The Ultimate SaaS Sales Dictionary

In the world of sales, sales terms and acronyms are thrown around like they’re just common sense. Often times, that’s just not the case though. We’re humans, not walking dictionaries.

Sales language is critical though, it’s like being in a secret club - you either know it, or you don’t. Being able to talk the talk will make it seem like you can walk the walk which is why we came up with a list of some of the most important sales terms and acronyms that will help get you started on your road to sales success.


ABC (Always be closing)

An acronym used to motivate salespeople to be persistent. To realize when a sale with a certain prospect isn’t going to close, and thus move onto the next lead. Sell, sell, sell!

AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)

An acronym that explains the buyer’s process in a hierarchical system.

  • Attention: First and foremost, a sales rep must capture the attention of a prospect by sending an email, cold call, etc.
  • Interest: The next step, is then to generate interest in your product or service.
  • Desire: This part is the real game changer because desire indicates the buyers’ high affinity to take action.
  • Action: Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to close the deal and take action - Sign a contract, plan the next steps, etc.


Business-to-Business (B2B)

Business to business is used to describe any transactions done between two businesses this could be a wholesaler to a retailer or a manufacturer to a wholesaler.

Business-to-Customer (B2C)

Business to customer is any transaction that goes from a business to its customers or end users. This is a very direct process.



A customer’s churn rate is the percentage of customers that discontinue using a product/service within a given time period.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

The number you get when dividing all the costs spent on acquiring more customers by the number of customers acquired in the period money was spent. The result gives a firm an estimation for the cost burden of acquiring new customers.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Gives a firm the profit that an individually acquired customer provides during the customers time being a user of the firm’s product or service.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer relationship management is a software used by companies for organizing relationships and interactions with its customers and prospects.


Decision Maker

The decision maker is an individual or a group of individuals that have a high position and authority in the decision-making process. This person or group of people have the power to reject or accept a new sale.


The word demo is slang for demonstration. A demonstration is a quick and easy overview or a product or service that a sales rep gives to its prospects to be able to understand what the product/service does better.

Direct-to-Consumer (D2C)

This is a business model where the manufacturer of a product sells directly to the consumer without the use of any intermediaries such as a wholesaler or retailer. Many times this occurs digitally. Some examples are Warby Parker and Glossier.


Elevator Pitch

This term is a sales slang term that is used to describe a short line of talk from a sales rep on their product/service that is supposed to wow the prospect within the time it would take to ride an elevator (30-60sec).



This is a term used to describe a quick “check-in” on a prospect to either recap a sales visit/call or to ask for feedback. A follow-up is a great way to keep the prospect involved in the process.

Learn more about follow-up calls here.

Forward Revenue

Forward revenue is the periodic revenue projected for the next 12 months (or fiscal year). This form of revenue is a projection for the future, but for SaaS companies, this number is often used to estimate the value of a company.


Freemium is a model that splits users of a product or service into two different categories. One category is for users that do not pay for the product or service and thus have limited access - they use the product or service for free. The other category is for users that pay for the account and therefore have full access or more benefits than the other category.



The gatekeeper is usually a receptionist or an executive that has the responsibility to keep away any unnecessary and irrelevant callers.

Go-to-Market Strategy

A term for the strategic plan of an organization using their inside and outside resources to deliver a unique value proposition for its customers and achieve a competitive advantage.

Gross Margin (GM)

The gross margin for a company is its net sales revenue minus its cost of goods sold. Summed up, the gross margin is the amount of revenue that a firm is able to hold on to after having subtracted the costs of what it took to acquire these sales.


Inbound Sales

Inbound sales is a form of marketing that concentrates more on the individual buyer of the product rather than sealing the deal as soon as possible. In inbound sales, the sales rep pays more attention to the concerns and needs of the buyer.

Inside Sales

Inside sales is different from regular sales visits because it involves sales transactions over the phone and email instead of in-person visits. This type of sales is very common in B2B, Tech, SaaS, and some B2C areas.

Learn more about inside sales with our free cheat sheets.


Key Accounts

Key accounts are viewed as separate accounts from regular accounts that a company manages. They are different because it depicts the relationship between the company and its top customers. The company then focuses on managing this relationship and improving it so that in the long run, both parties will benefit.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A key performance indicator is a measurement that sales teams come up with to qualify the effectiveness of sales tactics within a company.



