Sales

50 Sales Acronyms and Terms You NEED to Know 2024 [A Beginner's Guide]

Dive into the essential sales acronyms and terms with our beginner's guide. Master sales lingo and boost your industry knowledge in no time!

Rory Sadler
September 25, 2023
March 13, 2024
Dive into the essential sales acronyms and terms with our beginner's guide. Master sales lingo and boost your industry knowledge in no time!
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Do you know your ABCs from your SWOTs? Can you tell the difference between a PQL and an SQL? No? Don't worry, you're not alone.

No matter how long you've worked in the sales world, there's always a new acronym or buzzword. For new salespeople, it's mind-boggling.

Learning these sales acronyms and terms takes months but is crucial to the job. Unless you want to be left out of the loop. This guide will help you crack the sales terminology, helping you get fluent in sales slang.

50 Sales Acronyms and Terms Beginners Need to Know

ABC - Always Be Closing

The core sales mantra – the clue is in the name. If you aren't closing sales, looking for new prospects, and adding value to your company, you're not doing your job right.

ACV - Annual Contract Value

Exactly what it sounds like. It's the amount a customer pays a SaaS company annually based on their subscription.

See SaaS – software-as-a-service.

AE - Account Executive

In a sales team, this person is responsible for identifying, pursuing, and closing deals with new clients. They'll also manage and grow prominent existing clients. However, expect the AE's responsibility to vary depending on the company, industry, and specific products or services being sold.

AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

This classic marketing framework should guide every sale you make. It describes the stages a consumer goes through when making a purchase.

First, you grab the target audience's Attention, generating Interest in your product or service.

Next, you create a Desire for your offerings by listing its benefits and showing how it solves the consumer's pain points.

Finally, prompt Action – usually making a purchase. However, it could also be subscribing to a newsletter or signing up for a demo.

AM - Account Manager

The account manager is responsible for the ongoing relationship with a company's clients or customers. Unlike the Account Executive, who focuses on new clients, an AM's primary role is to ensure existing clients are satisfied, helping retain their business and upsell/cross-sell additional services.

ARR - Annual Recurring Revenue

A metric used in subscription-based businesses – it measures the money expected annually from subscribers or contracts. ARR considers the value of recurring subscription revenues but excludes one-time fees or charges. It's considered the prime indicator of a company's financial health.

B2B - Business to Business

Refers to transactions between companies rather than between a business and a consumer (see below). For example, a software company selling customer management services operates on a B2B model. B2B transactions tend to involve higher-value transactions and more complex sales cycles.

B2C - Business to Consumer

B2C transactions are the most common, referring to any business targeting individual consumers. Common examples of such businesses include retailers, restaurants, and eCommerce stores. B2C businesses prioritise brand recognition and enhancing the customer experience.

BANT - Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline

BANT is a sales qualification framework used to identify and prioritise leads based on their readiness and ability to purchase. It stands for:

  • Budget: Does the prospect have the necessary funds?
  • Authority: Is the contact person authorised to make purchasing decisions?
  • Need: Does the prospect have a genuine requirement for the product or service?
  • Timeline: When does the prospect plan to purchase?

BDR - Business Development Representative

A senior sales role involved in cold calling, email outreach, and other prospecting activities. Their primary objective is to find prospects and funnel them to the sales team for conversion.

CAC - Customer Acquisition Cost

Represents the total cost a business incurred to acquire a new customer. This metric factors in marketing expenses, sales, costs, and other related expenditures. For a business to be profitable, the CAC must be lower than the CLTV.

See CLTV – customer lifetime value.

CAGR - Compound Annual Growth Rate

CAGR is the rate of return required for an investment to grow. In short, it's the mean annual growth rate of an investment, sales revenue, or other metric over multiple years.

Churn

Churn, usually represented as a percentage, refers to the proportion of customers who stopped using a product or service within a certain time frame.

Calculate your churn rate using this formula:

CLTV - Customer Lifetime Value

CLTV measures the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer through the relationship's duration. It includes recurring revenue, average purchase value, and purchase frequency.

CRM - Customer Relationship Management

The system a company uses to manage interactions with potential and existing customers. It's come to refer to CRM software that helps track sales activities, marketing efforts, and interactions in a single platform.

CS - Customer Success

Developed by SaaS companies to counteract churn, the concept involves helping customers achieve their desired outcomes with a product or service. Unlike customer support, which reacts to issues, customer success is proactive.

CSM - Customer Success Manager

A CSM is an individual responsible for managing and nurturing a company's existing customer relationships supporting customer retention and growth.

