As an outbound sales representative, confidence is key to everything that you do. Being able to navigate your industry and engage with clients in an authoritative way requires comprehensive knowledge of the sales terminology that describes the field you operate in, the tools that you use, and the industry trends that your leads will be thinking about.
If you’re looking for a definitive guide to the sales terms that you are likely to encounter in your daily workflow, we’ve got you covered. Read this comprehensive sales glossary to ensure that you are never kept out of the loop again.
1. Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
This term is used to describe a sales strategy in which sales representatives exclusively target high-value accounts, and select prospects based on the value and propensity of those accounts to make a purchase.
2. Adoption Process
This term is simply lingo for the process that a potential customer goes through from first learning about a product or service to either buying or choosing not to buy that product or service.
This is an old-school acronym that is still widely used to describe the sales process. It stands for ‘Awareness’, ‘Interest’, ‘Desire’, and ‘Action’.
This is an acronym that stands for ‘Business to Business’, and is used to describe a sector of sales and marketing that caters solely to businesses selling products to other businesses, rather than to individual private consumers.
As you might have already guessed, B2C stands for ‘Business to Customer’, and denotes a marketing field in which businesses sell goods or services to individual consumers on the mass market.
6. Buying Intent
Put simply, this is the predicted likelihood that a potential customer will buy what you are selling. This prediction is often gleaned from web browsing behavior, demographics, and previous purchases.
This is used to describe a situation where a sales rep has completed the sales process but did not succeed in getting the potential customer to buy their product or service.
The reverse of closed-lost, used to describe a situation where a sales rep has completed the sales process and has successfully converted a lead into a paying customer.
9. Conversion Path
This is used to describe the structure of the seller company’s website and how it ‘guides’ web visitors into signing up or making a purchase. Components of a conversion path might include a sign-up sheet, a call-to-action (CTA) button, and an ad banner.
10. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
This is used to describe a literal monetary assessment of the potential lifetime value/profitability with a specific customer.
11. Data Entry
This is the process of locating and storing information that could potentially prove useful for future sales, including potential customer emails, market analytics, and CRM data.
This is a term used to describe a specific individual at a target company that makes the final decision about whether to complete a sale.
13. Demand Generation
This is the process of drumming up market interest in the product or service that you are offering. This can be done via web campaigns, print advertising, SEO, and more.
14. Doing-Business As (DBA)
A straightforward term that denotes that the name a business is using currently differs from its actual, legal name.
This term encompasses a wide range of sales and marketing activities that are used to keep a specific audience ‘class’ interested in your product or service, based upon the relevance of that product or service to that class.
This describes any activity that improves the quality of your product or service with the intention of heightening customer affinity with that product or service.
17. Field Sales Rep
A field sales rep is essentially a traveling salesperson. They will physically travel to various locations in order to market goods and services directly to customers in the hope of successfully closing a sale.
Forecasting describes any activity designed to predict the future success of your company and sales volume, often by looking at market trends, company-specific data, and consumer trends.
19. Forward Revenue
This is the recurring sales revenue that your company has predicted will accrue over a certain period of time, usually in the next 12 months.
This is an acronym used to describe a strategy that sales reps are often asked to consider when attempting to identify potential customers. It stands for “Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline, Budget, Authority”. It is a way of identifying exactly what needs to be done to complete a sale.
A lead is an individual, client, or company that has shown any kind of interest in your product or service. Perhaps they have visited your website or subscribed to your company’s email newsletter, for example.
22. Lead Generation
This describes any activity designed to attract leads. It could involve running a social media marketing campaign or optimizing your website for Google search results.
23. Lead Nurturing
This is the process of targeting your leads and building a lasting relationship with them, often with the goal of converting them into regular customers.
24. Lead Qualification
This is the process of analyzing your leads in order to assess whether or not they fit the profile of someone who is likely to actually buy your product or service.
25. Lifetime Value (LTV)
This is a mathematic calculation of the entire net profit you can expect from a specific customer over your business lifetime. It considers their buying potential alongside the costs of building a relationship with them.
26. Loss Leader
This is the process of pricing a product or service so low that it is loss-inducing, with the hope that doing so will encourage customers to take notice and buy other products or services from you.
27. Loss Aversion
This is an oft-used psychological term that describes the phenomenon where people feel more strongly negatively about losing a sum of money that they would feel positively strongly about gaining the same amount.
28. Low-Hanging Fruit
Basically, easy customers. This term is used to describe leads and customers that have sufficient interest in what you are offering so that minimum effort is required to close a sale with them.
29. Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
This is a lead that has been assessed as interested in your product or service based on how they have interacted with your marketing materials (website, email newsletter, social media, live chat, etc.)
30. Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
This is used to describe the moment in the buying process where the potential customer has identified their own ‘problem’ or need and is independently conducting research to decide that product or service will solve the problem.
31. Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
This is when a company will develop a quick, bare-bones product just to test the waters and see if there is sufficient market demand, often in the hopes of being able to enhance the product later on.
33. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
This is used to describe your company’s realistic calculation of the amount of revenue they can expect every month, often for the following year.
34. Net New Business
This can either describe a former customer that has returned after a long period of disinterest, or a lead that has been converted into a paying customer for the first time.
35. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
This is simply a 1-10 ranking based on customer satisfaction surveys. It is used to help you learn where your company needs to improve and what it is doing well.
This is the part of the sales process where a customer will typically ‘object’ to your product or service, perhaps by asking why it is so expensive or mentioning a competitor service as an alternative.
The process of introducing a confirmed customer to your product or service for the first time, often used in software sales.
38. On-Track Earnings (OTE)
This is an estimation of a sales rep’s total take-home pay, taking into account project sales, commission, and overtime.
39. Pain Point
This is the ‘pain’ or ‘need’ that a potential customer has that can be resolved by your product or service. This must be identified in order to effectively sell.
40. Point of Contact
This is the ‘middle-point’ between you and your customer, often somebody working for your customer designed to facilitate the flow of information and help with sales decisions.
This is simply the process that every sales rep undergoes when attempting to convert a lead into a paying customer. It is usually a very specific, step-by-step process.
42. Positioning Statement
These are specific phrases or conversational topics that a sales rep should rely on when making contact with a lead in order to identify that lead’s pain points.
43. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
This is the entire ‘lifecycle’ of a product or service, from the original concept all the way up to the disposal of that product or service.
44. Qualified Lead
This is a lead that has been assessed by the sales team and deemed ‘most likely’ to become a customer.
45. Relationship Business Management (RBM)
This is the process of converting a one-time paying customer into a lifelong, loyal customer who regularly buys from you.
46. Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
This is a potential customer that has already met the criteria to be a qualified lead but has been identified as having even further potential to make a purchase.
47. Service Level Agreement
This is an agreement between the sales and marketing arms of a business to ensure that they are both doing work that compliments each other and is mutually beneficial.
48. Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
The very first stage of a customer’s buying process, when they are just figuring out what their ‘need’ or pain point actually is.
The act of convincing a paying customer to opt for a more expensive product or service than the one they were originally going to buy.
50. Value Proposition
This is the mission of your company. It is a brief definition of what it is about your company that gives it ‘value’ to potential customers.
Now you know the sales vocabulary that you need to put together a winning strategy with your entire sales team. With these terms to mind, you will be prepared for every step of a successful sales process.
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