There’s a huge number of technical and informal B2B sales and marketing terms. New terms are created by companies too keeping us all on our toes.
Therefore whether you’re in an office or working from home, it’s essential to get a good handle on the terms used as soon as possible.
This glossary has been compiled to give you an overall understanding of B2B sales and marketing terms. So here’s our complete list of the words and phrases used in sales and marketing right now…
AKA Split Testing. A type of experiment in marketing in which two different versions of something are produced. They are shown at the same time to the same number of people. The rate of conversions for both versions are then compared.
Types of account include ‘Key Account’, ‘Strategic Account’ and ‘Major Account’. Accounts can be defined by the frequency of purchases they make. Job roles include Account Executives and Account Managers.
Account-based Selling (ABS)
Selling is to contacts in groups of target accounts rather than to individual contacts. B2B sales and marketing efforts are coordinated and have personalised outreach.
Account-based Marketing (ABM)
Marketing efforts are directed toward specific target accounts in account-based marketing. B2B sales and marketing produce personalised marketing for the specific accounts. The goal is to ensure that accounts have the best customer experience and to increase B2B sales.
Attention/Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA) Model
The AIDA/AIDAR model is one of the most commonly used marketing models. It involves mapping the stages a customer goes through when making purchases.
The stages in AIDA are:
Attention/Awareness – of the company brand and products
Interest – for the company’s products and looking into them further
Desire – the emotions associated with wanting something
Action – calls to action by the customer such as making a purchase
Retention – can be added in the ‘AIDAR’ model to focus on customer loyalty.
Average Contract Value (ACV)
Calculating the mean revenue per year, for one customer’s contract. Contracts which bring in revenue beyond one year can be summarised per year. It is a metric or key performance indicator used to measure the company’s yearly revenue.
Call to Action (CTA)
A ‘call to action’ is an instruction given to prospective customers. An example is visitors of a company’s website may be prompted to sign up for a product demonstration. Also internal linking in a website is also a CTA. These leads can then be followed up by sales teams and there is a higher likelihood of a sale being closed.
B2B marketing strategies are planned in advance. Campaigns can include using a company’s marketing copy or creating new marketing copy for distribution. Materials can be posted via specific channels at certain times over a defined duration of time. The aim of a B2B marketing campaign could be to increase awareness of a company’s brand or drive sales.
Challenger Sales Model
The Challenger Sales Model is a sales strategy in which the seller teaches the sales prospects. In this there can be discussions or debates, and the seller demonstrates they know their pain points and solutions well. This approach can be used in some circumstances to close more deals.
AKA Sales Champion, Customer Champion or Consumer Champion. A prospective customer who actively recommends a company’s services in their company. Their influence and recommendations can close a deal on the seller’s behalf. The champion can influence winning deals within their organisation when the seller is absent.
A channel partner is a third party company who sells another company’s products. The channel partner markets and sells products using their infrastructure. Channel partners can sell on behalf of manufacturers/vendors for example.
This is the model or method of selling via a channel partner. Instead of selling products directly to the consumer, a company uses a third party company known as a channel partner. The channel partner can market, sell and distribute the products themselves. This is common with manufacturing companies, such as pharmaceutical companies who work with wholesalers.
AKA Rate of Attrition or Customer Churn. This is a measure of the number of customers who are lost. This can be found by establishing the number of customers who stop using a product/service, depending on the item. Also finding the number of customers who stop purchasing the product/service can be used as well.
These numbers are measured over a certain period of time to establish the rate, e.g. yearly churn rate. If the churn rate is greater than customer acquisition, the productivity from selling the product/service is in decline.
Click-through Rate (CTR)
This is found by establishing the percentage of people who click on a website link that appears in a search engine results page (SERP). The number of appearances of the website link in search engine results is known as the impressions. The percentage of ‘clicks’ on that website divided by the number of ‘impressions’, as a percentage, measures the click-through rate.
Organic click-through rate refers to the number of website visitors who clicked on an organic link. Organic links are web pages which appear in a search engine results page without being a paid advertisement.
