A sales-accepted lead (SAL) is a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) that has been transferred over to sales for further lead qualification.
Also called: Sales Force Management System, Sales Automation Software
Sales force automation describes software used to automate sales tasks, such as contact management, order processing, inventory control, order tracking, sales forecasting or performance analysis.
Also called: Conversion Funnel, Purchasing Funnel, Revenue Funnel
The sales funnel refers to the cylinder-shaped visualization of a company's entire sales opportunities in progress, sorted by sales stage. Sales management and executives often refer to the sales funnel as a way of quickly gauging sales performance; a robust funnel across all stages is good, but a funnel with few or no leads across certain stages can signal future dips in revenue and subsequently operating cash-flow. A business typically has more early-stage, less “ready-to-close” opportunities in the funnel (wider top) than close-to-won opportunities (narrow bottom), thus the resemblance to a funnel.
Sales performance management is the practice of monitoring, training and guiding salespeople and their procedures in order to improve their sales and people skills, tracking and organization of customer data, and overall end results. Included in sales performance management are also goal setting and the compensation for reaching set goals. Sales performance management software programs are available to facilitate, streamline and/or automate certain processes.
Also called: Pipeline
A sales pipeline is a company's repository of all combined sales opportunities that currently exist for a company across every stage of the sales progress. The sales pipeline typically ranks opportunities from lowest probability (least likely to close) to highest probability (most likely to close). Also see Sales Funnel.
A sales-qualified lead is a prospective customer that has been confirmed by the sales department as a contact worth pursuing. An SQL has demonstrated clear intent to buy and has met the company's lead qualification criteria that determine whether they are a good fit to be moved further down the sales funnel.
A sales-ready lead is a marketing-qualified lead that is both trying to solve a business need with a company's product and/or service, as well as a decision maker within their company to navigate the purchasing process to a likely close. Usually, marketing teams refer internally to a SRL when speaking about a lead “ready” for the sales team; and conversely, sales teams often refer to the same as a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) internally.
The sales stage describes the different steps an opportunity goes through in the lead-to-cash process. CRM systems come with pre-set sales stages where customers can configure these sales stages to align with the stages in their existing sales process.
Also called: Pipeline Velocity
Sales velocity refers to how quickly deals move through the sales stages set forth by an organization. Typically, a strong sales velocity describes deals that are moving quickly through the pipeline to a “closed won” stage. Conversely, deals that stall in early or mid-level stages indicate poor sales velocity. CRM software can help increase sales velocity by creating reports and visual dashboards that offer users the ability to see pipeline velocity at a glance. These insights can indicate whether the sales team is on the right track, whether there are roadblocks identified, or any other trouble spots that might need attention.
A self-service portal is a digital platform (usually on a company's website) that includes resources (such as Knowledge Bases), procedures and tools for customers to access and utilize to solve some of their own issues related to a company's product (see Customer Self-Service). An effectively managed self-service portal helps improve customer experience and lowers operational costs.
A suspect is a potential customer identified by a company (for example through a list purchase) that has not been contacted yet, nor has contacted the company in any form.