Sales is a dynamic and competitive field that requires individuals to understand the language and terminology used within the industry. From lead generation to closing the deal, there are several important terms that every salesperson should know. Sales terminology matters, and your proper use of the sales language can increase your credibility with prospects and your visibility in your organization.
Every phase of the sales process includes specific sales terms, key terms that you’ll use to communicate with co-workers and with the accounts you sell to. We have included several terms and concepts by phase in the sales process below.
But before we get to that, remember that every sales professional likely has a favorite term they believe is key to the industry. For Austin Richards, Director of Enterprise Sales at SaleFuel, the top term is:
Pipeline: The pipeline gives sales professionals a look at where every prospect and client is in the sales funnel. Each person’s pipeline is different. Some reps will see they need more leads to enter their pipeline. Other reps will understand that a prospect may be stalling on the trial they are running on a product. And the pipeline also “highlights what price the market will bear for products and services,” says Richards.
Keeping the pipeline in mind as a top-down view of a sales rep’s activity, let’s check out a few important terms and definitions related to specific phases in the sales process.
Sales Terms to Know When Prospecting
In the prospecting phase, sales professionals are actively seeking new customers. Whether you are sitting in a sales meeting being run by your manager or working the phone and email to try to land a client, the following terms apply to the prospecting part of sales.
- Lead: A potential customer who has expressed interest in a product or service.
- Lead Generation: The process of identifying and attracting potential customers.
- Opportunity: A potential sale or business opportunity.
- Cold Call: A direct outreach to a potential customer who has not previously expressed interest.
- Networking: Building relationships with potential customers, industry partners, and other stakeholders.
- Referral: A recommendation made by a current customer to someone who may be interested in your product or service.
Qualifying Your Prospects
- Qualifying a prospect: The process of evaluating a lead to determine whether they are a good fit for your product or service.
- Discovery: Part of the qualifying process. During discovery, sales professionals ask questions about the prospect’s pain points. They also try to learn if the prospect has money to spend and decision-making authority.
Presenting a Solution
- Presentation: Some prospects expect a formal presentation, along with slides, to be given in person or via video call which outlines how the sales professional’s solution will help them solve a problem.
- Unique value proposition: Sales reps must state how their solution is different from what competitors offer.
Negotiating and Closing the Deal
- The Ask: Formally asking for the sale is a step some professionals try to skip because they lack confidence or fear being rejected.
- Objection: A concern or challenge raised by a potential customer during the sales process.
- Overcoming Objections: Addressing and resolving objections raised by a potential customer during the sales process.
- Closing: The final stage of the process where the sale is finalized, and the deal is signed.
- Upsell: Offering a customer an additional product or service that complements what they have already purchased.
- Cross-sell: Offering a customer a different product or service that is related to what they have already purchased.
Best Sales Terms For Internal Conversations
Your prospects and customers won’t care about sales terms that you’ll hear your manager and colleagues discuss. But if you want to know what matters to your manager, learn these best sales terms for internal conversations.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): A technology-driven process for managing and organizing customer interactions and data.
- KPI (Key Performance Indicator): A metric used to measure the success of a particular aspect of the sales process.
- Close Rate: The percentage of leads that are successfully closed and become paying customers.
- Conversion Rate: The percentage of leads that are converted into paying customers.
- Average Deal Size: The average amount of money generated from a single sale.
- Gross Margin: The difference between the cost of goods sold and the revenue generated from the sale.
In conclusion, understanding the language and sales terminology used in sales is essential for success in this competitive field. Our list is not as long as the ones offered by other experts. Whether you are a seasoned sales professional or just starting out, familiarizing yourself with these terms will give you a strong start, help you build credibility and close more deals. Stay up to date with industry changes and advancements and never stop learning, because sales is a constantly evolving field.
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