AKA Click-to-Dial, Click-to-Chat, Click-to-Talk, Click-to-Text. Click-to-call refers to an online tool which websites can use. It is a button which prospective customers can click to talk with a sales rep for example. This digital technology can help close deals by providing instant support, answers and good customer service.
Someone who pays for a service from a company or individual. This can be on a continued basis, unlike a customer who may make a one-off purchase. Clients usually have agreements with the sellers, such as a financial, contractual agreement for a set period of time.
This is the stage in the sales funnel where a sales opportunity has agreed to become a customer. Contracts are then signed and the opportunity becomes a customer of the company. It is the opposite of ‘closed lost’.
Questions which are close-ended are formulated to encourage finite responses. An example of this type of questioning could include “How long have you used this?”. Questions that entice ‘yes or no’ answers are also closed-ended. This method of questioning helps to establish someone’s exact position on a matter.
A type of communication where there has not been prior communication between two parties. Examples include cold calls or cold emails. Cold leads have not shown prior interest in the company via means like visiting their website. The aim of the outreach could be to set up a further call to discuss their needs.
A type of payment which is paid to employees in some roles such as sales representatives. The payment is often a certain percentage of a deal which was closed by that employee.
A marketing strategy in which a company’s product or service is compared with that of a competitor’s to show more benefit for the item being marketed.
This is the total amount of pay an employee of a company can receive. The pay includes their base salary, any commission payments, and other payments which they receive such as bonuses.
AKA Sales Contact. A contact is a sales lead who has engaged with the seller’s company. They may have had contact directly or via the company’s content for example.
Content describes the work that a company publishes as their marketing material. It can take many forms such as long-form copy in a website blog, or a video. It is useful for generating interest for a company, increasing engagement and generating leads.
A conversion occurs when a sales lead performs a desired action, such as paying for a company’s product. It can be measured by dividing the number of people who completed the action, by the total number of website visitors, in a given time. The conversion rate is a metric which can track the success of a campaign. The conversion path describes how a sales lead converts to being a customer.
Different payments can be made to purchase advertisements on the internet. Cost-per-click (CPC) is the cost of having a paid advertisement as pay-per click (PPC), divided by the number of clicks. Cost-per-impression (CPI) is per appearance of the ad.
A sales strategy where another product or service is sold alongside another sale. Such as offering insurance for the main product which is being sold.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
This is the total costs associated with obtaining a new paying customer for a company. It can include the costs of marketing, equipment, packaging, etc.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Customer lifetime value is the amount of money which is expected to be paid by an entity on your products or services over their lifetime.
This is a metric in customer success. It is defined by the continued use of a product or service by a customer, due to positive outcomes being experienced by the buyer.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM is technology which contains information of interactions between a company and their clients/sales leads. It is an effective way to streamline all communications with customers.
This is a department which deals with managing existing customers to ensure continued loyalty, as well as promoting more products and services which they may need. Roles include Customer Success Representative or Manager.
A dashboard is a visualisation of a team’s metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs) and data. Dashboards display a company’s performance for specified criteria over time. They are used in both Sales and Marketing teams.
AKA Data Appending. Tools or processes are used to enhance datasets in a number of ways. Adding external data, updating information, cleaning datasets and deduping (removing duplicates) are all methods in data enrichment.
Refers to marketing content which is easy to read. It can include anything which is viewed or listened to such as written copy which is very short, clear and concise.
When two companies are targeting the same target audience and are selling the same products/services, they are in direct competition with each other.
A form of marketing where adverts or content reach the consumer themselves directly by the company themselves. The marketing is not delivered via a third party individual or organisation.
Discovery calls are an important component of B2B sales. It is a phone call with a sales lead who has been contacted by the company beforehand. The aim of this call is to establish the sales lead’s needs, pain points and to inform future B2B sales and marketing communications.
Any hyperlink with the DoFollow HTML tag allows ‘link juice’ to flow to the site. This can increase the website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) authority, which can increase their search engine page rank. This depends on how reputable the referring website is.
