Glossary of Sales Terms that B2B Sales Teams Need to Know

Outbound Lead Generation and Sales Campaigns and Representatives

Glossary of Sales Terms that Founders Need to Know

Our guide to the most commonly used sales terms will help you cut through the jargon and communicate effectively with your sales and marketing teams.

Click here to download a PDF glossary of the sales terms that founders need to know.

What is a Lead – Definitions from Convertist

A lead is an organization or an individual that may have an interest in your product or service. Leads are often divided into three categories: cold, warm, and qualified.

“There are several types of leads and each one requires a different approach to nurturing it.”

What is a Cold Lead – Definitions from Convertist

A person who has not shown any previous interest in your product or service is defined as a cold lead. They may not have heard of your company and must be nurtured to become a warm lead.

“The most effective time to call a cold lead is between 10 am and 4 pm.”

What is a Warm Lead – Definitions from Convertist

A warm lead will have shown some interest in your company. This may be via social media, a mailing list, or a referral. This type of lead will already be aware of your business and your offering.

“Warm leads make better prospects than cold leads because they are easier to convert.”

What is a Qualified Lead – Definitions from Convertist

A qualified lead will have expressed their interest in your company and has a problem that you can solve. They can be qualified by the BANT formula (budget, authority, need and time). A qualified lead is much more likely to become a customer.

“The BANT formula is a useful tool for identifying qualified leads.”

What is an Opportunity – Definitions from Convertist

An opportunity represents a deal that is of value or has a high probability of closing. To become an opportunity, a lead will have been qualified and assessed as a good fit, and they will be in touch with you.

“Incorrectly identifying a lead as an opportunity can be a drain on a company’s time and resources.”

What is Sales Outreach – Definitions from Convertist

Sales outreach is the practice of re-engaging with leads or previous customers who are cold but have the potential to become active again. Sales outreach can be conducted via platforms including email, phone, and social media.

“Successful sales outreach often requires collaboration between sales and marketing.”

What is an MQL – Definitions from Convertist

A marketing qualified lead (MLQ) is a lead that has shown an interest in a brand’s marketing efforts, and is, therefore, more likely to convert into a customer. MQL uses data such as web pages that have been visited and content that has been downloaded.

“Each MQL interaction is assigned a lead score which determines where the visitor is in the sales funnel.”

What is a SQL – Definitions from Convertist

A sales qualified lead (SQL) is a potential customer that has been identified by the sales team as a viable prospect. Unlike an MQL, an SQL won’t have expressed a deep interest in your offering but will have shown intent.

“An SQL may have questions about your service and how it might be a good fit for them.”

What is a PQL – Definitions from Convertist

This is a lesser known term, but a useful one to know if your offering includes a freemium offering or free trial to expand into new accounts. A product qualified lead (PQL) is an individual or organization that has already experienced value from your product or service. This might be in the form of a free trial or a freemium model.

“A PQL can be easier to convert because they are already aware of the value your business is offering.”

What is a CRM – Definitions from Convertist

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool manages customer relations. A CRM helps sales teams to keep interactions organized while streamlining processes to make them more efficient.

“A CRM should have the ability to automate sales and marketing efforts as well as customer support.”

What is Lead Generation – Definitions from Convertist

Lead generation is the process of identifying and nurturing individuals or organizations with the intention of turning them into potential customers for your business. It is widely agreed that lead generation is the most important element of a marketing plan.

“Measuring the output of a lead generation service requires clear targets and robust KPIs.”

What is Search Marketing – Definitions from Convertist

When traffic and visibility are gained through search engines, it is referred to as search marketing. This could be via search engine optimization (SEO), paid search listings or organic reach.

“Search marketing is critical to companies that want to increase their reach and grow their revenue.”

What is an SDR – Definitions from Convertist

A sales development representative (SDR) is a salesperson that is solely focused on outbound prospecting. An SDR will work on lead generation and lead qualification rather than closing deals.

“A good SDR will explore new customer profiles and discover new channels to constantly deliver quality leads.”


All of this, of course, is simply a starting point for your company. If you’d like to review your team’s custom processes and stages for its lead generation and sales processes, our team is available to offer our personalized help here.

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