50 Sales Terms You Should Know

Team ThunderAct

Business deals are built on confidence. Whether you’re pitching for a new client or negotiating an important partnership with another firm, you need to build the other party’s confidence in your ability to deliver. They need to be able to trust that you know your stuff, and that they’re placing their bets on the right horse.

A powerful way to show that you have a firm grasp on sales and marketing is by mastering the vocabulary of the trade. New terms pop up all the time in this rapidly evolving field. So, sales executives and marketers need to regularly update their lingo to show peers and colleagues that they’re in the know. In this article, we give you a rundown of 50 crucial sales and marketing terms that you need to incorporate into your business lingo today.


ABC is an acronym for “Always Be Closing”, which many professionals now consider as antiquated. The mantra implies that the sole motivation behind a sales rep’s every action is only to close the deal. While it’s undeniable that KPIs and bottom lines drive sales and marketing strategies, professionals are shifting to a more customer-oriented approach that values authenticity and engagement. Therefore, a more up-to-date spin on the old acronym has been proposed - “Always Be Connecting.”


AIDA is an acronym, which summarizes the sales funnel into four steps: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.


ARR stands for Annual Recurring Revenue. This is most applicable to companies that have subscription based business models, i.e. recurring revenue. Looking at the ARR is a high level way of assessing the growth of their subscription base overtime.


Short for ‘business to business’, B2B refers to companies that sell products or services to other companies. 


Short for ‘business to consumer’, B2C refers to companies that sell products or services to individual customers.


Benefit refers to the value that a product or service provides to a consumer’s experience. This is sometimes confused with the product or service’s features. When making a pitch, sales reps should sell the benefits of the product or service, which are supported by the features. 

Bad Leads

Leads that are unlikely to convert into sales.


BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline. These are the elements sales reps and marketers take into consideration when identifying potential leads.

Bluebird Sale

An easy sale that seemingly comes right out of the blue.


This stands for Bottom of the Funnel, referring to the last stage of the sales process where you’re just about to close the deal. 

Buyer Behavior

This refers to how a consumer identifies, considers, and selects products and services.

Buyer Persona

Buyer Persona is an avatar or fictional character that represents your ideal customer. The buyer persona is endowed with the qualities, characteristics, and behavior associated with your target consumer, based on real data you have of your existing customers.

Buying Criteria

This refers to all the information a customer needs in order to make the decision to buy a product or service. Such information includes answers to questions like “What is it?”, “how much does it cost?”, and “why do I need it?”

Buying Signal

A verbal or non-verbal cue that tells you a customer is ready to make a purchase. For example, a customer might ask about modes of payment before confirming that they’re actually going to buy a product.

Churn Rate

A metric that’s calculated by dividing the number of customers you’ve lost within a certain period by the total number of customers you had within the same period. This metric allows you to assess your performance based on how many customers you retain.


A closed-won occurs when your sales rep successfully closes a deal, resulting in a sale.


A closed-lost happens when a sales rep concludes a deal in which no sale was made.

Closing Ratio

The percentage of closed-wins against the number of prospects your sales reps have attempted to close.

Cold Calling

Making unsolicited calls to potential customers, attempting to make a sale.


A commission is usually a percentage of sales revenue that’s awarded to the sales rep for successfully closing the deal.

Conversion Rate

In digital marketing, conversion rate refers to the percentage of people who completed a desired transaction on a single web page. For example, if the goal of the webpage was to get people to click on an ad, your conversion rate would tell the proportion of users who clicked on the ad against the total number of visitors that webpage had within a certain period.


When a sales rep is able to sell a complementary product or service on top of another one that a customer has decided to buy.

Corporate Identity

Corporate identity is a company’s public image, expressed through symbols, colors, logos, and slogans.


This acronym stands for ‘cost per click’. In digital marketing, this is the amount advertisers pay for each click their online ad gets.


CPL stands for ‘cost per lead’. This is a ratio of the total amount you spend on digital marketing over the number of leads this effort generates.


This acronym stands for Customer Relationship Management. This is software that lets you keep track of information and interactions with existing customers.

Data Entry

Data entry is the process of maintaining data and records on customers onto a database.


Decision-Maker refers to the person or role that is ultimately responsible for approving decisions on a sale.

Discovery Call

A discovery call is the first call a sales rep makes to a prospective customer. The sales rep’s goal is to suss out the prospect’s interest level and qualify them for the following steps in the sale process.


Features are functions that allow a product or service to accomplish a specific task for the user.


The Flywheel is a relatively new way to visualize and think about the sales process. In contrast to the more traditional marketing and sales funnel, the Flywheel encourages business growth through a continuous cycle of attracting, engaging and delighting customers.


Forecasting is the process of predicting and estimating future sales performance based on historical data.


Gatekeepers are persons or roles that facilitate or regulate the flow of information within an organization. They often play pivotal roles in getting a sales or purchase decision approved.


Leads are prospective customers who’ve shown interest in purchasing your product or service.

Lead Qualification

Lead qualification is the process of identifying potential buyers among your target customers.

Loss Leader

In sales, particularly in retail, “loss leaders” refer to products that are sold at deliberately low prices in order to attract customers to come to the store.


Margin refers to the difference between your selling price and the cost of providing your product or service.


Mark-Up is the amount you add to your selling price to cover your overhead costs and turn a profit.


NPS stands for Net Promoter Score. This is a metric that measures how likely your customers might recommend your product or service to others.


In sales, an objection is a customer’s challenge to any benefits you claim your product or service to have.


An opportunity refers to a target customer who’s currently being qualified as a sales lead.

Pain Point

Identifying a customer’s pain points means recognizing their needs, which your product or service can fulfill.


In sales, a pipeline refers to the procedural steps that sales reps go through when converting a lead into a paying customer.


Prospecting is the process of seeking out potential customers.

Qualified Lead

A qualified lead is a target customer who’s shown interest and opted to receive information about your company’s products and services.


Quota refers to the target number of sales that sales reps need to meet over a certain period.


Smarketing is the process of aligning sales and marketing goals and activities.

Social Selling

Social selling refers to how sales reps use social media platforms to interact with potential customers.

Sound Bite

A sound bite refers to certain words or phrases that sales reps can fall back on when responding to a customer objection.

Value Proposition

Value proposition refers to the benefits of the product or service you’re offering, which make it stand out from what your competitors have to offer.

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