If you’re new to the sales world or want to understand it better, you’ll need to arm yourself with all the latest sales jargon. Sales, like most industries, has a specialized language those in the know are familiar with. While you wouldn’t use much sales terminology with a customer, you will use it when talking to other sales reps or managers.
Sales jargon helps salespeople communicate quickly and effectively with each other, while also signaling their confidence — and competence — with the tricks of their trade. As such, it’s crucial to have a working knowledge of sales terminology.
Our A-to-Z sales glossary will make sure you walk into your next meeting prepared to talk shop and impress your sales team.
A-Z Sales Terminology
A/B Testing - In sales, A/B testing, otherwise known as split testing, refers to an experiment that compares two or more variants. Generally, the tests rely on market response to each option. For example, you might conduct an A/B test to see which version of a landing page converts more sales, on average.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) - ABM is a business marketing strategy where you focus on marketing and sales resources on a specific set of accounts within a market. You’ll personalize these marketing efforts for the needs of a segment of the market, increasing consumer engagement.
Activity-based selling (ABS) – This is the idea you can close more deals by focusing on the activities you can control. An example would include appointments made.
Account Development Representative (ADR) - An ADR is a sales specialist who focuses on generating new leads for account executives.
Account customization – A feature in a customer relationship management tool that organizes your deals and facets of the sales process.
Average Dollar Per Sale: (DPS) You get this number by dividing total sales dollars for a given time period by the number of sales/closed deals.
B2B - Business-to-business, more commonly called B2B, is a model for building relationships with and selling to other businesses. A B2B company will have other companies as clients.
B2C - B2C stands for business-to-consumer, and is a model for engaging with and selling to consumers. A B2C company will have consumers as their clients.
BANT - Standing for budget, authority, need and timeline, BANT is a sales qualification methodology that evaluates whether a lead is worth pursuing. If a prospect does not have at least one of these four factors in place, it’s unlikely it will be worth pursuing them.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) - BOFU is the zone of the sales funnel where the prospect is almost ready to close on a purchase.
Buying Signals - These signals are verbal or nonverbal cues from a potential customer that they are ready to close the deal and purchase a service or product.
Call-in: When someone contacts your company for the first time, wanting to know more about your product or service.
Close – When a prospect comes to a final buying decision.
Close ratio – Number of sales divided by the number of sales presentations.
Cold calling – Getting in contact with a potential customer with no prior relationship in hopes of setting informing them about your product or service or making an appointment.
Commission: Compensation for closing a sale.
Contact management: Access to a prospect’s individual details and upsell opportunities.
Conversion – When a prospect into a customer.
Customer relationship management (CRM) – A tool or software to manage your customer relationships and sales pipeline.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) - CAC is the amount of resources and costs required to acquire a new customer. To calculate CAC, all you need to do is divide the money and time spent on acquiring new customers in a given period by the number of new customers. This metric is valuable when you want to evaluate how much money you are spending while scaling up your business.
Data import – Importing contact, company, lead or deal data from a platform into a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
Deal – An agreement made to take action with a prospect.
Deal tracking – A way to organize your deals within customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Decision maker: A prospect who is authorized to make a decision to purchase.
Demo – A sales presentation of your product and/or service.
Demand Generation - When your marketing team attempts to create excitement or perceived need over a company’s service or product, they are engaging in a practice called demand generation. Sales professionals often use this style of marketing to promote new products, tap into fresh markets, increase customer loyalty and generate a buzz among consumers.
Demo Goals: Number of sales presentations you want to accomplish over a period of time.
Direct response marketing: Mailers, emails, postcards used to gain interest from prospects.
Emotional Sale: Also known as the “intellectual sale,” this is defined by when a prospect emotionally wants your product or service and is excited and interested.
Law of Averages: The statistical average winning sales from calls to demos.
Lead – Anyone you could approach who could potentially be a customer.
Lead generation – A list of leads or contacts you will approach. Also known as prospecting.
Marketing – The act of promoting your product or service.
Metrics – A collection performance indicators and ratios calculated from data that reference a company’s historical and ongoing sales processes.
Mobile CRM – Customer relationship management software in a mobile app which allows you to keep track of sales while on the go.
Pitch – When you “pitch” your product or service, you are in the act of selling your goods or service.
Pressure sales words: Words that can cause concern, or stress on your prospect.
Product – Something made to be sold to a consumer.
Prospect – A potential customer or person who may be interested in your product or service.
Quota – A fixed share of something that a person or group wants to achieve or contribute to.
Retention rate – The percentage of customers who stay.
Revenue – A company’s income or earnings.
Sales cycle – The series of predictable phases required to sell. Sales cycles vary greatly.
Sales pipeline – A visual and systematic sequence of sales activities to achieve. It starts from the initial lead to when the deal closes. A sales pipeline helps you stay organized.
Sales management – Developing and coordinating a sales team.
Sales management planning – Organizing activities to achieve a desired goal.
Sales management process – Steps taken to attain a company’s objectives.
Sales management strategy – A sales method to bring about desired sales goals.
Sales manager – Someone who’s responsible for motivating and managing salespeople and overseeing a company’s sales process.
Salesperson – A person who works directly with customers to sell a product or service.
Sales reporting – Documentation of a company’s activities.
Sales targets – Goals for salespeople or company.
Sales velocity – Time it takes for a new deal to close beginning with initial contact.
Service – An action that satisfy a customer’s need or problem.
Target market – Group of prospects a company focuses its marketing on with the goal of converting them into customers.
Up-sell: Selling additional products or services to existing clients.