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Glossary of Sales Terms

Every subject matter has its own vocabulary; its own language with key terminology that you need to master in order to become fluent with that particular subject.

Sales is no different.

So, I've started this glossary of sales terms in a bid to ensure that we all use consistent terminology and understanding of those terms.

Basic Terms

Client (existing, new and new/new) - a business relationship where 1 entity buys products or services from 1 or more other companies, known as suppliers/vendors or partners (esp. Public Sector).

Client is just another name for customer.

Customer is normally a business-to-consumer expression whereas client normally refers to a business-to-business (b2B) relationship.

Outreach - proactively sending sales messages to prospective or existing clients. This can take place over a range of sales channels.

Closed Question: A question that can be answered with either a yes or a no.

Example: Are you interested in buying my service?

Open Question: a question that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.

Example: Which service are you most I nterested in buying?

Remarket is the ability to analyse who’s responded to your marketing campaign and then to “remarket” another communication in the next step along the customer journey.

Benefits - How your product or service helps your customer. Benefits help your customer either increase sales or reduce costs. If you can’t relate your stuff to either 1 of those benefits, you’re wasting your time.

Feature - this is simply what your product or service does. For example, an iPad might have an A7 chip which is very fast (feature) and you can therefore be much more productive (benefit)

Account Billing Profile

Strategic Account Plan

Executive Sponsor

Account Manager





Dwell time

Capacity to serve

Poke in the Eye


Monetisation - a method of expressing a business issue in financial terms. Eg an employee might be off-sick an average 5-days a year, which costs the firm £X per employee; if the firm has 1,000 employees, the actual cost to the firm is £1,000X in total. We are said to have monetised the problem.

Revenue Generating Activities (RGAs)

Suspect / Prospect. See this:

Bid, Tender, Proposal



Lead (Qualified / unqualified)

Close Ratio - The number of proposals you send out versus the number of proposals you win. So, if you win three out of every 10 proposals you generate and send out, that gives you a close ratio of 30%.

Conversion Rate -

Go to Market Strategy

Risk Weighting



Case Study


Strategic Account Plan - Literally, a document that sets out how you intend to work with your client over the next 12 to 36 months. Document length could be anything from 1 to 1,000 pages depending on the size/complexity of what you’re selling and who you’re selling to.

Pursuit Strategy - how you intend to “pursue” a particular deal. Such deals could be very large or are significantly different to your business as usual (“BAU”) type deals.

Negotiate - The process by which we reach an agreement with someone or many people becomes a negotiated agreement.

Negotiate involves confirming what you are going to provide and what your opposite number is going to provide as part of the deal. It does not necessarily mean that you reduce your price.

Net Promoter Score - a scale that measures the propensity of customers to recommend a particular supplier. The number range is from -100 to +100, where >0 is positive territory.

Close – the process of winning a particular deal. There are 5 main types of close in sales - trial or test, bull-dozer, summary,








Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)


CRM system


Vision Statement

Mission Statement



Sales leader - Someone who is in a leadership position in sales. Can be either an individual contributor or a senior manager in sales.

Individual Contributor - A person who contributes to an overall team target but has no direct reports themselves.

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