It’s not uncommon for someone to listen to a sales rep using tech sales terms and think that they’re speaking in an entirely different language. It’s hard enough to try to decipher sales slang for someone not in sales, but it can be even harder to decipher it when tech jargon’s thrown into the mix.
Imagine being a new tech sales rep and overhearing this
in the breakroom over slack:
“After dealing with nothing but tire-kickers that dragged me along and just wanted a FAB parade, I finally got somewhere with that whale! It really gave me all the SADNESS feels, y’know?”– Sales Reps Everywhere
It’s really not clear what most of those terms mean, and as a new hire, it can be intimidating to show your hand and ask more tenured sales reps what they’re talking about.
With that in mind, here are 50 of the most common tech sales terms, so new sales reps don’t have to worry about not understanding conversations ever again.
50 Tech Sales Terms
The newest generation of cellular networks, designed to run at far greater speeds than previous iterations of the network. 5G is roughly 2x as fast as 3G and absolutely blows 1G right out of the water. Fully non-carcinogenic and GMO-free.
A wealthy individual who backs startups or entrepreneurs in return for ownership in the company. Also known as private investors, seed investors, or angel funders. Think Shark Tank, just a lot less awkward, and without an interview broadcast on national television.
A.I – Artificial Intelligence
Also known as machine learning, this field covers machines or computers that use problem solving and learning from previous instances to become more efficient at executing tasks. Like Skynet, but less sinister, and nowhere near as sophisticated.
The blandest of tech sales terms. A methodology for qualifying leads, BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline to buy. Basically a checklist to make sure a lead isn’t wasting a rep’s time.
An entrepreneur who has built their company with nothing but personal savings, luck, and incoming revenue. So, they own all of their company, make all of the decisions, but also may lack the startup funds to funnel into their product. Most founders will say they were bootstrapped, besides the millions of dollars they took from VCs.
Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
If a lead is BOFU, then they’re really close to making a sale. They’ve made it through the qualifying rounds, and now they’re ready for the big sales pitch to help them through the end of the funnel.
Verbal or non-verbal signals from a prospect or lead that indicate they’re ready to buy. Buying signals typically include questions about product details, asking about pricing, physically holding a product, or repeatedly nodding. If the lead’s showing buying signals, then it’s time to close ‘em out.
Close Ended Question
The opposite of an open question. A close-ended question is often a yes or no question that sets a lead towards making a choice towards a sale. It’s always a good idea to follow this up with an open question to gain more information and keep the conversation going.
The sales rep has closed with a lead, but they haven’t made a sale. It doesn’t mean that the lead is gone forever, and it could simply mean that the sales pitch came too early. All it really means is that the sale wasn’t successful – this time. Closed lost deals can always come back later so don’t take it personally.
Information that sales reps hold about a prospect or lead to optimize the sales funnel. Or, to learn more about how leads interact with the sales funnel. The biggest challenge with this term, is do you pronounce it “data” or “data”.
If an asset has lost value over time, it has depreciated. In sales, a product or service has depreciated if the ongoing cost to the prospect is greater than the value it brings.
This refers to the rate at which sales reps bring in new leads and sales opportunities, and is generally considered to be a sign of overall business health. So, if the deal-flow is on target or on the up, it can be a good sign there’ll be a pizza party in the near future.
The committee who ultimately decide whether to make a purchase or not. These people may not be the ones sales reps speak to every time, but they’re often the ones who sign the checks, or have a say in the sales process.
Disruptive selling is any sales tactic that goes against the status quo. Like the Old Spice ads from the 2000s, disruptive sales challenge the prospect’s preconceptions and create buzz, leading to increased sales. Many tech companies love to disrupt by marginally improving on something that’s already being done.
A small piece of hardware that plugs into a port on another device, usually to give it additional functionality. This mythical pieces of tech is rarely seen in the wild and is incredibly hard to find.
A sales method that appeals to the prospect’s emotions. This method either uses positive emotions like desire and excitement, or presses on pain points like fear, anxiety, or frustration to push leads further down the sales funnel.
When a sales rep believes so strongly that a product will help their prospect that they become extremely vocal advocates. So, instead of trying to make a sale, sales reps simply see themselves as spreading the good news about their life-changing product or service. Remember, they aren’t unemployed, their Evangelists.
A three-part checklist covering the Features, Advantages, and Benefits of a product, which is a great way to showcase that product’s value to the lead. Sales reps could probably expand this acronym too FABULOUS but, really, nobody has time for that.
A person who limits access to the decision-maker, commonly encountered in B2B (business-to-business) sales. Largely considered annoying, but they act as a nonsense filter for the decision maker, so get ready to answer their riddles three.
The General Data Protection Regulation means that sales reps working with EU prospects have to have their consent to collect and hold their data. Sales reps also have to delete their data if requested.
An inital public offering, also known as a company going public, is where the company floats their shares on the stock exchange so they’re available for public investment. It’s both an exit strategy for founding investors and a way of raising more capital.
A company that helps newer, smaller companies grow by offering them a ton of resources under one roof. So, there’s not only space to work, but also a variety of different advisors and, sometimes, even investors available to help new entrepreneurs. In our experience, the best incubators are the ones that come with free coffee and snacks.
