Sunday, 30 January 2011

Also available in English

Like most of you, I get spam emails. Like most of you, they invariably offer me cut-price pharmaceuticals, free iPads or the ability to grow certain parts of my anatomy with end results that would make the average marrow-farmer insanely jealous.

But last week my inbox was party to something that pushed the little yellow envelope icon to its limits.

It started well. The email's subject line was this:

"Understand Pipeline Velocity to Enable Sales Productivity"

So far, so obtuse. I wondered whether I was seeing one of those legendary emails produced by spam farms in the Far East, where people for whom English isn't even a seventh language put random words together and hit the 'send' button a billion times in the fervent hope that the Law of Averages will do the trick.

I closed my eyes. I opened them again. Nope. it was still there. I was worried about the phrase 'pipeline velocity,' if I'm honest. My mind imagined a lot of things, most of them not suitable for a work environment. Best read on, I thought to myself.

"Today, best in class sales organisations are unlocking and leveraging the intelligence that resides within their pipelines like never before."

Well, that's nice, isn't it? Nothing like an intelligent pipeline, is there?

"They use this intelligence not only to forecast more effectively, but also to target sales enablement efforts with laser precision and improve overall sales productivity."

There are ancient inscriptions in Mayan temples, we are told. Academics the world over have spent lifetimes decoding their centuries-old wisdom. Across the planet, aboriginal tribes in Australia pass their culture on from grandfather to father to son using song-cycles and spoken history that are all but impenetrable to outsiders.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have found a worthy successor in this email. It goes on to mention something called 'opportunity velocity' and asks me if I know how it compares to that of my peers. I'm not even sure if I should be enthusiastic or outraged at such a question.

As far as I am aware, the sender is trying to sell me some sort of service. However, short of firing up my own personal Enigma Machine I'm not 100% sure. A whole bunch of us gathered around this sacred text on the morning it came in, trying to derive some sense from it. And the best we could get - translating the entire first paragraph, was:

"Knowing a little more about the people who've recently bought things from you could help you to sell more."

Maybe I should contact the company that sent this to me? Perhaps I could offer my services to them, as a sort of corporate-to-English filter? It could be a lucrative venture for all concerned.

One problem, though. When I get in touch, what language should I use?


Skip Hire Birmingham said...

I do often wonder just what the reply rate is to these emails. I get bombarded with them daily

Brandy Rose said...

I have yet to receive one. I think to send a reply thats just as cryptic would be interesting.

tom said...

Phil, Moving forward, to reply to this you need to be fluent in corporate bullshit-speak! People can have entire conversations in this stuff and genuinely believe they are communicating. There are plenty of former colleagues who I would relish leveraging - with a crowbar.


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