A marketing strategy in which marketing copy is published regularly and at defined times. The copy is sent out to constantly be reaching target audiences. Various marketing channels can be used.
A metric used to measure performance of campaigns. It is the total number of interactions such as ‘likes’ or page views, divided by the total number of people in the outreach.
Evergreen content is a term which describes invaluable content to a marketing team. This value is sustained over time, and is highly useful and effective.
Features, Advantages and Benefits (FAB)
An analysis/model which explores a product or service’s characteristics, why it’s a good solution, and why it’s good overall. This helps both Sales and Marketing teams to sell the product/service effectively.
A method of segmenting companies based on various factors to inform more targeted outreach. This could be through company size, structure or industry for example.
In sales and marketing, friction is anything which slows a potential customer in their buying journey. This can be through ineffective marketing or through sales channels for example.
A descriptive word for an individual who poses as a barrier between a sales representative for example in another company, and a key decision-maker in the targeted company. This role is often a Secretary or Personal Assistant.
Historic Customer Life Value (CLV)
The sum of all of a customer’s previous purchases from your company to date. This is the current amount or ‘customer lifetime value’ for an entity.
A product or service which is useful to many different buyers in a population. It is something which can be used in different industries rather than only being useful to a niche group of buyers in society. Vertical is the opposite and refers to a narrow target audience.
A hot lead is a potential customer or sales prospect who intends to buy your product or service within the next few months, typically next three months.
An all-in-one multi-channel sales and marketing automation platform. It has features such as personalisation. Such as automated LinkedIn messages and emails. Many integrations are possible with other software to increase streamlining of sales processes.
Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
An outline of the factors which your target companies would have. They describe the companies who are most likely to benefit from a product or service for sale by the company. This is used to inform marketing efforts.
A metric which measures the number of appearances of a particular web page, website or blog in a search engine. It refers to how many times the link to the page has been displayed in search engine queries. It is used to calculate the click-through rate (CTR).
AKA Substitutes. Businesses who have the same target audience such as the same companies in B2B sales. They also both solve the same problems as each other, but market different products.
A visual representation of data or information. Infographics can include tables, graphs, polls, etc. They are particularly useful at showing the outcomes of research in social media platforms.
Different processes or software which are streamlined to work well when used together. The overall aim is for optimal end results and to increase efficiency of sales pipelines or marketing.
A customer who makes repeat purchases from a company and brings them continued profit. The profits are not necessarily the largest a company has though. Both companies also have a mutual benefit from the relationship.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Metrics which show if individuals/teams/a company is reaching set targets over time. Key performance indicators enable businesses to make data-driven decisions, and inform sales processes more accurately.
AKA Focus Keyword. These are keywords which a company may want their website to rank higher for in search engine queries. Such as ‘sales automation’. This is part of search engine optimisation.
Key Purchasing Criteria
All of the factors which influence a customer in buying from a certain company. The criteria carry different weightings. Examples include the product’s price and the length of the contracts.
A string of words used in search engine optimisation (SEO) to increase the rank of a website. If the string has up to 2 words in the phrase it is ‘short tail’. ‘Long-tail’ keywords typically have 3 or more words in the phrase. Keyword density is how many times the phrase occurs in a webpage, and keyword stuffing denotes unnatural, overly large repetitions.
‘Land and Expand’
A sales strategy where a small deal is closed with a company, followed by more sales deals throughout more departments in the same company for example. This could be through referrals or with the help of a champion.
A web page which has a form on for visitors to sign-up with. It can ask for a first name, surname, email address, and other information for instance. Landing pages are therefore used with the intention of converting visitors to sales leads.
The process of researching a potential customer to improve communication with them. This helps to build a good sales-based relationship and increase the likelihood of sales deals. This can be achieved manually or with technology.
Lead generation is the process of creating potential sales prospects via various channels in B2B sales and marketing. Marketing activity can be used to make people aware or and interested in a company’s products/services. This can help to generate a lead for more information to help them make a purchase.