CTR - Click-Through Rate

The CTR measures how many people click on an ad or link out of the total number of people who viewed it. A high CTR indicated effective content or ad placement.

CX - Customer Experience

CX encompasses a customer's perception, emotions, and reactions to a company, its products, or services.

Drip

Automated sets of marketing emails or messages sent out on a specific schedule or based on user behaviours/triggers.

EOM - End Of Month

A reference to the close of a month, often used in financial, sales, or inventory contexts.

EOQ - End Of Quarter

Similar to EOM but marking the conclusion of a fiscal quarter. It's a significant period for many businesses for reporting, analysing performance metrics or assessing quarterly objectives.

FAB - Features, Advantages, Benefits

A sales technique to help break down a product or service's value proposition. Features describe its characteristics; Advantages explain what makes it better than alternatives; and Benefits elucidate the positive outcomes or results a customer can expect from it.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Usually found on websites or product annuals, the FAQs address common queries and concerns users might have.

GP - Gross Profit

A company's total revenue minus the costs of goods sold (COGS). In contrast to the net profit, which subtracts operational expenses, taxes, and other costs.

ICP - Ideal Customer Profile

A detailed description of a company's perfect customer based on various attributes such as industry, size, revenue, and behavioural traits.

ISR - Inside Sales Representative

A salesperson who primarily sells remotely, using phones, email, and online meetings rather than face-to-face

KPI - Key Performance Indicator

KPIs help you gauge how well a marketing or sales strategy works. You should always determine your KPIs when starting a strategy. Examples include revenue growth rate, customer churn rate, net promoter score (NPS), and customer acquisition cost (CAC).

LDR - Lead Development Representative

LDRs are responsible for qualifying the leads that come into the sales funnel. Their job is to ensure that only high-quality, sales-ready leads are passed on to the sales team.

LTV - Lifetime Value

Refers to the total net profit a company expects to earn from a customer throughout their relationship

MQL - Marketing Qualified Lead

A lead that has been deemed likely to become a customer compared to other leads based on lead intelligence (often informed by closed-loop analytics).

MRR - Monthly Recurring Revenue

MRR measures the total expected revenue from subscribers in a given month – a key metric for subscription-based businesses.

NPS - Net Promoter Score

NPS is a metric that determines customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers are asked a simple question: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?"

OSR - Outside Sales Representative

An OSR primarily conducts sales in face-to-face meetings, travelling to meet clients.

PPC - Pay Per Click

PPC is an online advertising model where advertisers pay a fee each time their advertisement is clicked. Examples include Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

PQL - Product Qualified Lead

A PQL refers to a potential customer who has used a product and reached a pre-defined trigger, indicating a high likelihood of becoming a paying customer.

QoQ - Quarter over Quarter

This term measures a variable's change from one quarter to the next. It's beneficial for tracking the sequential growth of a business helping stakeholders understand short-term changes.

For example, if a company's revenue in Q1 is $1 million and in Q2 it's $1.1 million, it has experienced a 10% QoQ growth.

ROI - Return on Investment

ROI is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment

Calculate your ROI:


SaaS - Software as a Service

SaaS refers to a cloud-based service where instead of downloading software on your desktop or business network to run and update, you access an application via an internet browser.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the art of optimising a website to achieve a higher ranking in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

SLA - Service Level Agreement

An SLA is a commitment between a service provider and a client. It specifies the service standards, including quality, availability, and responsibilities. For instance, in IT support, an SLA might stipulate those technical issues be resolved within a certain timeframe.

SMB - Small to Medium-sized Business

Also called Small and Medium-sized enterprises, these businesses occupy the space between the small enterprise and large corporate sectors in terms of size, revenues, or employees.

SQL - Sales Qualified Lead

An SQL is a lead that's been vetted by the marketing and sales team and is ready to become a customer.

SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps businesses identify their internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats.

TCV - Total Contract Value

TCV represents the total monetary value of a contract.

UAC - User Acquisition Cost

UAC refers to the cost associated with convincing a potential customer to buy a product or service. This includes expenses related to advertising, marketing, and other promotional efforts.

USP - Unique Selling Proposition

A product or service's USP is the benefit or advantage that distinguishes it from its competitors.

UV - Unique Visitors

In web analytics, UV represents the number of distinct individuals who have visited a website during a specific period.

WOM - Word of Mouth

Word of mouth refers to when customers tell other people about your product or service.

YoY - Year over Year

This term compares a statistic or metric between one period and the same period in the previous year.

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