Sales terms everyone should know

Understanding the terminology can help engagement with colleagues and improve communication with clients. (Rawpixel pic)

Every line of work has its own terminology and sales is no exception. Understanding commonly used words and phrases helps you to engage with colleagues and communicate clearly with clients.

Here’s a glossary of sales terms you’ll find handy:

1. Warm call: This can be a sales call, visit or email that is preceded by contact with the potential prospect or customer, instead of a direct mail campaign, an introduction at a business event or referral.

2. Value proposition: A summary of the benefits of a product or service to make it more enticing to potential buyers and which differentiates it from competitors.

3. Value-added reseller (VAR): A company that provides additional features or services to an existing product, then resells it to end users as an integrated product or complete solution.

4. Up-sell: A sales technique whereby a seller induces the customer to purchase more items, upgrades or additional add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale.

5. Territory: The market area for which a salesperson or a sales team is responsible. Territories can be determined by specific market segments, sales potential, history, geography or a combination of various factors.

6. Sales process: The measurable, consistent, and systematic series of steps that map out and monitor interaction with prospects from their first engagement until the closing of an opportunity.

7. Sales methodology: The learned tactics, behaviours and strategies utilised by the sales team to initiate and fulfil the sales process professionally and conversationally.

8. System integrator (SI): An individual or business that sets up a computing system for clients by combining software and hardware products from various vendors.

9. Synergistic selling/cross-selling: A sales representative who has more than a single type of product to offer consumers that can be beneficial, and they succeeded in selling to a consumer more than a single item either at the time of purchase or later on.

10. SPIN selling: SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication and Need-payoff. The methodology explains the science behind consultative selling or, rather, introducing an offer to a potential client based systematically on the client’s pain points, utilising a powerful questioning process.

11. SMB: An abbreviation that stands for small and medium-sized business. A business with 100 or fewer employees is considered small, while a company with 100-999 employees is considered medium-sized.

12. SLED: An abbreviation for State, Local government and Education customers.

Software as a service makes applications hosted by a vendor available to businesses. (Rawpixel pic)

13. SaaS: An abbreviation for software as a service, a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or a service provider and made accessible to customers over a network, mainly for the internet.

14. Social selling: When a sales representative uses social media to engage directly with their prospects.

15. SDR: An abbreviation for sales development representative, a type of inside sales representative who focuses on outbound prospecting.

16. Solution selling: A sales methodology that focuses on the consumer’s problems that addresses the issues with proper offerings in the form of products or services, instead of just promoting an existing product.

17. Sandbagging: Holding onto a deal to gain credit for it in the desired reporting period.

18. Pipeline: The step-by-step sales process that every representative has to go through to convert a prospect into a customer. It can also refer to a visual representation of the sales process, where every open opportunity is arranged based on the sales stage it is at.

19. Platform as a service (PaaS): A category of cloud computing services that provides a platform for customers to develop, run and manage web applications without the dealing with the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure associated with developing and launching an app.

20. Pain point: A prospects’ pain point is the most essential thing for any sales representative to identify in the selling process. Without understanding a prospect’s pain points, they cannot offer benefits to help resolve those problems.

21. On-target earnings (OTE): It implies that if the person hits all their targets, they could earn a certain amount that includes their basic pay, commissions, bonuses or any other variable components to their total cash income.

The products of an OEM are used as components in another company’s products. (Pixabay pic)

22. OEM: A company whose products are used as components in another company’s product. Companies that engage in OEM include Sony, Dell and ASUS.

23. Non-compete: A clause is an employment contract that limits the employees’ ability to work for a competitor or solicit business from existing customer accounts.

24. Managed service provider (MSP): A company that remotely manages a customer’s IT infrastructure and/or end-user system, mainly on a pro-active basis and under a subscription model.

25. Ideal customer profile (ICP): A set of environmental, demographic and market segment traits shared by customers most considered to be profitable for a specific business offering.

26. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): A form of cloud computing that provides virtualised computing resources on the internet. The model is essentially a third-party provider that hosts hardware, software, servers, storage and various infrastructure components on behalf of its users.

27. Customer relationship management (CRM): A software that allows companies to keep track of everything they manage with their existing and potential customers.

28. BANT: A sales formula developed by IBM to determine how qualified a lead is to work with a company and determine which leads should be prioritised. The framework consists of Budget, Authority, Needs and Timeline.

29. Business to business (B2B): A company whose primary effort is selling to and conducting business with other businesses.

30. Business-to-consumer (B2C): A company whose primary effort is selling and conducting business with consumers or with individual users. Examples include solar energy, cars, repairs and insurance.

31. Door-to-door sales (D2D): The process of obtaining, recording, and maintaining information to be utilised later.

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