Developing good relationships with people interested in a company’s products/services across the buying journey. Such as through giving them targeted marketing to increase the likelihood they will buy at a stage in the sales process.
Categorising a company’s potential customers in B2B sales to assess their position in the buying cycle. Lead scoring is then ranking potential customers by the likelihood they will purchase at a specific point in the sales cycle. This is based on their interest, sales-readiness and needs.
This is a measure of the benefit which is given to a website from a referring domain. The referring domain is a website which has created a hyperlink or backlink to a website. Depending on how reputable the website is, some of this authority is passed on.
Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost Ratio (LTV:CAC)
The Customer Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition ratio compares the revenue expected to be generated from a customer in a lifetime with the cost of acquiring the customer. This is undertaken to assess if relationships will be profitable or not.
A major account is commonly referred to to describe a customer who makes a large purchase. This purchase is often made only once or infrequently from a company, such as every few years.
The practice of expanding the number of sales opportunities by marketing a product/service to a wider group. Such as, more age groups or a new location, rather than finding a new market.
Describes how a market expands over time and forms distinct segments in new markets. This fragmentation can affect the effectiveness of mass marketing aimed at the original markets.
A measure of how many customers out of the entire target market have bought a product/service. This can show how successful marketing a particular product/service to a particular target group is.
These are actions to understand what a company’s customers want and what they need. This is achieved via interviews and gathering research. It’s then used to estimate the success of a product/service.
Segmentation is dividing a target market into different, distinct groups. They can be segmented by location, age group, industry, etc. Segmenting helps to inform successful marketing strategies based on these various factors.
Promoting a product or service for sale by a company. Different strategies include ‘Push Marketing’ which introduces a brand to a potential customer. ‘Pull Marketing’ draws customers to a brand such as through social media.
Marketing-qualified Lead (MQL)
A potential customer who has expressed an interest in a product/service from marketing efforts and therefore is more likely to purchase than other prospects.
AKA User Metrics, Performance Indicators. These are measurements of quantitative data which assesses performance of activities. Examples include a website’s click-through rate and a campaign’s conversion rate.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
Refers to the central stage in a sales funnel. This is where sales leads have been interacting with the company, and are being nurtured to identify high-quality leads.
A psychological technique which is used in sales. The act of mirroring is where a salesperson copies someone else’s non-verbal or verbal actions. This helps to build a relationship and increase the likelihood of sales.
A comprehensive and systematic gathering of a sales lead’s information in terms of B2B sales. It includes their data, KPIs, pain points and their current position in their markets. This analysis can help to determine appropriate solutions.
Negative SEO is classed as ‘black hat SEO’ and bad SEO practice. Actions taken by a competitor to reduce another website’s page rank in search engine queries is called a ‘negative SEO attack’.
The discussions between a buyer and a seller which are completed to be able to come to an agreement on certain aspects of a sale such as the cost.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
A metric/performance indicator in customer experience. It is a measure of customer loyalty where customers rate from 0-10. The percentage of people who scored the highest (9 or 10) minus the percentage of those scoring 0-6 is the NPS.
The opposite type of link to a ‘DoFollow’ link. This link has a ‘rel=”nofollow”’ tag in HTML which does not count toward the website’s page rank in search engine results.
A sales lead who has been disqualified by a company as they do not plan to purchase from them in the short term or long-term.
Non-sales Activities (NSAs)
Any activity which a salesperson completes which is not actively integral to making a sale at the time. Examples include producing reports or printing documents.
Objection handling is an activity in B2B sales and marketing when communicating with sales leads. It involves responding to a prospect’s concerns about a particular product or service being pitched for example. Then a solution can be reached, which could be a sale.
On-target Earnings (OTE)
On-target earnings is the amount of money a salesperson can expect to earn if they meet or exceed targets. It can be calculated by the base salary plus variable compensation.
‘Open rate’ is a metric which measures the percentage of emails which have been opened, out of the total number of emails sent. This is commonly measured to see the success of email marketing campaigns.
