Learn sales terms, acronyms, and industry jargon

Get up to speed on the terms you need to know as a sales professional.

ABC (Always Be Closing)

ABC means "Always Be Closing" and is a motivational mantra. It's generally used for aggressive sales strategies focused on "getting to a close" or sometimes as a joke among sales teams.

ACV (Average Contract Value)

ACV, or Annual Contract Value, is a metric used in sales to calculate the total revenue generated from a single customer's contract. It helps businesses understand the financial performance of each customer.

AE (Account Executive)

An Account Executive (or AE) the sales person responsible for managing and nurtinrg relationships with clients or key accounts. They are often the primary point of contact for existing accounts and responsible for closing new deals.

AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)

AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. It is a popular framework for interacting with a customer or for marketing tasks, like copywriting.

ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue)

ARR stands for Annual Recurring Revenue. It represents the total yearly revenue a company expects to generate from recurring customer charges. ARR is a key metric for subscription-based business models.

Accepted Lead

An Accepted Lead is a potential sales prospect that has been evaluated and deemed worthy of pursuing by the sales team.


An Account, in sales, refers to a specific customer or client that a business has a commercial relationship with.


B2B, short for Business-to-Business, refers to a business that sells products or services direclty to other businesses instead of individual customers.


B2C, short for Business-to-Consumer, referrs to a business that sells products or services direclty to the indivual consumer, rather than to other company entities.

BANT framework

BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline. The BANT framework is a sales qualification methodology used to determine if leads or prospects are a good fit.

BDR (Business Development Representative)

BDR stands for "Business Development Representative." A BDR is a member of the sales team who focuses on generating new opportunities by initiateing contact and setting up meetings for the Account Executives.

Bluebird Sales

"Bluebird sales" are the lucky, easy wins that land in a salesperson's lap without much hustle. They happen when customers come knocking or referrals lead to effortless sales success.

CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)

CAC stands for "Customer Acquisition Cost," measuring the total expenses a company incurs to gain a new customer. It helps businesses track the cost-effectiveness of their customer acquisition strategies.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

CRM stands for "Customer Relationship Management." It's a software to manage interactions with customers, sales, and record customer data. Popular CRM's are Salesforce, Hubspot, and Pipedrive.

Challenger Sales

"Challenger sales" is a sales method that focuses on understanding the customer's business, delivering new insights, and disrupting their thinking by teaching them something, not just selling them something.


In sales, a "Champion" is an internal advocate within the prospect's organization who passionately promotes the product or service to decision-makers, boosting the chances of closing the deal.

Churn rate

"Churn rate" is the rate at which customers or subscribers stop using a product or service over a specific period. It helps businesses understand customer retention and the impact of customer attrition on their overall performance


"Closed-lost" describes the status of a deal or opportunity that has not resulted in a successful sale. It indicates that the opportunity is closed, and the prospect decided not to proceed with the purchase.


"Closed-won" is the status of a deal or opportunity that has resulted in a successful sale! It indicates that the deal is closed, and the prospect proceeded with a purchase.


Commission is the extra cash or bonus salespeople earn as a percentage or fixed amount of the sales revenue they generate. It is used as an incentive to keep sales people motivated.


"Cross-selling" is a sales technique where a seller suggests or offers additional products or services to a customer that complement or enhance their initial purchase. It aims to increase the value of the customer's order.

Customer success

Customer success is a part of the business focused on ensuring that customers achieve their desired outcomes and get true value from the business. It involves proactive efforts to support and guide customers throughout their journey, leading to better satisfaction and retention.

Decision Maker

The decision maker is the individual with the authority to make final purchasing choices and decisions within an organization. Identifying and engaging with the decision maker is crucial, as they have the ability to approve or reject a purchase.

Demand generation

Demand Generation is the marketing strategies and activities aimed at creating demand (awareness and interest) for a product or service among potential customers.


A Demo is a presentation of a product or service offered by a salesperson, often an Account Executive, to help a prospect better understand how the product and meet their specific needs and solve their problems.

Discovery call

A "Discovery call" is the first talk between a salesperson and a potential customer. The salesperson gathers vital info about the customer's needs and preferences to decide if their product or service is a good match, setting the stage for a more tailored sales approach.

EQL (Expansion Qualified Lead)

EQL or "Expansion Qualified Lead" is the less common cousin term of MQL & SQL. An EQL is an existing customer that through product usage data or a recent company news update has shown the potential to be upsold to a higher tier or larger contract.


"Enterprise" refers to a large and established organization or business entity, typically characterized by its size, scope, and extensive operations. It often involves multiple departments, significant resources, and a broad customer base.

GTM (Go-to-Market)

GTM stands for "Go-to-Market" and refers to the full strategic process to bring a new product or service to the market sucessfully. GTM includes planning, marketing, sales, and distribution efforts to drive product adoption and revenue growth.