A lead is a potential client. The term is used to describe anyone in the stage where an outcome is not foreseeable and the person or company has also not been researched enough to put into the “prospect” category. In order to acquire the person or company as a client, a sales rep must draw them in through various sales techniques.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is the process in which a sales rep or team researches a lead in order to figure out if they should become a prospect.

Low Hanging Fruit

Low hanging fruit is a term used to describe tasks that are easily completed. They are viewed as much simpler than larger challenges.


Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

A marketing qualified lead is a lead who is seen as more likely to become a customer compared to other leads. This is something important to qualify because this information is then passed on to sales so that they only receive qualified leads to focus on.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

This is the income that a business expects on receiving every month.



A negotiation is performed with highly qualified leads, it is a discussion that is held with a prospect aimed at reaching an agreement.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score is a scale that ranges all the way from negative 100 to 100. The score the likelihood that a customer will recommend a companies products or services to others. It is another way to be able to determine how satisfied customers were.



An objection is a barrier between the prospect and the sales rep that is brought up by the prospect. It is usually a concern or fear that the prospect has that must be addressed before closing the deal.

Get our free objection handling guide to always have the right responses.


Onboarding is the term used to describe the integration and familiarization of new employees into a firm or organization.

Outbound Sales

Outbound sales is another form of sales, like inbound sales. It is the act of sales reps personally traveling to a company or organization to sell their product or service.


Product-Led Growth

Product-Led Growth is a term that was just recently coined but the strategies behind the term have been used for many years now. The meaning behind this term is that companies grow their customer base by relying on the product or services use and importance to the customer. Companies believe that the importance and usage of their product will be what gets their product involved in the everyday lives of its customers.

Product Lifecycle Stage

The product life cycle stage is a series of stages that a product or service typically goes through before reaching the end. If the company asses where its at correctly, then it can prevent the decline of its product or service but the stages include: Introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.

Product Qualified Lead

This type of lead had a successful demo or product trial and is thus more likely to become a customer.



In sales, qualification is the process of matching leads with pre-determined, ideal characteristics of customers. Leads that match the most to the characteristics are considered to be more “qualified” than those that do not.


The quota is the goal that is set. This goal is what helps managers assess and manage whether sales reps are meeting their targets.


Ramp Time

This term refers to the time it takes to completely onboard a new sales team member to the point where they are fully productive on their own without needing further assistance.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The return on investment is a formula and number that is used to compare the efficiency of different investments. Typically, one sees this number written as a percentage since it is comparing investment to the return it gets from this investment.


Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is a simple way to describe the process and steps that a firm uses to guide its customers through the buying process. If you can imagine it as a cone which prospects enter, and come out as a customer.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

This is a potential prospect which was selected first through marketing strategies.

Self-service SaaS model

This is a sales model that is designed to generate the most revenue but with a low selling price.

This model is made possible with special offers like free trials.


This is a strategy used by companies in which the sales and the marketing department are integrated. This approach is critical for maximum growth of the company. In Smarketing the marketing generated leads are combined with the sales generated leads.

Solution Selling

Solution selling is a strategy that is used in sales and marketing that is very effective. Instead of selling a product or a feature, sales reps focus on selling a solution to a problem or concern of the prospect.



Targeting is the process of filtering leads based on their qualification of being a potential customer, and then zeroing in sales and marketing strategies to focus on the most qualified leads.

Total Addressable Market (TAM)

The total addressable market is another way of saying “total available market” and is an estimation of the revenue potential that a certain product or service has.


Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

This is a quality that a product or service has that differentiates it from the rest of the market. It’s the leverage that a company has over other companies products.

User Experience

The user experience is the overall involvement that a customer has with a company and its product or service from beginning to end.

User Interaction

User interaction is the contact that a customer has with a product or service. This term is often used for a user interface technology where the entire product is designed for customer interaction.


Value Gap

The value gap is the difference that exists between the actual value of a company and the value that the owner expects the company to sell for.

Visitor-to-Signup Rate

This is the rate at which visitors of a website are converted to actual customers. To calculate this number, you take the number of customers that were acquired divided by the total number of visitors.


Warm Call / Warm Email

This type of call or email is sent after having already had personal contact with the prospect. It could be a follow-up email, an introduction, or something similar that came as a result to an in-person meeting.

You want to make perfect calls? Check out Ciara for free and close more deals on the phone.

Published 4 months ago.

10 minute read.

Sarah Evans

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