The process of creating qualified sales prospects who are likely to become paying customers for a company. The term was coined by the company hubsell.
A method of search engine optimisation to make a web page rank higher through more natural ways such as backlinks. These ranked websites are listed below paid advertisements which rank highest in a search engine results page.
Communications which are directed toward prospective customers, initiated by the company who are selling a product/service. The aim is to generate sales leads and customers.
Qualification is a sales process to determine if a lead is likely to buy from a company or not. Communication with sales leads is undertaken to establish if they are a high-quality lead or a non-lead. This can depend on if they have a need for and ability to buy a particular item.
The measurement of a factor related to a business in a specific timeframe. This can relate to a specific product, a team or company. Sales people have quotas of sales targets to meet for example.
The ‘ramp-up time’ is the amount of time it takes for a sales rep to become fully productive after their initial training period after starting with a company.
A sales and marketing technique to attain more customers. This is where customers are asked to refer a company’s services to other customers, based on their positive experience.
A referring domain is a website which has at least one backlink to another website. Therefore they are ‘referring’ website visitors to another piece of content on the internet.
Revenue Operations (RevOps)
RevOps refers to the alignment of multiple departments within a company, notably the Sales, Marketing and Customer Success departments. This is to streamline sales processes more.
An RFI, “Request for Information”, is a preliminary document that includes information on vendors or service providers such as it’s products or services, strategies and other facts. Mostly used to compare different vendors before shortlisting and requesting a full proposal from them.
An RFP, “Request for Proposal”, is a proposal document that includes each and every detail such as identifying problems, outlining the business goals, solutions, financial costs, specification of work, etc.
An RFQ, “Request for Quotation”, is a very detailed document provided by a vendor or service provider that covers the exact specifications required by a client such as prices, specifications of products or services, quality level, etc.
The amount of money a company has generated from their customers’ purchases. The number of sales are measured over certain periods of time to assess the company or sales reps’ performance.
Sales acceleration is the speeding-up of the sales cycle. Such as through using automation software or data visualisation, to decrease the time converting leads to customers.
Sales analytics refers to the use of data to predict sales results, find opportunities and identify trends. A variety of software and programs can achieve this.
Sales automation is a software function which completes certain processes automatically. For instance, outreach emails can be sent across multiple channels to multiple recipients at the same time.
Written work created by copywriters for marketing purposes to increase awareness of a company’s services/products and increase deals. It can take different forms such as short-form, long-form or white papers.
The sales cycle is a process of stages which starts with a seller’s initial contact with a prospect, and ends when a deal is closed.
Sales Demonstration (Demo)
A seller who introduces a sales prospect to the software/product they are selling through showing them how to use it and its benefits, to increase likelihood of a sale.
Sales enablement refers to actions taken to provide sales teams with the necessary information, tools and training they need. This is to increase the sales deals they can close.
Sales engagement refers to any contact between sales reps and prospects/customers, which can be measured by the number of touchpoints. Touchpoints are any interactions between sales leads with the selling company.
A visual representation of the stages sales prospects goes through to becoming customers. The funnel is widest at the top and has the largest number of leads. The bottom of the funnel is narrowest, and has the lowest number of sales leads, who are the most qualified.
A contact (person/organisation) in the sales funnel who has not been qualified as being a sales prospect yet. They can be differentiated in the funnel into hot leads, warm leads, or non-leads.
Sales opportunities are sales prospects (individuals or accounts) who are highly qualified as becoming potential customers. Opportunities have targeted sales and marketing efforts to close deals.
A sales process is a series of stages which salespeople go through with sales prospects while closing a deal. For example, prospecting, handling objectives and follow-up.
A sales prospect is a contact who has been qualified as being a potential customer in the sales prospecting stage of a company’s sales funnel.
Sales-qualified Leads (SQLs)
SQLs are prospects who have been qualified as being a potential customer and ‘sales-ready’. Specific information from sales teams can be used in this later stage of the buyer’s journey.
AKA Sales Cadence. A series of automated actions at specified times in the process of converting sales leads to customers, such as emails and calls.