Opposite to an emotional sale, an intellectual sale appeals to the prospect’s need for a quick, affordable, and logical solution to a problem. It’s more common in B2B sales, but that’s not to say that sales reps won’t come across the civilian equivalent of Spock someday.
An old-school sales tactic where the sales rep subtly adopts some aspects of the prospect’s body language or speech patterns to subtly build trust. There’s a very delicate balance between building a subconscious connection and weirding prospects out, though.
Turning something that doesn’t make money into something that does. In tech, this is usually selling advertising space on free trials of software, so it generates revenue through a channel other than sales.
“Move Fast And Break Things”
A phrase made famous by Mark Zuckerberg that was meant to be about disrupting the status quo, but came to be synonymous with pushing the minimum viable product without considering the consequences. Referred to by developers as “Moved Fast, Broke Things, Bugs Are Everywhere Now, Help”
Marketing Qualified Leads. These are prospects who have signed up for a newsletter, gone to a webinar, or generally seem interested in a product, but aren’t quite at the stage where they’re ready to buy.
Non Sales-related Activities, which is anything that doesn’t lead towards closing a sale. Either a massive waste of time and potential commissions or a valuable break to work on admin and get a breather, depending on who you ask.
A question or concern the prospect has that can get in the way of the sale being closed, like price, quality, reliability, or timing. It’s up to the sales rep if they want to go full Kool-Aid man or play the sale like Jenga.
The process of turning a lead into a customer. This gives a visual representation of where prospects are and what needs to happen to move them to the next stage. Is a deal stuck at a certain stage and won’t move? Time to call a pipeline plumber!
In sales, this means being GDPR compliant and only gathering information that’s absolutely vital to the sales process. No invasive questioning about the prospect’s cat or what they’re eating for dinner; that’s just weird.
That aha moment when sales reps realize they need to go off-script and come up with a new sales approach or risk losing a prospect. Or the things businesses do from time to time when they come up with a better idea.
The amount of time a startup has before it runs out of money, assuming their revenue and expenses remain the same. Just like with planes, if a business runs out of runway, they crash and burn.
Sales Prevention Department
Usually a not-so-friendly term to refer to a legal / finance department, which often gets in the way of closing sales quickly. The people with no regard for your need to hit quota this quarter.
When sales reps who earn commissions or work to targets hold off closing a deal until the start of a new month, so it’s easier to make their numbers.
Increasing sales at a rate that doesn’t outpace product production or a sales team, and doesn’t lead the product to deviate from customer expectations. You will never get in trouble for asking “will it scale?”, while sitting in a team meeting. In fact, you might even get mistaken for a thought leader.
Selling a complementary product or service because a lead is purchasing a company’s main product from a competitor. Basically, a good way to make sales even without selling the main product. Think “Side Hustle”, but for a business.
Smile And Dial
Some tech sales terms need no introduction. Physically putting on a smile before cold-calling to sound up-beat and excited on the phone. Remember, you might have gone 0/20 in that call blitz, but you can’t be sad if you have a smile on your face.
“Sales Are Dope, Never Ever Stop Selling”. A mantra from the one and only Corporate Bro.
Sales Qualified Leads. Leads that have graduated from being marketing qualified, and now they’re ready for the sales pitch. Aka. marketing has done all the hard work, now it’s time for sales to clean up.
Servers, software, and databases that are accessed over the Internet, allowing users to run software and access data that’s not stored locally on their devices. Not something that old people yell about. Well, they might.
An industry figurehead who offers a unique perspective or inspire people with innovative ideas and concepts.
A time waster; a lead who doesn’t have the budget or authority to make a purchase, but they really are interested and considering it, honestly.
Time Kills All Deals
The adage that the longer it takes to close a deal, the more likely it is that the sale won’t go ahead. Time has its way with us all, deals are no exception.
Top of the funnel (TOFU)
The stage where a prospect is aware of a product, or is aware they have a problem and are looking for solutions. Sadly not yet a qualified or nurtured lead.
Selling additional products, services, or upgrades to close on a bigger sale. A great way to build out existing accounts and contribute to your companies recurring revenue. Think, “would you like that supersized” but for B2B sales.
Either a privately held company worth more than $1 billion, or a sales expert with decades of experience who’s willing to work for the same salary as a junior. Either way, a mythical creature that one might see once in a blue moon.
When a prospect removes themselves from an email list or subscription service, therefore unqualifying them as a lead. Best done by actually replying to the original email in all caps, and red bolded text, so the sales rep on the other end knows just how much they’ve impacted your day.
A type of private equity financing, sourced from investors who are willing to back new companies that have long-term growth potential. When tech companies announce their funding, the VC is the one writing the cheque.
A sales rep’s dream. The prospect or logo that, if nurtured right and closed, has the potential to be a massive source of sales revenue. And, if the sale goes through, it’s time to take advantage of your companies unlimited vacation time because you’ve likely just hit quota.
Did we leave any tech sales terms off the list? Shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org to get them added! If you want to understand how these tech sales terms relate to the day-to-day work of a tech sales rep, check out our free sales training content on Uvaro On Demand. For a deep dive into tech sales training, consider enrolling in our immersive 12-week career accelerator and gain the knowledge and skills to land your dream role in tech sales!