GTN (Go-To-Network)

GTN stands for "Go-to-Network" and refers to the process of building and leveraging your personal network to drive product adoption and revenue growth. As opposed to traditional GTM strategies, it focuses more on developing, value add relationships before pushing for the sale.


A "Gatekeeper" is a person, often an administrative assistant or similar, who controls access to higher-level executives in a company. In sales, getting on good terms with gatekeepers can help reach decision-makers and move the sales process forward.

ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)

"Ideal Customer Profile" or ICP is a detailed description of the perfect customer for a business. It helps companies target the right audience and tailor their offerings to meet the needs of their most desirable customers, for more efficient sales and marketing efforts.

Inbound sales

Inbound Sales is a sales motion (approach) where potential customers initiate contact with the company first. It is often focused on online marketing efforts, to bring leads in via content or website traffic and then to convert them into customers.

Inside Sales

Inside Sales is a sales model where sales people connect with customers remotely, using phone, email, or video calls instead of face-to-face meetings. It's used to reach more people and handle a larger number of leads efficiently.

Instant Calls

Instant Calls is a sales approach where incoming leads are connected directly to a sales person via an Instant Video Call. It's a powerful way to speed up the sales cycle and increase conversion rates.

Instant Lead Routing

Instant Lead Routing is a process where incoming leads are automatically and immediately directed to the most appropriate salesperson or team, using automated rules via software.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a measurable number that helps businesses keep track of how well they're doing and if they're reaching their goals. KPIs can be company-wide (ex: ARR growth) or individual (ex: meetings booked per week)

LTV (Customer Lifetime Value)

LTV stands for "Customer Lifetime Value." IT estimates how much revenue a customer will bring to a company over their entire relationship.


A "Lead" is a potential customer who has shown interest in a product or service. It is usually the first stage in the sales process, and the goal is to further engage and qualify the lead to determine if they are a good fit for the business's offerings.

Lead Handoff

"Lead Handoff" is when a potential customer, or lead, gets passed from one team or rep to another within a company. It generally happens when the lead is qualified and ready for the next stage of the sales process.

Lead generation

Lead generation is the process of identifying and attracting potential customers for a business. The goal is to convert prospects into a qualified leads that can be nurtured and converted into customers.

Lead qualification

"Lead qualification" is the process of figuring out if a potential customer is a good fit for the company. It involves checking if they're genuinely interested, have the budget and authority to buy, and match the company's offerings. The goal is to focus the sales team on leads with the best chances of becoming successful sales, saving time and resources.

Lead routing

"Lead routing" is he process of directing potential customers, or leads, to the right salesperson or team in a company. The goal is to make sure each lead gets handled by the best person for the job, improving the chances of turning them into customers

Lead scoring

Lead scoring is a method to rank potential customers, or leads, to find the most promising leads based on factors like interest and engagement (for example, website visits or email responses).

Lifecycle Management

Lifecycle Management in sales is a systematic way sales teams handle customers from the first contact to after the sale. It involves nurturing leads, guiding them through the sales process, and providing ongoing support.


MEDDPICC is a sales qualification framework used to assess potential deals or opportunities in a structured manner. It stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identified Pain, Champion, and Competition.

MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)

MQL stands for "Marketing Qualified Lead." It's a potential customer who the marketing team thinks is likely interested in the company's product or service and could convert with proper nurturing.

MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue)

MRR stands for "Monthly Recurring Revenue." It's the total revenue a company makes every month from its subscription-based customers. MRR helps businesses understand their monthly income and growth trends.

Mid Market

Mid-market describes businesses that are in between small and large companies in size and revenue. It has no definitive metrics, but many companies will define this segment for themselves and focus on it for growth opportunities.

NDA (Non-disclosure agreement)

NDA stands for "Non-Disclosure Agreement." It's a legal contract used to keep sensitive information private and prevent it from being shared with others without permission.

NPS (Net promoter score)

NPS stands for "Net Promoter Score." It measures how likely customers are to recommend a company's product or service to others based on a score calculated from survey responses.

NRR (Net Revenue Retention)

NRR stands for "Net Revenue Retention." It measures how much a company's revenue grew from existing customers after accounting for upsells, cross-sells, churn, and downgrades. NRR helps understand how well a business retains and expands its customer base, showing the overall health of its revenue.


Niche is a specialized and very specific market within a bigger industry. It's where businesses focus on serving a particular group of customers with tailored products or services.

OTE (On-target earnings)

OTE stands for "On-Target Earnings." It represents the total compensation or earnings (including base salary, bonuses, and commissions) that a salesperson can expect to receive if they meet their sales targets or goals.

Outbound sales

Outbound Sales is when salespeople actively reach out to potential customers, like making cold calls or sending emails/messages, to introduce products or services and create opportunities for sales. The aim is to engage prospects and persuade them to consider making a purchase or taking the next step.

Outside sales

Outside sales is when sales representatives meet and engage with customers in person, outside of the company's office. They visit clients' locations or meet them face-to-face to make sales.

