Raise your hand if the following has ever happened to you: You’re in a meeting at a new company. A lot of Three Letter Acronyms (TLAs) are being thrown around.
You don’t know what some of them mean. You don’t want to appear foolish, so you pretend to understand while simultaneously jotting down as many of them as you can on your notepad. As soon as the meeting is over, you rush to your computer and furiously search for definitions of the terms you heard.
Don’t worry, it’s happened to all of us at some point. The worlds of CRM (that’s Customer Relationship Management) and inbound marketing brimming with jargon and acronyms. To help you catch up we’ve created a quick guide that will make you better prepared for a TLA-rich environment.
What Does It All Mean?
Here are some common acronyms you’ll see and hear related to CRM, digital marketing, sales, and B2B:
ABM – Account Based Marketing
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts within a market and utilizes personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each specific account.
Think scalpel instead of shotgun, that’s ABM in a nutshell.
MQL – Marketing Qualified Lead
Marketing Qualified Leads have shown potential interest in buying. They’ve taken an initial step to engage with your business beyond just a website visit or social media view. An MQL is primed to receive additional contact.
Marketing Qualified Leads (hopefully) turn into Sales Qualified Leads, which then turn into customers.
SAL – Sales Accepted Lead
Sales Accepted Leads are the bridge between MQLs and SQLs. An SAL is a lead that the sales team has agreed to pursue, but has not yet spoken with to determine if they are a qualified prospect.
If an SAL, once contacted, indicates buying interest, they will likely be converted into a Sales Qualified Lead.
SQL – Sales Qualified Lead
A Sales Qualified Lead is a prospective customer that has been researched and vetted by an organization’s marketing and sales teams. The lead has been deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process and (typically) an opportunity has been created in CRM.
Every organization has a slightly different process and set of criteria for moving an MQL to an SAL, and finally to an SQL.
SDR – Sales Development Representative
Previously known as “inside sales reps”, Sales Development Representatives focus solely on outbound prospecting. Sales development reps aren’t responsible for closing business. Rather, SDRs focus on moving leads through the pipeline.
BDR – Business Development Representative
Business Development Representatives have a lot in common with SDRs. In many companies, the two are one and the same role. However, other companies differentiate BDRs and SDRs by the type of leads & relationships they handle.
When siloed, SDRs will typically be responsible only for inbound leads, while BDRs will be responsible for outbound activity.
CRO – Chief Revenue Officer
The Chief Revenue Officer role is a relatively new TLA that was born in Silicon Valley. Common in tech companies, a CRO has ultimate responsibility for driving revenue growth by leveraging and aligning all revenue-generating departments. This includes marketing, sales and customer experience/success.
RSM – Regional Sales Manager
A Regional Sales Manager is responsible for the sale of a business’ products or services in a specified region or geographical area.
In many organizations, field salespeople report to an RSM.
KPI – Key Performance Indicators
Key Performance Indicators are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate their success at reaching targets.
Examples of KPIs include:
- Return on Investment
- Cost of Goods Sold
- Customer Lifetime Value
- Employee Turnover Rate
- Sales by Region
Unsurprisingly, many KPIs are also three-letter acronyms. If you’re in charge of monitoring and/or organizing your company’s KPI reports, you really need to know all the acronyms.
CTA – Call to Action
A Call to Action is any text, image, video, or other media designed to get an immediate response from the person reading or hearing it. CTAs are used extensively as part of digital marketing strategies to generate leads and sales.