The Definitive Sales and Marketing Glossary: 62 Common Sales Terms Explained

The secret of successful sales and marketing alignment is simply constant, effective communication. But this can't happen when both teams speak different languages. That's why we thought we'd take a moment to go back to basics and rounded up this complete glossary of sales and marketing terms.

This practical sales glossary is also meant for any sales managers who are on-boarding new reps. It will help newbies get immersed in B2B sales jargon in no time.

Account

Account refers to a record of primary and background information about an individual or corporate customer, including contact data, preferred services, and transactions with your company.

Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a marketing method that concentrates on acquiring specific high-value customers with highly targeted, personalized campaigns, basing the targeting and marketing message on particular attributes of an account.

Account Research

Account research means a thorough investigation of a company with the end goal of surfacing account insights that justify outreach and form a basis for solving the customer's problem. Account research is a crucial part of any prospecting process before outreach and meeting.

Account Scoring

Account scoring is the process of sorting all the potential customers in an order from the most to the least valuable. The estimated value of an account is equal to the proximity to the ideal customer profile. Whereas lead scoring predicts a contact's likelihood to become a customer, account scoring focuses on the organizations.

Actionable Insights

Actionable insights are understandable facts about a company based on company data and customer data which work as sales triggers.

Annual Recurring Revenue

Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) refers to revenue, normalized on an annual basis, that a company expects to receive from its customers.

Average Contract Value

Average Contract Value (ACV) is the average revenue per customer in a given period.

B2B

Business to business sales refers to a sales model where a business is selling its products or services to another business.

B2C

Business to consumer is a sales model where a business sell products and services directly to consumers who are the end-users of its products or services.

Bottom of the funnel

The bottom of the funnel is the latest stage of the buyer's journey. It is the "purchase" stage, where leads are know everything about their problem, the best type of solution for them, and are ready to select a provider.

Buyer Persona

A definition of a contact within an account matching your ideal customer profile who plays a crucial part in the sales process, is a decision-maker or a potential customer.

Buying Signals

Some event that happens in a company that either makes it match your ideal customer profile or gives you a reason to contact a company that is matching your ICP.

Churn Rate

This metric measures the number of customers that stop doing business with you.

Cold Calling

Making unsolicited calls in an attempt to sell products or services. Learn more about how to pen winning cold calling scripts.

Customer Acquisition Cost

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the cost that is required to acquire a new paying customer for a product or service.

Company Data

Company data is information on a company's characteristics, interests, and tendencies. Subcategories of company data are internal data (from CRM, ERP, NPS) and external data (firmographics, technographics, buying signals, intent data).

Company Information

Company information is external data about companies that provides information on a company's characteristics, interests, and tendencies. Subcategories of company information are firmographics, technographics, buying signals, and intent data. Much company information is available for free.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a marketing strategy focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.

Conversion Path

A conversion path is the sequence of steps a website visitor took , and which ends with desired action from the standpoint of the website owner. It is the process by which an anonymous user becomes a known lead.

Conversion Rate

The percentage of people who completed a desired action on a single web page, such as filling out a form.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

This metric refers to the cost associated with convincing a consumer to become a customer for your product or service.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A CRM helps you keep track of existing customers, enhance customer relationships, improve customer retention, stay on top of sales and marketing efforts, and automate communication.

Data Entry/Processing

This is the process of putting data into a database. In sales, data entry means inputting potential buyers' information into a CRM system.

Data Cleaning

Data cleaning or cleansing is the process of detecting and/or removing corrupt or inaccurate records from a set of data. When talking about sales and marketing, such a set of data is customer and prospect information usually stored in a CRM system.

Data Enrichment

The act of adding (dynamic) company information to your existing systems such as a CRM system or a marketing automation tool. In other words, enriching internal databases with new, useful information.

Discovery call

A discovery call is the first call with a potential customer, designed to determine if they are a good fit and gain deeper insights on their pain points, priorities, challenges, and goals.

Drip Campaign

A drip campaign is an email marketing tactic that sends a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time.

Firmographics

Firmographics, or firmographic data, is to organizations what demographics is to people. Compared to technographics, firmographic data is more static and isn't changed often. Commonly used firmographics include a company's industry, number of employees, and location.

Go-to-market

A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is the way in which a company brings a product to market. It includes a set of actions a company must take with the aim of optimizing marketing and sales resources to establish the value or a new product or service.

Hit Rate

A ratio between sales attempts and the desired outcome. Our software improves both the call-to-meeting hit rate and the meeting-to-deal hit rate, of which former means the ratio of attempted calls needed to book a meeting and the latter the ratio of held meetings to closing a new deal. A close relative to hit rate is conversion rate, which is a term used in marketing.

Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

A (data-driven) definition of a company that is most likely to convert, will get the most return on your product and will yield a high lifetime value.

