Consumers are increasingly comfortable with completing transactions online. On Cyber Monday, online sales increased by 25.6 percent from last year, according to IBM. Many of these transactions were from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, as customers routinely compare prices online before making a purchase, even while in a store. To compete with the amount of information online, salespeople need to be well informed about all products, which makes sales coaching essential to the success of any sales department.

Modern sales staff need to be comfortable with communicating through several channels. Email and social media have made it possible for companies to expand their reach globally with limited resources. Through these channels, businesses can capture larger audiences for services and products, but this type of approach requires a different set of communication skills than traditional channels. It can be easy for nuances and meaning to be lost in emails or text messages, so employees should always be mindful of how their communications might be perceived. Good sales performance management can resolve many of these issues by providing the knowledge staff members need to clearly explain product features and benefits.

Keeping an open and respectful dialogue is just one of the challenges facing organizations. Technical problems must also be addressed to provide a seamless sales process. The interconnected audience requires a lot of infrastructure, including specialized websites, social media pages, cloud servers and more. All of these programs require specialized knowledge, and reports that businesses are hiring more IT professionals to support their sales teams.

Building the necessary mobile apps or social media networks needed to enhance customer experience requires a blending of technical and creative skills. Even employees in support roles must understand how their roles impact the end user. Effective sales on-boarding will allow organizations to create the culture needed to boost employee production while maintaining a focus on the customer.

CIO Today states that businesses continue to try to blend online sales features with personal interactions. Training new employees using this approach can be challenging, but the payoff can be profitable. An integrated sales approach can generate additional leads by providing multiple touchpoints through which to share information and move prospects down the sales path. With the right sales on-boarding processes, businesses can make sure that even new employees possess the skills needed to successfully navigate the new digital sales environment.