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Glossary of Must Know Sales Terminology

Staying on top of the latest business terminology might not seem like a big deal.

But, if you work in B2B sales , it’s your job to arm yourself with all the knowledge you need to succeed.

And that means being aware of all the buzzwords within your industry.

We’ve put together a glossary of 25 key sales terms and definitions to ensure you’re speaking the right language when prospecting.

Scroll to see all 27 sales terms 👇

1) A/B testing

A/B testing is a lead gen tactic that tests how your audience responds to marketing, web pages, emails etc. Running an A/B test can help you determine if your customer likes a certain type of messaging, subject line or graphic over another.

2) Account-based marketing (ABM) 

ABM is a growth tactic where sales and marketing align to create personalised experiences for high-value accounts.

3) Business to business (B2B)

B2B is an acronym for business to business, where businesses sell products or services to one another rather than directly to consumers. This is usually a solution that can help solve pain points for the company.

4) B2B contact database

A database of contacts collected by a company. This database can include contact information on employees, customers, suppliers and more.

5) B2B compliance

There are a lot of laws in place to ensure that contact data is kept safe and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. By following these laws, you’re ensuring your company is GDPR compliant, and other businesses will be happier to work with you.

6) B2B prospecting

Lead generation starts with an important sales term - B2B prospecting. Which is how sales reps identifying potential customers and outreach to them.

7) Brand awareness

Brand awareness helps B2B businesses create customer recognition and generate leads from that recognition. Not only is it a fantastic sales term to know, but it’s an excellent tactic to use if you want your product to stand out from your competitors.

8) Buyer journey

When a prospect enters the sales funnel, they follow a buyer journey that begins with awareness, progresses to evaluation and ends with a purchase.

9) Buying signal

When prospects are close to making a buying decision, they take certain actions known in B2B sales as buying signals.

10) Business to consumer (B2C)

B2C is an acronym for business to consumer, where companies sell products directly to consumers. This typically consists of things like clothing.

11) Cadence

A sequence of cold calls and sales emails sent to prospects at specific points of their buyer journey. A cadence is designed to encourage conversions.

12) Cost of customer acquisition (CAC)

You'll hear the business term, CAC often in B2B sales.

Calculating your CAC can help you deduce the value of a customer to your organisation.

You can calculate it via the following formula:

CAC = (total amount spent for all lead generation efforts) / (total number of new customers acquired through these efforts)

13) Data enrichment

The process of cleaning, sorting and enhancing the data you’ve collected. Added information adds value to your original collection.

14) Enterprise leads

The big fish of leads. Enterprise leads is a key sales term that brings in big revenue, social proof and boosts brand awareness.

The process of attracting and converting these large businesses takes a very special strategy to what you’d use for SMB or startup leads.

15) Go-to-Market Strategy

A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a plan to define your ideal customers, coordinate your messaging, and position your product for launch.

16) Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

An ICP is a buyer persona your organisation develops to determine who you want to target your product or services to. Your ICP consists of businesses that best fit what you sell and often have the shortest buying cycles.

17) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A KPI is an important sales term that organisations use to measure performance over a set period of time. You will first establish a target and then work towards meeting that target before the end of the specified time.

18) Low-hanging fruit

Low hanging fruit is a popular buzzword used in sales and marketing that means an easily achievable set of goals or tasks. Going after low hanging fruit results in quick wins for you and your company.

19) Metrics

Like KPIs, metrics are a way to measure performance, but through B2B data analytics. Each department will measure specific metrics to gauge, improve and optimise performance.

20) RevOps

Revenue operations ( RevOps) is a new concept that companies are fast adopting to help improve their internal processes, align teams and maximise their incoming sales revenue.

21) Return on investment (ROI)

ROI is another performance indicator. However, this one is revenue-focused. It is a way for companies to establish their net profit after investing. 

You can calculate it via the following formula:

ROI = (net profit / investment cost) x 100%

22) Performance review

Each department in an organisation should have a team lead who initiates an annual performance review process for their team. The performance review will look at KPIs to determine how well the employee has worked. They can also provide feedback for improvement.

23) Sales intelligence

What is sales intelligence? It's a sales term for a range of technological solutions that help sales and marketing teams prospect to and convert potential customers.

24) Total Addressable Market (TAM)

Your TAM in marketing is the total revenue you can expect to get from your target audience.

You can calculate it via the following formula:

TAM = (annual contract value) x (number of possible accounts)

Or you can use Cognism’s free TAM calculator for fast and accurate results.

25) Value-add

A value-add is a common sales and business term for a special service, improvement or feature that makes your product or service more desirable and better to use than your competitors.

26) Hot lead

A hot lead is a customer who knows what you're selling and is interested in making a purchase. They are a lot warmer than warm leads just entering nurtures and have identified you as the best solution to fulfil their needs.

There you have it.

All 26 must-know business and sales terminology for sales leaders!

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