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CRM and Sales

CRM Glossary: all the CRM And sales terms you need to know

Danielle Tawfik 10 min read
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In order to best utilize your customer relationship management (CRM) software, there are a handful of terms you should be able to define and understand.

Consider this glossary your one-stop resource for defining all the commonly-used CRM and sales terms. For each term, you’ll find a straightforward definition along with a blog post delving deeper into each topic.

Whether you need to freshen up on the latest CRM jargon or just better understand the defining features of your CRM software, we’ve got you covered!

CRM Terms

Here you can find a thorough list of all the basic CRM terms from A-Z. These are the terms and concepts you’ll need to understand in order to make the best use of your CRM system.

  1. 360-degree customer view

    •  A comprehensive view that aggregates data from the various touch points a customer may use to contact a company to purchase products and receive services.
  2. Cross-selling

    •  Encouraging customers to purchase products or services in addition to the original items they wanted to purchase. Cross-sold items are usually complementary to one another, giving customers more reasons to buy them.
  3. Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

    • The cost of acquiring a new customer such as all of the money spent on efforts to move them through the funnel.
  4. Customer attrition

    • The loss of customers by a business. This happens to all businesses at some point but is important to monitor. 
  5. Customer churn

    • The number of paying customers who don’t return as repeat customers or cancel their subscription over a set period of time. 
  6. Customer engagement

    • The ongoing development of the relationship between the consumer and a company that includes more than just the purchase. Being intentional and consistent in this matter provides value at every customer interaction, thus increasing loyalty.
  7. Customer journey map

    • A diagram that illustrates the phases your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company’s products, services, and experiences.

  8. Customer loyalty

    • A customer’s likeliness to do repeat business. Customer satisfaction, positive customer experiences, and the overall value of the goods or services a customer receives can impact this.
  9. Customer obsession

    • A mindset or approach that centers on creating and/or adjusting products and services to better help customers meet their goals — even if it means going outside of the box. 
  10. Customer persona

    • Also known as a buyer persona, this is a semi-fictional archetype that represents the core traits of a large segment of your audience. This is based on the data you’ve collected from both user research and web analytics.

  11. Customer retention

    • The rate at which customers stay with a business over a given period of time. It’s also called churn rate and is a key metric for practically all B2B and B2C businesses.

  12. Customer tracking 

    • A method for business owners to know details about their customers and their behaviors — they often use customer relationship management (CRM) software to do this.

  13. Customer segmentation

    • Dividing customers into categories — based on shared characteristics like demographics or buying behaviors — in order to market to those customers more effectively. Customer segmentation groups can be used to build marketing personas.

  14. Customer value

    • A measure of a product or service’s worth as a way of comparing it to possible alternatives. It reflects to what extent the customer feels they received enough value for the price of a product or service.

  15. Demand generation

    •  A marketing strategy that uses brand awareness and interest to generate high-quality leads. This involves making business marketing messages sound more authoritative.

  16. Drip campaign

    • An email drip campaign is a type of automated sales outreach. A series of emails are automatically sent to a specific audience after they have taken a specific action.

  17. CRM campaign

    • An initiative or activity created in order to develop relationships with prospects, leads, or existing customers. It can include marketing campaigns like emails or sales campaigns like cold call outreach.

  18. Email sequences

    • A series of emails sent to an audience based on predefined criteria and with a typical goal to convert prospects into paying customers. Depending on the sender, the objective can vary for different marketers, such as getting a response or taking some other action.

  19. Funnel inbound marketing

    • A series of stages where a lead is in the process of choosing one company over the competition. Inbound refers to leads that gave the company their information in some way, versus outbound being sought out in other ways.

  20. Hot leads

    •  A lead who needs a small push to make their decision to purchase a product or service. This usually relates to factors like interest in your product or service and trust in the company providing it.

  21. Last touch attribution 

    • A type of marketing attribution model that gives 100% of the credit for a conversion to the most recent click or visit in a conversion path. If there was no click or visit, then by default it will credit the last impression.

  22. Lead conversion

    • Converting leads into customers through nurturing activities like behavior automation, retargeting, and email. It’s different than lead generation, which aims to turn visitors and prospects into leads.

  23. Lead source

    • the channel a lead first discovers your company from. Examples are social media accounts, search engines, referrals, events, and advertisements.

  24. On premise CRM

    • Also known as on-site CRM, this is referred to a CRM purchased and installed on a company’s server. This requires a license and users can only access the data via desktop applications at a specific locations.

  25. Opportunity management

    • The process of organizing and monitoring deals in a sales pipeline. This can then be used to prioritize the deals that are most likely to close and strengthen sales approaches to help actualize sales goals.

  26. Predictive behavior modeling

    • Applying mathematical and statistical techniques to historical and transactional data in order to predict the future behavior of customers.

  27. Raw leads

    • unfiltered, undifferentiated, and unqualified contacts generated by marketing activities like content downloads, social media engagement, webinars, and tradeshows.

