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Common Sales Terms Defined: The RepVue Sales Glossary

RepVue Team
RepVue TeamMar 26, 2024

Welcome to the RepVue Sales Terms Glossary, where you’ll find straightforward definitions of key terms you’ll encounter in the sales world. This glossary is designed to be your go-to resource, making complex sales language easy to understand. 

We carefully compile and continuously update a wide range of sales terms and sales definitions to enhance your knowledge and confidence in navigating sales discussions and literature. Whether you’re starting in sales or looking to refresh your understanding of essential terms, this glossary will provide clear and useful explanations. 

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“Always Be Closing.” (We prefer to say “Always Be Curious.”)


In B2B sales, an account refers to a business that has purchased or could potentially purchase a company’s products or services.

Account-based Selling

A strategic sales approach where reps focus on specific target accounts and create personalized sales campaigns for these accounts.

Account Executive

An Account Executive is a sales professional responsible for managing relationships with prospects and customers , understanding their needs, and selling products or services to meet those needs. 

Learn more about what an Account Executive does and how much they make.

Account Manager

Account Managers maintain and grow relationships with existing customers. AMs ensure that clients are satisfied with the company’s products or services and address any issues they face. 

Learn more about what an Account Manager does here.

Annual Contract Value (ACV)

ACV is the annual revenue a company expects to receive from a customer contract. It represents the value of a contract over one year.

Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)

ARR is the total amount of revenue that a company expects to receive from its customers annually for subscription-based services or products, reflecting steady income over time.


B2B (Business to Business)

B2B refers to transactions between two businesses, like a company selling materials to another company that uses them to make products.

B2C (Business to Consumer)

B2C is when businesses sell products or services directly to individual consumers, like a retail store selling clothes to people.

Business Development Representative (BDR)

A BDR — also called a Sales Development Rep, depending on the organization — is a salesperson who focuses on generating new business opportunities. They reach out to potential customers to spark interest in their company’s products or services. 

Learn more about what a BDR does here.

BANT Qualification

BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeframe. It’s a method some sales orgs use to assess a potential customer’s readiness to buy by evaluating their budget, decision-making power, need for the product, and purchase timing. BANT has historically been very popular, but it is less used today in favor of more modern solution techniques and strategies.


Bookings are commitments made by customers to purchase a company’s products or services. These are recorded as potential revenue for the company when the sale is agreed upon, even before the money is actually received or the service is delivered.

Bottom of Funnel

The final stage in the sales process, where potential customers are close to making a purchase decision after having gone through the earlier stages of becoming aware of and considering a product or service.

Buyer Behavior

The actions and decision-making processes of consumers when they choose, buy, use, and dispose of products or services.

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona reflects one of potentially several different types of buyers who a salesperson might encounter. It helps businesses understand and target their marketing and sales efforts more effectively. 

Learn more about the different buyer personas.

Buying Criteria

The factors or requirements that customers consider important when deciding whether to purchase a product or service, such as price, quality, features, and service.

Buying Process

The series of steps that a customer goes through when deciding to purchase a product or service, from recognizing a need to making the purchase and evaluating the decision afterwards.



See Customer Acquisition Cost

Challenger Sales

A sales approach where the salesperson actively teaches the customer, tailors their sales message to the customer’s specific needs, and takes control of the sales conversation to challenge the customer’s thinking and lead them towards a purchase.

Learn more about Challenger Sales here.


In sales, a champion is a person within a client’s organization who supports and advocates for your product or service, helping to influence the buying decision in your favor. 

A key characteristic of a Champion is that they have a vested interest in their company buying your product because they believe that it will help them achieve a personal business objective. The Champion will actively sell on behalf of the salesperson during internal discussions which the salesperson doesn’t have access to.

Learn more about the Champion buyer persona here. 


When customers stop buying from a company, don’t renew, or cancel their service. Often used in the context of subscription-based business models.

Churn Rate

The percentage of customers a company loses over a certain period (e.g, how many users cancel a subscription service each month compared to how many there were at the start of the month.)

