The sales world can seem, at times, inundated with new lingo, which can be as jarring to a sales rep just starting out as it is to a dyed-in-the-wool salesperson. But, like any industry, sales is in a constant state of flux and improvement, absorbing new technologies and leveraging new insights, and so salespeople are always searching for new language to express these innovations.
There is a wealth of articles online detailing the fundamental terms of sales – lead conversion, cold calling, sales process, pipeline, to name just a few. For those basic terms, this Medium article does a fantastic job laying things out in plain language. But what about some of the newer concepts, which reflect recent research and changing technology in sales? Here are three such sales terms that every team should know.
Speed to Lead
Speed to lead is the time it takes your reps to contact a new lead entering your system, and it has a profound effect on your overall conversion rate. Studies have shown that engaging a lead within the first hour amounts to roughly 38% success, whereas engaging a lead within 24 hours drops that success rate to just 8%. Past 24 hours, engagement success bottoms out at 5%. If your sales team isn’t paying attention to speed-to-lead, in other words, you could be missing out on scores of sales opportunities.
To address this, you can improve your sales engagement approach by complementing your CRM with a sales engagement platform, which offers real-time lead routing.
This has been a buzzword for some time, because it addresses a problem common among salespeople – namely, to talk without listening to the prospect. Active listening is when a salesperson allows a prospect enough space to convey their needs, pain points and challenges whilst listening carefully. The salesperson might demonstrate their focus by mirroring the prospect’s language, asking pertinent questions and remembering details.
This form of listening helps in lead nurturing and, further down the line, in closing sales. It should be lesson number one for incoming salespeople.
As discussed, speed to lead is an important concept in lead engagement, but an equally important – and related – concept is sales “cadence.” Cadence, put simply, is the sequence of touchpoints a salesperson makes with a lead over time. The type of touchpoint – call, email, voicemail, social engagement, to name a few – as well as the number of touchpoints, interval, and overall time, together create a cadence.
An effective cadence not only takes the guesswork out of the sales process but also helps SDRs qualify more leads. As with speed to lead, you can automate your sales cadence with a sales engagement platform.
As sales becomes increasingly more sophisticated, its terminology is liable to change and grow. Who knows what kind of lingo salespeople will be using in 20 years. But for now, these three terms represent contemporary, innovative ways of approaching sales engagement, and should be on the whiteboard of every sales team office, front and center.