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25 Overused Sales Buzzwords (& What You Should Ask When You Hear Them)

Sales Buzzwords

Posted in Sales, and Sales Buzzwords. 5 min read

The most effective salespeople have a mastery of communication that allows them to speak with customers and prospects in a way that engages, informs, and excites them about the topic at hand and closes the sale.

Often, when you're being pitched, they will break out the tried and true sales buzzwords.

Buzzwords trigger feelings or emotions with a prospect to help build trust, and lead them towards the close.

As an informed buyer, you should listen for them and ask the right questions to get the information you need to make an informed buying decision.

Here are 25 sales buzzwords, and what to ask when you hear them!

1. Disrupt, Disruptive Innovation etc.

You'll hear this one a lot! Innovation is already something new, and hence disruptive of the norm.

When you hear it ask for an explanation of exactly how the product or service is “disruptive.”

2. Value Added

This is something you as the buyer determine. When a salesperson uses this phrase let them know you'll be the judge of value to your business.

3. Leverage

Another generic term. When a salesperson states their product will leverage your existing infrastructure ask them to explain how.

4. Align, Alignment

Alignment is a hot topic right now. If a salesperson tells you their product will align your teams or align your business, again ask for clarification.

5. Core Competency

If you're offered a product or service that will help define your “core competency” ask your salesperson how it will help you to distinguish your business from your competitors.

6. Hit the Ground Running

via GIPHY

You'll hear this overused buzzword at the end of almost every pitch! Ask them to define specifically how their product or service will help you to have positive progress with any new initiative.

7. Innovate, Innovative

Products, services and businesses should earn the tag innovative. If you hear these sales buzzwords used, ask them to define "innovative."

8. Pivot

Pivot is a fancy way of saying that you changed something about a product that just wasn't working. If you hear it, ask them to cut to the chase and tell you what they fixed and why they had to fix it.

9. Account Based

Always perk up your ears when you hear "account based" in a pitch. It's often used by someone who has no idea of what account based sales or marketing actually entails.

Ask how their product can help drive account based sales if your business uses an account-based approach and listen carefully to their answer!

10. “Freemium”

Bit of an oxymoron this one is. Something is either free or it isn't. And if it's a “premium” quality item, it's definitely not zero cost.

11. Quick Win(s)

There's no such thing as a quick win. The fact is, it takes time to see a return on any endeavor. Ask about the returns over the long-term.

12. Circle – back

This is a tactic a salesperson will use to stay on track with their agenda. If you ask a question and they say they'll “circle-back” to it later, make sure they actually do, or stop them and ask again.

13. Streamline

Streamline is one of those sales buzzwords that, when used, often doesn't make sense contextually. It's actually more of a filler term.

14. Revolutionary

This is another of those overused sales buzzwords that should be banned. Every tech company is “revolutionizing” something.

If this word is used, get your sales person back on track by asking about relevance to your situation or business.

15. Secure

This one is pretty silly actually. Would your salesperson be selling you an insecure solution? Just a pet peeve.

16. Technologically Challenged

You might not hear this one too often, as it's more of an old school term. But if a salesperson is selling you something “that even a technologically challenged person” can use, remind them you have a highly trained team, and make them get into the nuts and bolts of the product.

17. Value Proposition

When the pitch goes down this road, stop your rep and ask them what problems their product or service can solve that are relevant to your situation.

18. Upsell

When ever I hear upsell I immediately think “more money.” Upselling is fine, but ask about the value of the product or service, before the “upsell.”

19. Leading

This one is big in the tech sales world and it's played out. If you're the industry leader that's great, feel free to use this term, if you can't substantiate it, don't use it.

20. Cutting-edge

Overused by tech salespeople, cutting edge has lost it's value as a buzzword. It's an empty phrase that, like “streamline” has become filler.

21. Intuitive

Every product should be intuitive and create an excellent user experience. It's the bare minimum that any product should do.

If you hear this during a pitch, ask your sales rep to let you test drive the product to determine if it's “intuitive.”

22. Touch Base

Another overused sales term. It's a trite and tired phrase. When your sales rep breaks this out, pin them down to a day and time for a follow-up.

23. “At the end of the day...”

Another annoying buzzword. For example, “at the end of the day, even in a worst case, our product will get you 25 new leads.”

When this one comes out, ask your rep to get to the bottom line and avoid the fluff.

24. Bleeding Edge

A variation on cutting edge, bleeding edge technologies are so new, they're untested. Early adopters often have to incur greater expense to use them. Step back and ask about reliability.

25. Wheelhouse

Sales pros use this word when they want to come across as experts in their field, but have no idea what their product actually does.

Sales buzzwords have their place, but typically they're used to make a prospect feel like the salesperson is an expert. In order to make an informed purchasing decision always get to the jargon free bottom line!

A good salesperson will respect your ability to cut through the buzzwords to get the information you need.

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