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Soft-skills training and development became a hot topic in India since the early 2000s when outsourcing, offshoring, BPOs, and call centers were all the rage.
Though this study focused on a particular company based in Bangalore, it can be said that other companies may have similar policies on training. Soft-skills classes in Indian firms are generally given in big classroom settings, with minimal one on one coaching. In this study, one learns about the process of hiring and training Indian workers in call centers and BPOs based on the information provided by one company. While in-person delivery by natives from the culture is preferred in a majority of cases, e-learning, teleconference, and webinars are gaining ground. In general, companies still prefer to train in big bulky sessions, where personal interaction from the trainer may not be as easy. It is imperative that companies that employee local Indians who must communicate with clients, stakeholders, and customers abroad, continue to attend cross-cultural training. Author, Jennifer Kumar is an American citizen and expat living full time in Kochi, India providing cross-cultural training throughout India. Corporate training for offshore software teams, onsite client visits, stakeholder meeting preparation, US Cross-Culture Business Training, India Corporate Culture, Diversity, Sensitivity, Corporate Coaching programs are available virtually or face to face in various locations. America: New York State Locations (Albany, Utica, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Southern Tier - Binghamton, Elmira, Corning), Other locations in the North East - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts (Boston), Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh). Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Soft skills can be broadly categorized into three: character, interpersonal skills, and critical and creative thinking. It is a common misconception that the presence of one highly developed interpersonal skill is sufficient for personal and professional satisfaction. Consider that even a highly intuitive communicator may fail in business simply because of an inability to listen actively as others are communicating. An individual with a high level of assertiveness may nevertheless be incapable of successfully managing anger, frustration and disappointment. Relying too much on one skill to the detriment of the others does not result in integral personal growth. Interestingly, it is not always the development of an interpersonal skill that needs polishing. Outcomes of this type of soft skills training include the ability to exercise one skill over another, such as assertiveness instead of active listening. Another training outcome could be the in-depth development of one soft skill that is lacking. For example, if communication with others is a problem area, you may benefit from soft skills training that leads to an increased focus, eye contact and gesture management.
If you have trouble when making initial contacts in the business environment, outcomes include first impression management, business card usage and conversation control.
Deepening your understanding of psychology is another method for improving your social skills. It may seem counterproductive, but actually greatly helps someone with adequate interpersonal skills to realize why they appear to fail in certain situations.
Against the backdrop of psychological training, you may learn about gauging an individual’s personal need for physical and emotional wellbeing or application of defense mechanisms in stressful situations.


This type of learning may take place with the help of classes, reading materials or workshops. In his paper entitled Soft-skills Training and Cultural Sensitization of Indian BPO workers: A Qualitative Study, Ramesh Subramaniam says that new hires in BPOs and call centers in Bangalore in the mid 2000s were given up to 90 days of soft skill training to fill in the gaps and also to sensitize the workers to a foreign culture. From my experience in Kochi, India, the key difference between now and the mid 2000s is that there is less focus on accent reduction (although this continues to be a problem). The last stage was within months after the training as managers and employees themselves notice their strengths, challenges, improvements, and shortcomings. Having interacted with a few companies in Kochi, a city southwest of Bangalore, I noticed that the processes vary slightly based on the company.
Though corporates are exposed to these alternative forms of training, the Indian culture values face-to-face in-person interaction. However, it’s noted that of late, companies in and around Kochi that this author has talked to have started taking interest in smaller group sessions or individual sessions for key employees. Though American media may be readily available on Indian cable, Hollywood cannot be used as a cross-cultural understanding tool on it’s own without understanding the American values and mindset that motivate the behaviors. Contact her for your corporate offshore, onsite and cross-border team training requirements. In both academic and corporate environment, effective soft skills play a crucial role in enabling individuals communicate effectively, manage relationships, lead a team, and solve problems.
Instead, the intuitive process of knowing when to switch from one skill to another may be in need of improvement. Even those who are well versed in virtually all skills still benefit from occasional refreshers, in part because the skills need updating to remain germane to a changing society. Honing the ability to communicate concretely minimizes communication failures brought on by abstractions. In this setting, you focus more on the motivations of others than on the mechanics of your soft skills. These are the very basic fundamental job elements for every sales representative and are very critical for sales success. Based on their shortcomings, more training may have been assigned in groups or in individual settings. In cases where a foreign culture had to be taught, most companies preferred to hire a native from that country as they were the best to give the employees first hand knowledge of the culture and language patterns.
While it appears that the market is saturated for this kind of training in Bangalore, it seems to be evolving in Kochi. Another idea that is gaining ground is that local Indians with more experience abroad become trained in a cross-cultural pre-departure program and then deliver that to their employees to avoid the costs of flying in and accommodating foreigners in five star hotels. Therefore, apart from training students and employees in technical skills, organizations and educational institutions also focus on imparting soft skills. Soft-skills in the Indian sense encompasses all those topics along with other topics such as accent reduction, cross-cultural training, cross-cultural communication, global English, problem solving skills, time management, motivation, leadership, e-mail, and phone etiquette, among others. However, this training, which is also looked upon as coaching for personal development, would be much more productive if it is delivered and retained in smaller group settings (under 20) or ideally in one-on-one settings.
In cases where verbal (or even, possibly, written) communication was a problem, snippets of the communication was given to a trainer to analyze and provide feedback on the steps for improvement. Balancing professional and personal life becomes even more pertinent and meaningful when the professional life requires one to adapt another culture, language, personality, and mannerism day in and day out.


