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This is a personal lexicon for the thesalesblog.com platform. In the future, I will point to this page with links to ensure readers understand the words we use to talk about consultative sales. Some of the concepts may be new to readers, and we will endeavor to continue to update this lexicon.

Accountability: This means you are responsible for an outcome. It may mean we are talking about the work you have to do, but it also means you are accountable for your client succeeding after they buy.

B2B Sales: This means a business is selling to another business. You will find this being used here often, highlighting the intricate dynamics of B2B sales strategies.

B2B Sales Training: A strategy for developing sales competencies and skills. This will help you succeed in B2B sales.

B2B Sales Courses: B2B sales training is made up of courses that provide skills.

B2C Sales: B2C (business-to-consumer) sales means a business is selling to a customer. The strategies are different when you sell to a consumer, contrasting with B2B sales techniques.

Client: A client is someone who has bought from the salesperson and their company, establishing a long-term B2B relationship.

Cold Call: This is when the salesperson initiates contact with a prospect who is not expecting the call, a fundamental strategy in building a sales pipeline.

Cold Outreach: This term describes the various strategies used to reach out to potential clients for the first time, encompassing email campaigns and social media outreach in B2B sales.

Commodity: Although you may sell a commodity, the term often refers to the undifferentiated perception buyers have about salespeople, a challenge in differentiating B2B offerings. You don’t want to be a commodity.

Competitive Displacement: This strategy involves winning business at the expense of competitors, a concept further explored in the context of strategic sales approaches in Eat Their Lunch.

Contact: A contact is an individual working for a prospect company who is often a key decision-maker or influencer in the buying process.

Consultative: Being consultative means providing real counsel, advice, and recommendations, rather than just selling a product or service.

Consensus: This involves the strategy of helping contacts and stakeholders within a client organization to agree on moving forward with a decision, critical for advancing B2B sales negotiations.

Creating Value: In the lexicon of B2B sales, creating value is about helping clients understand what they need to know to make informed decisions, a cornerstone of consultative selling.

Deal: This term is used to denote either an opportunity in the pipeline or the successful closure of a sale, marking a key milestone in the sales process.

Decision Maker: A person who is has significant influence in, or final say over, what a company purchases. Identifying and engaging the decision maker, or a key stakeholder influencing the decision, is crucial in steering the sales conversation towards a successful outcome.

Decision Making: The facilitation of decision-making processes is a significant part of B2B sales, involving the navigation of organizational dynamics and decision-making structures.

Dream Client: This term represents an ideal prospect, one that not only has significant buying potential but is also likely to benefit substantially from your offering, representing a high-value target in sales strategies.

Executive Briefing: A targeted strategy for delivering value in initial meetings, aimed at securing further engagement, is pivotal in establishing a strong foundation for the sales relationship.

Executive Leader: A person who has a significant leadership role in a team. Often, the decision-making process requires approval or buy-in from an executive leader, underscoring the importance of engaging top-level management in B2B sales efforts.

Fifty-One SME: Being a 51 percent subject matter expert (SME) means you possess enough knowledge to lead an initial technical discussion without immediate support, highlighting the value of expertise in sales effectiveness.

First Meeting: The first meeting is your opportunity to demonstrate value, setting the stage for subsequent interactions and advancing the sales process.

Information Disparity: When you possess knowledge that your contact or client lacks, it positions you as a valuable resource, emphasizing the importance of insight in sales conversations.

Ink: The act of signing a contract, even digitally, is colloquially referred to as getting ink, symbolizing the formalization of a sales agreement.

Insights: Offering insights involves providing valuable perspectives that help clients navigate their decisions and future challenges, a key element of consultative selling.

Investment: Asking for an investment rather than discussing price reflects a focus on the value and outcomes of the purchase, rather than its cost.

Jimmy: Jimmy is the name we use to describe a bad salesperson, highlighting the pitfalls to avoid in achieving sales effectiveness.

Leading the Client: The obligation to lead your contacts through their buyer’s journey as a way to ensure they are able to make a decision that will ensure they succeed, a principle in guiding customers towards making informed decisions.

Linear Sales Process: This is a fictional process that pretends the salesperson will go from target to won by generating the outcomes needed at each stage, a concept once believed to represent the sales journey.

Negotiation: The opposite of a concession. It requires you to ask for something from your contact in trade for what you grant them, emphasizing the give-and-take nature of closing deals.

Nonlinear Sales Process: A nonlinear sales conversation accepts that the path to closing is not always a straight line, allowing for a more flexible and responsive approach to sales engagements.

One-Up: This concept suggests the salesperson has greater knowledge and experience than their contacts and their stakeholders, positioning the salesperson as an expert and advisor.

Opportunity: An opportunity signifies an engaged contact in the sales conversation, marked by progress such as securing a second meeting, which confirms the prospect's interest and potential for closing.

Pipeline Coverage: A term that challenges the notion that simply having more opportunities in the pipeline directly correlates with sales success, highlighting the importance of quality over quantity in sales engagements.

Sales Champion: The main contact who advocates for your solution within their organization, playing a crucial role in navigating internal discussions and decision-making processes.

Sales Conversation: Describing the dynamic and interactive process of engaging with prospects and their stakeholders, this term emphasizes the importance of communication skills and adaptability in winning sales.

Sales Effectiveness: The measure of a sales team's ability to close deals, a critical indicator of performance and success in the competitive landscape of B2B sales.

Sales Methodology: A methodology provides a sales approach based on a theory about what is necessary to win deals.

Stakeholder: Individuals involved in the buying process who may not have final decision-making authority but whose opinions and needs are important to address in the sales strategy.

Transactional: Referring to sales that are straightforward and require minimal consultation, contrasting with the complex and advisory nature of consultative sales.

Upsell: The practice of enhancing a deal by adding additional value through complementary products or services, a strategy aimed at increasing customer satisfaction and sales revenue.

Win Rate: Calculated by dividing the number of successful sales by the total number of opportunities, this metric serves as a benchmark for evaluating sales performance and effectiveness.

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Post by Anthony Iannarino on April 3, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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