Closed Opportunities

These are potential sales deals that have reached a conclusion, whether successful (closed-won) or unsuccessful (close-lost).


A sales opportunity that has been successfully converted into a purchase by the customer.


A sales opportunity that was not successful, meaning the potential customer decided not to buy the product or service.

Closing Ratio

The percentage of sales opportunities that a salesperson or team successfully converts into actual sales compared to the total number of opportunities they had.


See Customer Lifetime Value


A Coach is a resource within a prospect organization who can support the seller with advice and information on how to succeed in selling to their organization. A Coach is distinct from a Champion in may provide passive support, but are likely not actively selling on behalf of the salesperson.

Cold Calling

The practice of contacting potential customers who have not previously expressed interest in the offered products or services, usually over the phone. 

Learn more about Cold Calling.


A payment made to sales employees based on the sales they generate, often a percentage of the sale price or of quota. To learn more, check out this article on 8 Common Sales Commission Structures.


In sales, conversion refers to the process of turning a potential customer (prospect) or lead into a paying customer.


A consumer is an individual who purchases goods or services for personal use, not for manufacturing or resale.

Conversion Rate

Sometimes called Close Rate. This is the percentage of leads or potential customers that complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, out of the total number of leads.


Customer relationship management system. The two most popular CRM systems are SalesForce and Hubspot, but there are dozens (even hundreds) of competing offerings. 


The practice of selling additional products or services to an existing customer, usually related to their initial purchase.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

The total cost of sales and marketing efforts required to acquire a new customer.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The total amount of money a customer is expected to spend on your products or services during their relationship with your company. One common way to calculate CLV is multiplying the expected lifetime of the customer (in years) by the ACV or ARR of the customer.

Customer Success

The efforts a company makes to ensure customers achieve their desired outcomes while using its products or services, leading to customer satisfaction and loyalty. You can learn about the difference between Account Management and Customer Success here.



A person who has the authority to make the final purchasing decision in an organization, determining whether or not to buy a product or service.

Learn more about the Decision-maker buyer persona here.

Demand Generation

A marketing and sales strategy aimed at creating interest in a product or service to build a consistent pipeline of potential customers.

Discovery Call

An initial conversation between a salesperson and a potential customer to understand the customer’s needs and determine how the product or service can meet those needs.


Economic Buyer

An individual in an organization who has the financial authority to approve the purchase of a product or service. Their primary interest/concern is the return on investment (ROI) of any purchase.



Field kick off. (var. Of SKO – Sales Kick Off). An event or meeting designed to energize and educate field sales teams about the company’s goals, strategies, and products for the upcoming period.

Field Sales Rep

A salesperson who travels to meet clients in person, often in their geographic territory, to sell products or services.


Forecasting in sales involves predicting future sales performance based on historical data, market analysis, and sales trends. Being able to do a sales forecast is an important skill for every salesperson.


GAP Selling

A sales method focused on discovering and discussing the “gap” between the current state and the desired state of a customer’s situation. Salespeople using this method aim to highlight how their product or service can bridge this gap and solve the customer’s problems.


A person within an organization who controls access to decision-makers and influencers, often managing which sales calls or meetings get through to them.

Learn more about the Gatekeeper buyer persona here.


Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

The type of company or person that would be the most valuable customer for a business. It includes characteristics like industry, company size, location, budget, and specific needs or challenges that match the solutions the business offers. The ICP helps businesses focus their marketing and sales efforts on the prospects most likely to buy and become long-term customers.

Incentive Compensation Structure

The system used by businesses to motivate and reward employees, particularly in sales, based on their performance and achievement of specific goals. Often includes bonuses, commissions, or other types of financial rewards that are tied to meeting or exceeding predefined targets. The aim is to align the employee’s interests with the company’s objectives, encouraging higher performance and productivity.

Learn more about how incentive compensation structures work.


In sales, an influencer is a person who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.

Learn more about the Influencer buyer persona here.