AKA Sales Technology Stack. This is a list of the technologies which a company uses in their sales department. Examples include CRM and automation software.
A detailed, comprehensive plan of who to target and how. It can be indirect (demonstrating a product’s benefits) or direct (directly comparing a product with competitors’). It is closely aligned with corporate strategy, business plans and marketing strategy.
To scale is to increase the inputs and outputs of a company proportionally to increase profits. A ‘scaleup’ is a stage of a company’s expansion where there is high-growth. Typically at least 20% turnover for at least 2 years, with at least 10 employees.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The practice of getting a website to rank higher in the page results of search engine queries by increasing the amount of traffic to the website. Changes on the website to improve search engine ranking is known as ‘on-page SEO’ and efforts outside of the website are ‘off-page SEO’.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
A SERP is the output pages from a query made in a search engine. The list of the search engine results pages are numbered at the bottom from 1.
AKA User Intent or Audience Intent. Defined as the motivation behind creating a query in a search engine. Such as to find the answer to a question.
Silo marketing means having different information shared with different departments or audiences. An example could include having Marketing and Sales departments separate. The information may therefore be less streamlined, shared, or productive for the departments.
Situation, Problem, Implication, Need (SPIN) Selling
Situation, Problem, Implication, Need/payoff’ are the types of questions which salespeople can follow while engaging sales leads. This is useful to identify potential customers. This framework was created by Neil Rackham.
A marketing strategy where a company creates a better version of content than another website’s popular content which has lots of backlinks to it. Improvements could include having a greater number of points.
Smarketing is the integration of Sales and Marketing departments in a company to better align processes. Examples include the interactions with Sales-Qualified and Marketing-Qualified Leads.
A ‘featured snippet’ is a short description at the start of a search engine results page which answers a question. It can take different forms such as a video or text. A ‘standard snippet’ is the information which is shown in a search engine results page for a website including URL, title and meta description.
A method of selling via generating leads by engaging with sales leads on social media. This can be through making connections, messaging and engaging with people through shared content.
A sales technique where the leads’ pain points are found and then a product or service is recommended. This could be a company’s product but it may not be the right solution.
A company in early stages which has produced a product or service to sell, and is often financed by the entrepreneurs who started the company.
A customer who is very important to retain. This could be for reasons such as to keep them from switching to another company. They do not necessarily bring in large amounts of revenue.
Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
AKA Top-of-funnel. The first stage in the sales funnel, where sales leads are becoming familiar with a company through marketing efforts, to qualify or disqualify those who may become customers.
A sales process where individuals in higher roles in a company are targeted in B2B selling, as they have more of an ability to make business decisions.
An action a sales prospect makes in response to marketing, which causes a specific action as a result. For instance, navigating to a certain area on a web page which causes an ad to pop-up.
A statement which Sales or Marketing teams make to potential customers to show the benefit of a product or service over others to encourage purchases.
A method of selling where the lead’s pain points are addressed by showing the benefits of a solution to close a deal. This could be through a demo for example.
Warm calls or emails refer to communication via telephone or email with a sales lead who has had prior communication with a company. Sales leads who have had prior contact with a company are considered warm leads. Or if the sales prospect has shown an interest such as by signing up to a newsletter.
Web traffic is a measure of the number of visitors to a website over a certain period of time. Increasing web traffic is a way of generating more leads and can be done via social media posting for example.
A type of marketing where SEO does not violate search engine guidelines and is organic. This could be by links to a website coming from relevant, beneficial content for example.
A comprehensive piece of written copy which explores a problem and potential solutions. It is a form of marketing to show industry expertise to increase sales leads.
A whale is slang for a sales lead which has the potential to bring a company significantly higher revenue than other typical customers or clients.
I hope this glossary has given you a wider B2B Sales and Marketing vocabulary. Do check back again soon as this list will be updated throughout the year.
Now you’ve got the terms you’ll need to thrive, take a look at the sales skills you’ll need here at hubsell insights.
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