B2B Sales – Terms and Definitions

Download Sales Lexicon

As you go digging into sales strategies and sales models, you will encounter a whole new language that is acronym rich!

For several years now I have been keeping a document where I will jot down a new term and then find an explanation or a definition.

Seeing as it has been some time since I have had an opportunity to add to it, I feel it is complete enough to share. Do feel free to contact us at any time to dig into any of these items and how they might fit with your business.

If there are terms that I missed, please let me know, I can add them in the 2.0 version of the document.

I can also send this to you as a PDF document.

Sales Lexicon

ABM (Account Based Marketing):  the predefined criteria usually represent a company’s Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), a holistic representation of the types of companies that best fit their product offerings or services. This goes back to the important distinction of ABM – the focus is on targeting companies, not individuals. (Not buying personas)

ACV: (Annual Contract Value)

AE (Account Executive):  a sales representative, typically considered the “closer”

AM (Account Manager):  a sales representative that manages existing customers, generally looks for contract renewals and business expansion opportunities

ARR: (Annual Recurring Revenue)

Artificial Intelligence for Sales:  the near future!  From auto logging fields in a CRM system or working from voice prompts, to analyzing customers and past sales for potential new deals, helping set pricing levels, profiling an opportunity against the ideal customer profile or forecasting.  AI can enable enhancing selling rather than displacing it.

B2B (Business to Business):   is the exchange of products, services or information between businesses, rather than between businesses and consumers (B2C). A B2B transaction is conducted between two companies, such as wholesalers and online retailers.

B2C (Business to Consumer): refers to the tactics and strategies in which a company promotes its products and services to individual people: creating, advertising, and selling products for customers to use in their everyday lives.

BDR (Business Development Rep):  qualifies opportunities for outside sales, in larger sales model there may be MDRs (inbound) and SDRs (outbound)

BOFU / Bottom of the Funnel:  inbound marketing concept, a potential customer in the sales funnel that has been engaging with your content and yourself that may be ready to move to a trial, paid trial, etc.  See also MOFU and TOFU.

Buying Cycle:  is the process a customer goes through when purchasing a product or service. Customers move through a series of purchasing stages in the cycle as they educate themselves and move closer to making a final purchasing decision. (Also see Sales Process).

Content Marketing:  is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to: attract attention and generate leads, expand their customer base and generate or increase online sales.

Customer Journey: is a map of the route a customer takes from the time they first encounter your brand to the time they make a purchase.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV or CLV):  a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM):  strategies and practices typically embodied in a technology to track and analyze customer organizations.  Used in conjunction with a Sales Process it can complement a Sales Pipeline approach.

CSM (Customer Success Manager):  proactively drive adoption and net retention. Depending on the company’s maturity, the CSM may be initially responsible for onboarding, quarterly business reviews, support, training, and renewals. 

Digital Marketing:  the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.

Discovery Call:  a phone call to understand the details of a prospect’s situation. On the other side, prospects want to leave a discovery call knowing who you are and what your company is all about. They might have specific questions about a product feature or a term

Demand Generation:  targeted marketing activities to drive awareness and interest in a company’s offerings

Digital Native:  someone born after the common use of digital technologies

E-Commerce:  is software that enables the commercial process of buying and selling over the internet. An e-commerce platform needs a search feature that lets customers find a specific product, a cart feature that lets them manage their order, and a payment feature.

Electronic Order:  not E-Commerce!  An electronic order is an order generated and sent in electronic format. … They are used to complete a flow of electronic messages that automate the purchasing process: ordering, delivery notification and invoicing. 

ERP:  Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back-office functions related to technology, services and human resources

Hybrid Sales:  an evolved sales role where the sales representative does a dominant share of their work via phone, email, video conference and other tools but will also do face to face calls.

Ideal Customer Profile (ICP):  is a categorical description of a customer that would benefit immensely from your offering and provide you with significant value in exchange.

Inside Sales: is the process of selling from an office via phone, email or online, rather than traveling to meet clients.

Lead:  is someone who may be interested in a product or service that you provide. A lead is a person who has provided at least some basic information that suggests a potential interest in buying from you.

