not just manning the grill or busting tables here. Today’s lead generation campaigns are called to cover multiple channels (from regular telemarketing to social media). The training and experience required isn’t for highschoolers. If you seen an offshore operation that’s less scrupulous, know that there are plenty more who actually operate (and hire) better.

As much as I disagree with this blog, it speaks the truth about the emotional baggage that comes with offshoring. However, that’s not a reason to reject as much as a reason to really clear up the many ridiculous ideas I’ve seen people have about offshore companies. They’re not all the stuff of Third World summer jobs.

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