Foreigners living as expats in India (such as this author) who deliver such trainings are the best bet, especially if they are charging lower rates than foreign based trainers. Instead of seeing cross-cultural training as a threat to one’s identity, it should be seen as a learning tool, just like other tools that can help one succeed in the cross-cultural workplace.
Technavio’s analysts forecast the global soft skills training market to grow at a CAGR of 9.86% in terms of revenue over the period 2014-2019. Practice comes not only in the form of technical qualities but is also concerned with non-technical soft skills that add value to a sale and help to create a bond that technical knowledge alone cannot build.
Based on what had to be improved, it was undertaken in small groups (if others had similar issues) or in one-on-one sessions.
Apart from classroom teaching, there is always an option of e-learning that provides ultimate soft skills training. But, before we get into the e-learning process, we must first understand about the basic soft skills that every sales representative must possess.Which soft skills are needed for sales success?Communication – The most important quality of a sales person should be that he must be able to communicate with his customers so powerfully that he compels the customers to engage with him. Encouraging people to listen to what he has to say is the first most critical step that makes the steps that follow easier to accomplish.Positivity – Obviously, until and unless the sales person is positive about the product, service and his potential for making a sale, nothing can turn out to be positive.
Thus, sales persons need to learn how to leverage praise from people for what they are doing. They need to be very positive while dealing with customers, only then can they achieve success.Confidence – Just like positivity is important, even confidence is equally important.
Only if one is confident can he build credibility, which in turn will lead to success.Flexibility – Flexibility is another important aspect of a sales person’s job profile. Also, sales persons today are required to play different roles at different times during the sales procedure, thus flexibility is required here too.How can e-learning influence soft skills training for sales representatives?Interactive scenarios – As you learnt, communication is the first and foremost aspect a sales representative must possess. So, in order to learn about conversations and interactions, scenarios and decision-making processes must be used. This can be done by creating a scenario between the sales representative and a customer, where the sales person makes a decision after listening to the customer’s query that ultimately closes the deal. These scenarios will help in real life situations that sales people can face in the future.Games – You would wonder how games can impart the required soft skills to sales representatives.
They do so by providing an environment that requires them to develop strategic thinking, negotiation and decision-making skills.
A game can be created where those opting for a sales representative position are required to cross-sell in a virtual environment, where the one with the most cross-selling products ultimately becomes the sales representative. These games help in bringing about a sense of achievement and accomplishment of a task.Remember that apart from e-learning, a classroom training program is also equally important. This blended approach will help trainers know where, when and how to individually train employees, which in turn helps to increase productivity levels.
For such classroom training, you can approach MARG who offers the best soft skills training in Bangalore to employees at all levels in an organization – may it be directors, heads of departments, vice presidents and senior managers too! May 23, 2016 Different Levels Of Leaders In An Organization May 16, 2016 Points To Consider While Team Building May 12, 2016 Soft Skills Training Through E-Learning For Sales Representatives May 9, 2016 How To Build A Productive And Efficient Team At The Workplace?



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