Lead Scoring:  reconciling attributes against results is what will allow you to create a formulaic lead qualification process

Market Map:  a representation of categories of current or potential customers for a good or service based on demographics, geography and other factors. A market map may also display the positioning of a product in the market, to indicate successful areas of market penetration and potential untapped areas for market expansion

Marketplace:  a form of e-commerce that showcases different brands of products coming from different vendors, shops or persons all showcased on the same platform.

MDR (Market Development Rep) also see (BDR) and (SDR):  specialized sales reps that focus on inbound prospects and marketing qualified leads (MQLs). MDRs will take inbound phone calls, chats, and respond to contact forms/ticket inquiries to assess qualification of a prospect’s needs to the solution or product being sold.

MOFU / Middle of the Funnel:  inbound marketing concept, a potential customer in the sales funnel who has begun to engage, i.e. submitted detail for receipt of content.  See also BOFU and TOFU.

MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead):  is a website visitor whose engagement levels indicate that he is likely to become a customer. … Each type of interaction is assigned a lead score, a metric that is intended to help sales and marketing personnel determine where the visitor is in the buying cycle.

ONB (Onboarding Manager):  specialist role who drive initial deployment. They support the initial setup of the customer’s account and support the enablement of key moments at the beginning of the customer journey. 

Outside Sales:  the sales of products or services by sales personnel that physically go out into the field to meet with prospective customers.

Pipeline Growth:  marketing fuels the pipeline, SDRs qualify the leads and hand off prospects to sales

Prospect:  the main difference between a lead and a prospect is that your lead has moved beyond one-way communication and has now engaged with you. Such two-way communication suggests that the lead has real potential to buy from you.

Qualified Lead:  at many B2B companies, leads are further broken down into marketing-qualified and sales-qualified leads. No matter how basic or advanced the funnel, teams must answer the same question: “When does it make sense for sales to step in and reach out?”

SaaS:  Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts application and makes them available to customers over the Internet.

Sales Development Rep (SDR) also see (BDR) (MDR):  an individual that qualifies and warms leads before turning them over to an account executive.  SDRs are primarily focused on outbound email and phone call activity. Successful SDRs are sending 25–50 highly personalized emails a day, making 75–100 calls per day, and setting as many appointments/demos for their Sales Rep Team (closers). Podcasts talk of ratios in terms of 2 SDRs: 1 AE

Sales Enablement:  the process of providing the people in your sales organization with information and tools they need to sell more effectively

Sales Engagement:  equipping your sales team with strategic resources it needs to excel, from tools to technology to content and beyond.

Sales Funnel:  movement of a potential customer through a company’s sales process, includes:  suspect, lead and prospect.  Sales funnel stages — generally framed more from the buyer’s point of view — are typically labeled along the lines of awareness, consideration, and conversion. See also TOFU, MOFU, BOFU

Sales Methodology: is a framework that outlines how your sellers approach each phase of the sales process. In simple terms it is steps learned in a sales training course.

Sales Model:   is a general framework that defines an organization’s high-level approach to selling. Common sales models for B2B companies include inbound sales, outbound sales, account-based sales, relationship-based (or relational sales), and team sales.

Sales Pipeline:  encompasses every stage of a company’s sales process. An opportunity moves from stage to stage of the pipeline based on concrete actions, which are typically tracked and reported (most commonly in a CRM system).

Sales Process:  is a set of repeatable steps that a sales person takes to take a prospective buyer from the early stage of awareness to a closed sale.

Sales Stack: (also known as a sales technology stack) is a term for all of the sales software (typically cloud-based) that a particular sales team utilizes.

SQL (Sales Qualified Lead):  A prospective customer that has been researched and vetted — first by an organization’s marketing department and then by its sales team – and is deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process

Suspect: include anyone who could potentially buy from you but haven’t yet indicated an interest. 

Telemarketing: the marketing of goods or services by means of telephone calls, typically unsolicited, to potential customers.

Telesales:  the selling of goods or services over the telephone.

TOFU / Top of the Funnel:  Inbound marketing concept, a prospect just entering the sales funnel that may be starting to engage with content.  See also MOFU and BOFU.

Virtual Sales:  is where sales conversations occur entirely online rather than in person, usually through video. This includes having sales meetings through video calls or communicating with prospects through video messages.

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