  28. Sales campaign

    • A campaign is used to increase the demand for certain products and services over a defined, usually short period.

  29. Sales invoice

    • A legally binding agreement sent by a provider of goods/services to a buyer that records services rendered, items provided, the amount owed by the customer, and how to pay.

  30. SaaS sales

    • The process of selling web-based software to clients. Clients may include individuals as well as other organizations, teams, and companies.

  31. Sales closing 

    • The point when the seller and buyer agree to the conditions of the sale and a firm commitment is made.

  32. Sales metrics

    • Data points that measure and evaluate an individual, team, or company’s sales performance over time. They help an organization analyze the success of its sales initiatives, as well as identify areas for improvement.

  33. Sales optimization

    • The process of maximizing sales team performance through analysis of past interactions, guidance for sales reps, and management of future sales incentives.

  34. Sales order

    • An official document prepared by a vendor or salesperson that is issued to a customer. It confirms the sale of goods or services and other details like quantity, pricing, and quality of goods or services.

  35. Sales performance management

    • A collection of operational and analytical functions that automate and connect back-office operational sales processes to improve efficiency.

  36. Sales pipeline stages

    •  A series of defined stages or activities for turning prospects into customers.  This often consists of five to seven steps: prospecting, preparation, approach, presentation, handling objections, closing, and follow-up.

  37. Sales prospecting

    • The process of initiating and developing new business for your product or services through the search for potential customers, clients, or buyers. The goal is to move these prospects through the sales cycle until they convert to revenue-generating customer

  38. Sales qoata

    1. goals that sales teams must achieve during a set time period — usually a quarter — to earn their target incentive pay.

  39. Sales revenue

    • The sum of gross income produced through product or sales services. It can be calculated with this formula: Revenue = Sales x Average Price of Service or Sales Price.

  40. Sales velocity

    • The measurement of how fast a prospective customer moves through the sales pipeline and creates revenue for a company — making it a very useful metric for sales forecasting and understanding sales team performance.

  41. Sandler Pain Funnel

    • A systematic series of open-ended questions and statements created to understand prospects’ pain points through emotional understanding. This funnel of questions will help you connect deeper with prospects to outline what they’re looking for in a solution and ultimately win a deal.

  42. Scoring rules

    •  A point system used to assign value or priority to leads, contacts, accounts, or deals. This happens by adding or subtracting points for each ranking item to reach a final sum.

  43. 360 degree customer view
    1. Also known as single customer view. A thorough view of every individual you do business with and all the data you’ve collected on them. Most customer relationship management (CRM) systems offer this.

  44. Social selling

    • Using social media channels to connect with prospects and engage potential leads.

  45. Territory management 

    • When salespeople prioritize and manage a group of customers and prospects by segments like location, industry, and need.

  46. Warm leads

    • A lead that may convert into a hot lead and later into a prospect. Warm leads are more receptive and past the cold lead stage of reluctance to receive emails or visit websites — they are ready to be nurtured.

  47. Web-based CRM

    • CRM software that can be accessed from any browser by hosting data remotely from a server. One major advantage is that CRM vendors can quickly and easily deploy system updates and new features.

CRM Acronym Terms

The term CRM, in itself, is an acronym for customer relationship management; so it’s not all surprising that there are many acronym terms to simplify more complex CRM concepts within the CRM world.

  1. BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing)
    • A framework to qualify prospects in a business-to-business (B2B) sales setting. An organization uses these four criteria to evaluate a sales prospect’s fit.
  2. CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote)
    1.  The process for configuring products, determining their pricing, and ultimately producing a quote. The CPQ process is integral to the quote-to-cash process.
  3. Customer Experience (CX)
    • The total sum of customer perceptions and feelings that result from their interactions with a brand’s products and services like customer support and account management.
  4. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
    • The processes taken to increase the percentage of conversions from a website or mobile app. This could involve changing aspects of the site or app and validating those hypotheses via A/B testing.
  5. MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)
    • A potential customer that has been assessed by the marketing team and meets the criteria necessary to be passed along to the sales team.
  6. Sales SLA (Service Level Agreements)
    • A contract that defines certain key performance metrics and the working relationship between sales and marketing teams. SLAs are becoming much more common as they address a goal to keep sales and marketing teams aligned.
  7. Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
    • a potential customer that has been researched and vetted to meet certain criteria that indicates a higher chance for a closed deal. This usually involves both the organization’s marketing department and its sales team.
  8. TAS (Target Account Selling)
    • A sales strategy for personalized sales. Companies focus on potential clients who are looking for more customized solutions to their problems — and therefore present solutions tailored to those needs and pain points.
  9. Voice of the Customer (VOC) 
    • A part of customer experience that centers on the needs, wants, expectations, and preferences of customers. In most businesses, customer experience quality is what sets them apart from competitors.
Originally from New York, Danielle is a writer and storyteller currently serving as a content marketing manager at When she’s not busy writing, you can find her playing with her 100-pound rescue dog or catching a spontaneous flight to explore a new country.
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