Inbound Lead Flow

The rate at which potential customers initiate contact with a business through methods like filling out a website form, emailing, or calling after finding the company through search engines, content marketing, or social media.

See which companies currently rank highest for Inbound Lead Flow.

Inside Sales Rep

An inside sales representative is a salesperson who sells products or services from within the office using the phone, email, or internet, rather than visiting customers in person.


Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A measurable value that shows how effectively a company or individual is achieving key business objectives.



A person or organization that has shown interest in a product or service and might become a paying customer.

Lead Generation

The process of attracting potential customers to a business’s products or services through marketing and outreach activities.

Lead Qualification

The process of evaluating leads to determine how likely they are to buy, focusing on factors like their need, budget, and decision-making power.

Lead Scoring

A method used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization, helping prioritize follow-up based on likelihood to convert to a sale. Lead scoring typically takes into account behavioral factors (e.g., visiting your website), as well as demographic factors (i.e., are they the right size business to potentially purchase your product).


Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

An MQL is a potential customer who has shown enough interest in a company’s products or services that they are considered likely to become a buyer. This interest is often shown by engaging with marketing content or activities.


Stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and Champion. It’s a checklist used by salespeople to qualify potential customers and understand their buying process, focusing on key factors that influence the purchase decision.

Learn more about MEDDIC here.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

The total amount of money a company expects to receive every month from customers paying for its services or products on a subscription basis.


See Marketing Qualified Lead


Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A measurement of how likely customers are to recommend a company’s products or services to others. It’s calculated based on customer responses to the question of how likely they are to recommend the business on a scale from 0 to 10.



In sales, an objection is a concern or question raised by a potential customer that indicates hesitation or resistance to buying the product or service. In the sales process, it’s important for sellers to uncover as many objections as possible in order to address and overcome them.

On-target Earnings (OTE)

The total expected income a salesperson can earn in a year if they meet all their sales targets, including both their base salary and potential commissions. Learn more about OTE in our guide.


In the context of sales, an opportunity is a qualified lead that has a high chance of becoming a customer, often because they have shown clear interest and fit the criteria of an ideal customer.


See On-Target Earnings

Outside Sales Representative

A salesperson who travels to meet clients in person, outside of the office, to sell products or services.


Pain Point

A pain point is a specific problem that potential customers of a business are experiencing, which a product or service can solve.


In sales, the meaning of this acronym can depend on the context. Potential meanings could include: Point of Contact, Proof of Concept, or Person of Color.


Pre-sales is the work done before a customer agrees to buy, like demonstrating a product, providing detailed information, or answering technical questions to help the customer understand the product better. 

Sales Engineers are sometimes called “Pre-sales Engineers” or just “Pre-sales,” due to their role in this part of the sales process.

Learn more about pre-sales here.

Product-market Fit

When a company’s product satisfies a strong demand in the market, meaning it meets the needs and preferences of its target customers well.

See which sales orgs currently rank highest for Product-market Fit.

Professional Development

Improving and increasing one’s skills and knowledge for career advancement and effectiveness in a job.

See which sales orgs currently rank highest for Professional Development.


Prospecting is the act of searching for potential customers or clients who may be interested in a company’s products or services. Many times prospecting is done via email outreach, cold calling, or social media outreach.



The process of assessing whether a potential customer meets the criteria necessary to be considered a likely buyer, such as having the budget, authority, and need for the product or service.

Qualified Lead

A potential customer who has been evaluated and determined to have a strong likelihood of becoming a buyer, based on factors like need, budget, and decision-making authority.


A set target or goal, usually a specific revenue figure or activity metric, that a salesperson or team is expected to achieve within a certain timeframe. Read about how AE quotas are set here.

Quota Attainment

The achievement or fulfillment of the sales target or quota set for a salesperson or team.



Actions taken to reconnect with past customers or leads who have shown interest in a product or service but have not interacted with the company recently.

