Receptive’s SaaS Acronyms & Jargon Cheat Sheet (Part 3)

A guide for new product managers

When I first entered the world of product management, I was overwhelmed by the amount of jargon and acronyms. SaaS has a lot of acronyms and jargon. Like, a lot.

The first thing any prospective product manager has to learn will be the three cardinal rules of SaaS:

  • Religiously follow Dilbert;
  • bring donuts to everything;
  • there are apparently magical unicorns and they are everything.

The second is being able to identify your whales from unicorns. So to (hopefully) make your lives a little easier, I give you a SaaS acronym and jargon cheat sheet.

Job Titles

While there are an infinite (and sometimes questionable) amount of job titles in the world of SaaS, below are some of the general categories


There’s a range of roles under the heading of “Software Engineer” with folk specializing in databases, infrastructure & networking to name just a few. Generally, you’ll find an Engineer is the “magic” behind the scenes….they are responsible for building the back-end functionality that makes the software actually work.

Front-End Developers

As web technologies developed to allow for a more sophisticated user experience, the role of front-end developer emerged and split away from traditional web design. Front-end developers focus on bringing an interface to life mainly using HTML, CSS and JavaScript / JQuery.

User Experience (UX) / User Interface (UI)*

These guys don’t just make your platform look pretty — they’re responsible for tracking usage, ensuring functionality and ease of use

*Note: there are some very key differences between UX and UI. But please, please don’t ask us what they are.

Customer Success (CS) / Customer Experience (CX)

Started in SaaS, but now taking over the world, these guys are typically a cross between account management, sales and customer support. A good CX team is proactive in identifying opportunities for success, not reactive to customer problems.

Customer Support

While this role might be entirely covered by CS/CX at some companies, customer support is responsible for responding to customer queries, flagging bugs, and relaying customer issues to the product team.

Growth Hacker

The analytical marketers of the product world. Growth hackers are responsible for finding cheap ways of driving user acquisition through unusual or untapped methods.

InsertHere Evangelist

Also on the marketing side, these guys are responsible for driving interest and support around a product or technology and establishing it as an industry standard. Think of them as the cheerleaders of the industry, always trying to inspire that school spirit-esque vibe around your product.


When it comes to your sales team, you’ll have probably noticed that they like to split themselves into categories — there are inside sales, outside sales, and everything in between. While they could probably go on for days about why each one is unique and different, the key difference lies in the leads they go after:

  • Outbound target leads that may have shown an interest in your product, and will often interact face-to-face
  • Inside are expected to generate their own leads, and usually rely on phone and email

SalesLoft have a handy infographic that highlights some of the differences and similarities between the two.

Now go away, and SaaS like you’ve never SaaSed before!

Read Part 1 & Part 2, and make sure to follow Receptive on Medium for more product management pro tips & insights!

Originally published on

Like what you read? Give Jess Ryan-Smith a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.