The business development dictionary

business development dictionary
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Many barbarous terms linked to business development exist. You’ll find here the business development dictionary! And since any slang needs a dictionary, here are a few definitions of the terms used by the sales representatives.

The business development dictionary

Account Based Marketing (ABM)

The Account Based Marketing (ABM) or the strategic accounts’ Marketing is a strategic approach in which an organization focuses its Marketing efforts on prospects having the potential of generating the most important income.

Account Based Sales Development (ABSD)

The Account’s Based Sales Development (ABSD) is a strategy inspired by the Account Based Marketing which has been adapted to the business development side, and it consists of creating prospecting campaigns which are both personalized or customized and adapted to the targeted prospects.

Account Executive

An Account’s Executive (AE) can have different responsibilities depending on the industry, but he usually manages the customers’ accounts. Within the sales representatives’ teams where the roles go from SDR to AE, the Account Executives are responsible for closing the SDR’s qualified opportunities.

Business Developer

A Business Developer’s role is finding sales development opportunities. His focus is on a longer term than the sales representatives’ but his function covers different meanings (Particularly in startups where short-term sells are vital).


The closing is the act of signing a contract with a prospect which then becomes a customer. « Closing a deal »= Signing a contract.

Cold Calling 2.0

Cold Calling 2.0 is a popularized technique by Aaron Ross which implies no Cold Calling (Cold Calling 2.0 is thus different from Cold Calling). This technique consists of sending at first, a short e-mail to the manager of the person whom you would like to make contact with, so as to obtain a phone appointment more easily.


The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is all the techniques allowing us to maintain the relationship with our customers and prospects. By extension, the CRM also indicates a control software making these operations easier. Here are a couple of examples: Salesforce, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics, etc…

Customer Success

Originally linked to the customer support, this function has expanded to accompany the customers in the stages following the selling process so as to assure their satisfaction, fidelity and any potential upsells.

Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

The Ideal Customer Profile is an identikit picture of your Ideal Customer. In other words, it is a Customer to whom your product or service adds value, but who, at the same time, also brings value to your company.

Inside Sales

An Inside Sales is a Sales representative who, on the contrary of the field sales, only works remotely. He takes in charge phone prospection, makes appointments and carries out phone Appointments etc…

Inbound Marketing (Content Marketing)

The Inbound Marketing indicates all of the techniques that help generating inbound leads through content generation. Among the various levers of the Inbound Marketing, we can mention blog articles, webinars, white papers, Youtube videos, etc…


A lead, track or a suspect is a person that might be interested in your company’s product. The definition and distinction between Lead and Prospect can vary, but a lead is usually considered a prospect when his need has been qualified.

Lead Generation

Lead Generation (or LeadGen) regroups all the techniques allowing the collect of potential prospects’ details.

Lead Scoring

Lead Scoring helps defining an order of priority between the different prospects according to their interest in the company. For instance, a prospect who checks the company’s pricing page or downloads many white papers, etc… Should have a higher score than a prospect who carried out no action and should, first and for most get a follow-up by the Sales Team.

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Lead Nurturing

Lead Nurturing consists of educating and maintaining a regular contact with the prospect whose level of interest isn’t yet at the stage of turning him immediately into a customer.
It usually consists of sending regular emails offering content (blog articles, videos, white papers…) to your prospect.

White Paper

A White Paper is a support covering subjects directly linked to the expertise of the company that’s freely sharing it.
It is usually downloaded in return for the details of the person reading it, and it fits into the Inbound Marketing Strategy.

Marketing Response Representative (MRR)

The Marketing Response Representative (MRR) or the Lead Response Representative (LRR): is the person in charge of the business opportunities’ follow-up that are generated by marketing campaigns, content marketing or commercials. He is responsible of identifying prospects coming from the Inbound Marketing.


When a prospect is qualified, it leads to an opportunity (of closing a deal).

Outbound Sales

The Outbound Sales team is the sales team responsible of finding new customers though prospection (in opposition with the Inbound Sales/Marketing).


The sales pipeline indicates all of the prospects who you could, in a near future, sign a contract with and who could represent a deal.


A prospect is a potential customer who usually has a need. When a lead is qualified, he becomes a prospect.


It is an active approach consisting in fetching new prospects/customers usually through Cold Calling or Cold e-mailing. Prospection is an activity done by the Outbound Sales Team.


Qualification is the contact initialization stage with a prospect, which consists of collecting information that is used afterwards for evaluating the mutual interest. When a lead becomes qualified, he becomes a (qualified) prospect. According to his qualification level, he can be qualified as “Cold Lead” (the prospect is qualified and is actively looking for a product meeting his needs).

Sales Development Representative (SDR)

The Sales Development Representative (SDR) (or more pejoratively the Telemarketer) is a sales member of the Outbound Sales team whose role is creating new opportunities for the Account Executive.

Sales Force Automation (SFA)

The Sales Force Automation (SFA) is a software that intends to automate all of the sales stages: from the selling goals entries to the action plan management set up by the sales representatives.

Social Selling

Social Selling is the art of creating and maintaining relationships with prospects and customers, by usually exploiting the possibilities offered by social networks such as LinkedIn, Viadeo, Twitter, etc… But can be done both through the Web and in real life.


Upselling means selling a product for more than what the prospect was willing to buy it for.


A Webinar is an online conference in which a speaker usually shares on his screen, a video or a power point document with an audience of several registered people, with the aim of exchanging views on a specific subject which is usually linked to the company’s activity, and/or of conducting a product demonstration. On the contrary of the sales demonstration, the webinar is addressed to several interlocutors (Sometimes to numerous interlocutors).

Welcome Call

The welcome call is a brief phone conversation following a positive answer to an e-mailing campaign or to a website registration of a prospect. It is the first phone contact that you will have with your prospect and it is a question of welcoming him.

We’ll add new definitions in this business development dictionary time to time, so keep in touch! :)

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