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Glossary of Sales Terms and Definitions

Glossary of definitions and terms used in the Sales industry that are uniquely defined with the beginner in sales in mind. Easy to understand sales terminology and quick glossary makes learning the basics of sales a snap. Also a great resource for the new small business owner!

What is Active Listening?
Active listening is a communication technique that increases understanding and rapport between speaker and listener.

What is AIDA?
AIDA is an acronym developed in 1898 by advertising pioneer E. St. Elmo Lewis. It describes the steps that a prospective customer goes through before deciding to buy.

What is B2B Sales?
B2B is short for “business to business.” It indicates sales made to other businesses, rather than sales to individuals. The latter is referred to as “business to consumer” sales.

What is Business Networking?
Business networking is a powerful tool for any salesperson, but there's more to it than you might realize.

What Is Closing?
Closing the sale is the sixth stage of the sales cycle. The close is the point when a prospect or customer finally decides to buy.

What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling is still the most common method salespeople use to get in touch with new potential customers.

What is a Complex Sale?
The complex sale is one that includes a complex buying team - meaning that the salesperson must influence more than one decision maker. The more expensive your product is, the more complex sales you'll face.

What is Consultative Selling?
Consultative selling describes a selling technique in which the salesperson acts as an expert consultant for his prospect, asking questions to determine the prospect's needs and then using that information to select the best product or service for those needs... ideally, the salesperson's own.

What is CRM?
CRM, or customer relationship management, is the strategy that a company uses to keep its customers happy and loyal. A good CRM benefits both the company and its customers.

What is Direct Selling?
Direct selling refers to sales that occur through independent sales representatives, usually not from a store but from the customer's own location.

What Is Drip Email Marketing?
Drip email marketing is a powerful sales tool - in fact, it's just as useful for salespeople as it is for the marketing team.

What is an Elevator Speech?
An elevator speech or elevator pitch is a brief (less than 30 second) explanation you give to someone you've just met.

What is a Gatekeeper?
A gatekeeper is the person responsible for keeping a decision maker from being bothered by irrelevant callers.

What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a critical part of the sales process. It's the first step in the sales cycle, so a shortage of leads will affect the entire process.

What is a Lead?
The precise definition of a 'lead' tends to vary somewhat. In fact, one of the biggest stumbling blocks between sales and marketing can be the definition of what counts as a lead and what doesn't.

What is Mirroring?
Mirroring is a rapport-building technique in which one person adopts the physical and verbal behaviors of another.

What is Opt-In?
Opt-in is short for opting in. It means that a person has given permission for a specific company to send them email. Opting in usually occurs when someone signs up for a series of emails, such as an e-newsletter or coupons for specific products.

What Is Qualifying?
Qualifying your leads is an important part of the sales process. It enables you to weed out non-prospects before you go to the trouble of pitching to them.

What Is a Pipeline?
The sales pipeline represents the movement of sales from brand-new leads to deals that are about to close.

What is a Sales Manager?
Sales managers are responsible for keeping their sales teams producing. Managing a sales team isn't easy, but it can be extremely satisfying for the right person.

What is a Quota?
Sales quotas are the goals set by each company to determine how much the sales team is expected to sell for a given period of time.

What is Spam?
Spam is unsolicited bulk email (UBE). In other words, spam is email that is 1) Not requested by the recipient, and 2) Sent out in quantity.

What is a Unique Selling Proposition or USP?
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a specific characteristic that makes one product, company or person stand out from the competition.

What is Warm Calling?
Many salespeople fear cold calling, but they feel much more enthusiastic about warm calling. A warm call is simply a call to a warm lead - someone who already has a connection to the salesperson in some way.

What is a Whale?
In sales terminology, a whale is a prospect at least 10 times larger than your average sale. With B2B sales a whale prospect is often a company that's far larger than your own.

What is WIIFM?
Experienced salespeople will often joke, “Everyone's favorite radio station is WII-FM.”

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