RepVue Score

An evaluation metric of a sales organization indicating its performance and reputation. RepVue scores are based on voluntary information provided by current and former salespeople within the sales organizations. 

RepVue scores factor in rating data about seller compensation, culture and leadership, product-market fit, inbound lead flow, quota attainment rates, and more.

Look up your company’s RepVue score here.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A document that a company or organization sends out when they need to purchase a product or service. It provides details about what they need and asks different vendors or suppliers to submit a proposal showing how they can meet those needs and at what cost.


Sales Accepted Opportunity (SAO)

A sales accepted opportunity is a potential sale that has been reviewed and accepted by the sales team as a viable lead, one that meets certain criteria making it likely to convert into an actual sale.

Sales Development Representative (SDR)

An SDR — sometimes called a Business Development Rep, depending on the company — is a salesperson who focuses on reaching out to potential customers, usually through calls or emails, to generate interest and set up meetings for the sales team.

Learn more about what an SDR does here.

Sales Cycle

The complete process of selling a product or service, starting from the initial contact with a potential customer to the final step of closing the sale. It includes various stages like prospecting, engaging, pitching, addressing objections, and closing the deal. 

Learn more about the Sales Cycle.

Sales Enablement

Tools, resources, and training provided to sales teams to help them sell more effectively and efficiently.

Sales Engineer (SE)

A Sales Engineer is someone who uses their technical knowledge to help sell complex products or services. They explain the technical details and benefits to customers.

Learn more about what a Sales Engineer does here.

Sales Funnel

A visual representation of the journey a customer takes from learning about a product or service to making a purchase, showing the stages from initial contact to final sale.

Sales Kickoff (SKO)

A sales kickoff is an event, usually held annually, where a company’s sales team gathers to review past performance, set goals, and strategize for the upcoming year, often involving training and motivational activities.

Sales Methodology

A framework or set of principles that guides how a sales team approaches each step of the sales process, from prospecting to closing deals. There are a number of different sales methodologies, including MEDDIC, Challenger, SPIN Selling, and more.

Sales Process

The sequence of steps or stages a sales team follows to move a potential customer from initial contact to closing a sale.

Sales Pipeline

A visual or systematic way to track potential customers (leads) at different stages of the sales process, from initial contact to closing the sale.

Sales Pipeline Coverage

A metric that compares the total value of all opportunities in the sales pipeline to the sales quota, indicating whether there is enough potential business to meet sales targets.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

A sales qualified lead (SQL) is a potential customer that has been researched and vetted by the sales team and is considered ready for a direct sales approach. This means the lead has shown a strong interest and is seen as a good fit for the product or service.


Sandbagging in sales refers to the practice of a salesperson deliberately holding back orders or delaying the reporting of sales to make their performance look better in a future period, often to meet quotas or earn bonuses.

Learn more about sandbagging in sales.


See Sales Engineer

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A formal agreement between a service provider and a client that outlines the services to be provided, the standards of service, and the responsibilities of each party.

Social Selling

The use of social media platforms by sales professionals to connect with prospects, build relationships, and engage potential customers to increase sales.

Learn more about Social Selling here.


See Sales Kickoff


See Sales Qualified Lead


Technical Buyer

A person in a company who evaluates products or services based on their technical aspects and specifications to ensure they meet the organization’s needs.

Top of Funnel

The initial stage of the sales process, where potential customers first become aware of a product or service, often through marketing efforts.



A sales technique where a seller encourages the customer to purchase a more extensive, comprehensive, and/or expensive version of an item or add-ons to increase the overall value of a sale.


Value-Added Reseller (VAR)

A company that enhances or adds features to an existing product before reselling it. They typically combine products with additional services or modifications to better meet the specific needs of their customers. This can include installing software, adding custom components, or providing ongoing support services.

Value Proposition

A statement that clearly explains how a product or service solves a customer’s problem or improves their situation, highlighting the specific benefits it offers.


Win Rate

The percentage of sales opportunities that are converted into actual sales, indicating the effectiveness of a sales team or individual.

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