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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

BPO & Relationship Management

Jagdish Dalal
Friday, February 28, 2003
Jagdish Dalal
IF YOGI BERRA WAS ASKED TO INTRODUCE THIS topic, he might say: “Selling outsourcing is 70% delivery and the other 70% is about relationship.” Not taking this Yogi Beraism lightly, my experience, as a provider, buyer and now as a consultant, has shown that the relationship plays a vital role in winning outsourcing business. I have seen outsourcing deals won and lost on the basis of the relationship a service provider builds with the prospective client, and relationship is more critical in BPO than in the Information Technology field.

When discussing relationship, the word “partnership” commonly appears. This well-intentioned—but many times a catch phrase—is an indicator of the highest level of relationship desired between a buyer and a provider. Sharing common objectives and goals, assuring ongoing success and being there for the “partner” are the foundations of the partnership.

Confidence and trust starts the relationship, sustains it through negotiations and transition, and becomes the foundation for success during delivery of services. It is also essential if things go wrong. In my last article, I discussed how BPO deals are won on the basis of “risk management” and not just a superior delivery proposition. Trust and risk are the two sides of a coin.

This article addresses how to develop this trust, overcome barriers and leverage for success throughout the entire life cycle of the relationship: prospecting, transitional and mature periods of the business agreement.

Developing the relationship
During the prospecting phase, there is no relationship, so confidence has to be created and trust built with the prospective client. My experience has shown that if one develops this trust in the initial stage, it forms a solid foundation for the future and smoothes the way for developing the business relationship.

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