PIP (Performance improvement plan)

PIP stands for "Performance Improvement Plan." It's a structured process used by employers to help employees who are not meeting expectations. The plan sets clear goals and provides support to improve performance, but it can also lead to further actions if improvement doesn't happen.

PLG (Product-Led Growth)

"Product Led Growth" (PLG) is a strategy where the product itself drives customer acquisition and retention (usually instead of a Sales-led approach). The focus is on creating a product experience that encourages customers to spread the word, leading to organic business growth.


In sales, "pipeline" refers to the sequence of stages that a potential customer goes through from initial contact to becoming a customer. It helps sales teams track and manage leads as they convert prospects into successful sales.


A prospect is a potential customer who has shown interest in a company's product or service but hasn't bought anything yet. Prospects are the people the sales team tries to turn into paying customers.


A Quota is a sales target set for salespeople or teams for the amount of sales they should achieve in a specific time, like a month or a year. Meeting or surpassing quotas will impact their compensation and evaluations.

RFP (Request for Proposal)

"RFP" stands for "Request for Proposal." Companies use RFPs to ask potential vendors to submit proposals for their products or services. The RFP includes requirements and criteria and are used to compare bids and choose the best vendor for the company's needs.

Revenue Operations (RevOps)

Revenue Operations is a strategic model that brings sales, marketing, and customer success teams together to improve revenue generation and retention.

Round Robin

Round-robin is a sales distribution method where leads are assigned or rotated evenly among team members one by one, sequentially.

SDR (sales development representative)

SDR stands for "Sales Development Representative." They are part of the sales team and focus on finding potential customers. SDRs reach out to prospects, set up meetings for account executives, and ensure a steady stream of leads for the sales team to work with.

SE (sales engineer)

Sales Engineers (SE) provide technical support throughout the sales process. In pre-sales, they build out and share a technical demo and respond to objections. Post sale, they are critical in implementation and onboarding.

SLA (Service level agreement)

SLA stands for "Service Level Agreement." It's a contract that sets out the level of service and support the provider will give. SLAs help manage expectations and maintain service quality.

SLG (Sales led growth)

"Sales-led growth" is a GTM strategy where the sales team takes the lead in driving customer acquisition and revenue growth. The focus is on prospecting, nurturing, and closing deals to increase the customer base and generate revenue.


SMB stands for "Small and Medium-sized Business," while SME stands for "Small and Medium-sized Enterprise." Both terms refer to companies that fall within a certain size range in terms of their number of employees, annual revenue, or other financial metrics. The exact criteria for what defines an SMB or SME may vary from company to company.

SQL (sales qualified lead)

An SQL (Sales qualified lead) is a potential customer that has shown buying intent & interest and has been identified as qualified to convert into a paying customer. The marketing will hand off an SQL to the sales team to close the deal.

Sales Cycle

Sales Cycle refers to the length of the full journey a potential customer goes through when making a purchase. It includes different steps like lead generation, qualification, presentation, negotiation, and finally, closing the deal.

Sales Playbook

A sales playbook is a collection of useful resources and best practices that helps sales teams. It includes info about the company, products, target customers, and sales strategies. Salespeople use it to improve their performance, handle different scenarios, and close deals more effectively.

Sales acceleration

Sales acceleration refers to the process of speeding up and optimizing the sales cycle using technology, automation, and other processes. The goal of sales acceleration is to shorten sales cycles, boost productivity, and ultimately drive revenue growth for the company.

Sales enablement

Sales enablement is the approach of equipping sales teams with tools, resources, and training to increase their effectiveness and efficiency.

Sales methodology

Sales methodology is a structured approach that guides how salespeople interact with potential customers. It outlines the steps and techniques for engaging, understanding customer needs, and closing deals.

Sales process

The sales process is the set of specific steps salespeople follow to turn potential customers into buyers. It includes things like finding leads, qualifying them, making presentations, handling objections, negotiating, and closing the sale.

Social selling

Social selling is a sales approach that uses social media to connect with potential customers, build relationships, and drive sales. Salespeople use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to share helpful content, interact with prospects, and provide personalized solutions for better sales results.

Spin Selling

"SPIN selling" is a sales technique developed by Neil Rackham. It stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff. In SPIN selling, salespeople ask questions to uncover the prospect's specific situation, challenges, and the implications of those challenges.


A territory is a specific area assigned to a salesperson or team to sell products or services. It helps organize the market and lets sales teams focus on a defined group of customers.


Upselling is a sales approach to try to encourage an existing customer to buy extra or upgraded items. The goal is to increase the customer's NRR and overall LTV

Value proposition (or UVP - Unique Value Proposition)

A Value Proposition (or Unique Value Proposition - UVP) is a statement that shows why a product or service is unique and valuable to customers. It explains how it solves their problems or meets their needs better than competitors. A good value proposition helps attract customers and sets the product apart in the market.

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