Want to find all prospects matching your ideal customer profile? Request a demo now!

Inbound

This is a marketing strategy to attract prospects and customers to your website by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.

Intent Data

Intent data is (web) behavioral data about prospects (either contacts or accounts) actively researching products or services. Intent data is rarely used alone, but instead often paired with firmographic, technographic, and other company data which narrows the list of accounts to just those that are a good fit (lead scoring vs. account scoring).

Lead

A person interacting with your offering, which may possibly indicate an interest (whether for product or merely your content).

Lead Generation

The act of getting contacts (usually email addresses) to convert through various methods and, therefore, give you an indication of a person's interest in your offering (whether for your product or merely your content).

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of building long-term relationships with potential customers through different marketing techniques by providing relevant information at each stage of the buyer's journey.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a methodology used to grade prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents for your organization. With lead scoring, you can attach values to each of your leads based on their professional information and the behavior they've exhibited on your website. Learn more on how to close more deals with a lead scoring process that works.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

This metric represents the total amount of money a customer is expected to spend in your products, during the entire relationship with your business.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the tools, processes and technologies that help execute marketing tasks in a more streamlined and scalable way, enhancing the productivity of your team. Marketing automation helps with lead generation, nurturing, and scoring, as well as with measuring overall ROI on campaigns.

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)

The stage of the funnel in which leads have identified a problem and are looking to conduct further research to find a solution to it. Middle of the funnel content, such as case studies and product brochures, should continue to educate the buyer but also start the process of positioning your company as the solution to their needs and challenges.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

This metric indicates the amount of revenue that a business, typically subscription-based, expects to earn each month.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A customer satisfaction metric, usually derived from a simple survey, that measures, on a scale of 0-10, the degree to which people would recommend your company to others.

Opportunity

A potential deal with a qualified prospect in your pipeline.

Outbound

Outbound Sales refers to a process where the seller directly initiates contact with a prospect customer. Usual outbound sales methods include cold calling, cold emails, and direct outreach on social media.

Outreach

The act of reaching out to a prospect by means of email, social media, or calling.

Prospect

A potential customer, i.e. a person or company that matches your definition of the ideal customer profile.

Quota

A sales quota or target is the amount of selling a sales rep is expected to meet over a given period, usually a month or a quarter.

Real-Time Sales

Real-time sales is a method of using real-time company data in every sales interaction to uncover best-fit prospects, reveal the ideal timing to reach out, and create relevant messaging.

Sales Enablement

Sales enablement refers to the process within a sales organizations of providing the sales team with the tools, resources, and training they need to close more deals. A sales playbook is one of the most common and effective sales enablement resources.

Sales Funnel

A visual representation of prospects and where they are in the buying process.

Sales Kickoff

A sales kickoff meeting is an event, usually held annually, designed around bringing your entire sales together, celebrating past successes, laying out your strategy, and sharing best practices.

Sales Operations

Sales Operations refers to the role, processes, and activities that support and reduce friction in the sales process, so salespeople are more productive and successful.

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Sales Tech Stack

The technology, tools, and software salespeople need to do their jobs.

Sales Velocity

Sales velocity is the measurement of how quickly deals move through your pipeline and generate revenue. This equation uses four metrics: number of opportunities, average deal value, win rate, and length of sales cycle.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

To achieve sales and marketing alignment, an SLA defines the framework of collaboration between sales and marketing departments. The agreement should detail marketing goals, like the number of leads or revenue pipeline, and the sales activities that'll follow and support them. Learn how to create an SLA for smarketing here.

Smarketing

Smarketing is the process of integrating the sales and marketing processes of a business. The objective is 100 percent sales and marketing alignment, so they work together to achieve common goals with the aim of increasing revenue.

Sales Prospecting

The act of identifying potential customers, i.e. people or companies that match your ideal customer profile, and, therefore, are relevant for you to contact.

Sales Intelligence

Technologies for the collection, analysis, and presentation of information that help salespeople find, monitor, and understand data that provides insights into prospects' and existing clients' daily business.

Technographics

Technographics, or technographic data, refer to insights on a company's current technology choices such as the marketing automation platform, social media channels, and website language versions.

Top of the Funnel

Top of the funnel refers to the first stage of the buyer's journey in which marketers will spread brand awareness about their products and services to generate leads. Typical top of the funnel content includes blog posts and ebooks.

Total Addressable Market (TAM)

The accumulation of all the companies with the potential to (closely enough) match your definition of ideal customer profile within a given period and, therefore, the total amount of prospects at a given territory.

Trigger Event

A buying signal that triggers an action and creates an opening for a marketing or sales opportunity. There can be outbound and inbound trigger events.

Topics: B2B Sales

Eduardo Alonso

Scribbler at Vainu’s Marketing team. Taco enthusiast and obsessive record collector. Straight outta Madrid.