Glossary of Sales Terms



A 'Database' is a set of records about prospects and customers, often stored on some form of computer system.  The 'Database' forms the backbone of any sales or marketing campaign, providing the contacts to be targeted.  A sales and marketing database may be expanded and called Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Dealer Incentive

If selling through a dealer channel, an effective promotion can be to offer a 'Dealer Incentive'.  This is a specific promotion designed to increase sales activity from the Dealer of your product or service.


When conducting a bulk mailing of direct mail, a number of databases maybe merged - with the result that some of the addresses maybe duplicated.  'Deduplication' refers to a controlled mailing system that makes sure a specific address is only mailed to once, no matter how many times it has been merged on to the list.


Sales and Marketing work best when they use a focused approach.   Focusing on the most likely market to purchase will always provide a better Return On Investment than blanket marketing to everyone on the planet. 'Demographics' provide a focusing tool, by looking at the socio-economic characteristics of customers and prospects.  By identifying characteristics of most likely buyers by their geographical location, profession, title, income, status, age, etc - it is possible to focus sales and marketing efforts to provide the best Return On Investment via 'Demographics'.  See also Profile and Target Audience.


All humans experience life through 'Differentiation' - from an early age we learn the difference between loud and quiet, rough and smooth, hot and cold, etc.  In sales and marketing, 'Differentiation' refers to how a prospect will measure your product against someone else's.  'Differentiation' helps in sales and marketing to define the characteristics of a product that is not available from a competitor - often called a USP or Unique Selling Point.  Whilst 'Differentiation' forms the building blocks of any sales offering, it gains increasing importance in a market saturated by competitors.

Direct Mail

'Direct Mail' is the dispatching of unsolicited advertising circulars or other printed matter sent directly through the mail to prospective customers.  The concept of writing a letter to a person or a organisation in order to strike a business deal has probably been around since the written language began.  With the advent of the Internet and email, email marketing has become increasingly popular.  Contrary to the popular belief that emails have now superseded hard-copy post, 'Direct Mail' - the sending of messages through the postal system (snailmail) remains one of the most effective tools for sales and marketing in the 21st Century.

Direct Marketing

There are many facets of 'Direct Marketing' but the best definition is probably - the marketing and sale of products without the requirement for a retail outlet.  Direct Marketing is a sub-division of Marketing, a method of advertising a product, which generally uses below-the-line advertising - which often includes telemarketing, direct mail, and email to reach prospective customers.  The 'Direct' part of the term refers to missing out the requirement for a physical shop and also refers to the 'Direct' or fastest route to market.  Of all the 'Direct Marketing' approaches, telemarketing is the only rapid route to market that engages people in an immediate 2-Way communication of ideas that could lead to a sale.

Direct Response Advertising

'Direct Response Advertising' is all about initiating a call to action - an immediate result from the advertising.  An advertisement in many forms of media including - Television, online, in a newspaper or magazine prompts the prospect to respond by email, telephone or post.  Rather than simply stating why a product should be bought - 'Direct Response Advertising' tries to initiate the prospect to buy as an immediate action.  This is generally achieved via a compelling offer to act straight away.


A 'Discount' is a promotional tool to entice a buyer to purchase via offering a reduction off the quoted or list price of a product.  Discounts are often expressed as a percentage.  A 'Discount' is generally used as a sales tool for bulk purchases.

If you find this website useful, and you require more sales, why not contact the author directly:

Tel. 0870 042 1263
or read my blog at