MQL and SQL: Know the Difference to Improve Bottom-line Results
But “more leads” don’t always equate to success. Why? Because leads don’t pay the bills, customers do.
So in order to convert those prospects into profit, you need to know you’re generating the RIGHT ones. Unfortunately, several studies show that 68% of B2B marketers struggle with generating quality leads. Moreover, even when they do generate them, they find it difficult to tag those leads for a salesperson to convert. In the end, you’re just wasting time and money on leads that never buy. Instead, you want to pinpoint the ones most valuable to your brand and know exactly where they’re at in the sales funnel.
There are two main types of lead qualification you need to know about:
- MQL: Marketing qualified leads
- SQL: Sales qualified leads
Before we dive into MQL vs. SQL, let’s explain what lead qualification is, in case you’re new to the concept.
What is Lead Qualification?
With that said, let’s get started by looking at the key differences between marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads:
MQL and SQL: What’s the Difference?
What is an MQL?
These are leads who have expressed interest in what your brand has to offer based on your marketing efforts. It’s someone who has responded to your inbound marketing in a way that indicates they are a potentially interested buyer. In other words, they’ve taken the first step into the buying cycle and are ready to receive additional information. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re at the point where you should send a salesperson to close the deal!
Examples of Marketing Qualified Lead actions:
- Filling out an online form
- Downloading an ebook (or other material)
- Signing up for a webinar
- Emailing you to request more information
- Submitting an email address for a newsletter or mailing list
- Repeatedly visiting your website
How are MQLs Qualified?
To help with this process, we suggest implementing a lead scoring system. Doing so can help identify your leads’ behaviors and separate the qualified from the unqualified. It also ensures your sales team gets delivered the highest-quality leads—improving productivity in both sales and marketing.
Nurturing MQLs to become SQLs.
What is an SQL?
SQL stands for “Sales Qualified Lead”.
As the name implies, SQL is further along in the sales funnel. They’ve progressed past the engagement stage, and have been deemed ready for the next step in the sales process. In other words, they’ve shown intent to buy, met the qualification criteria, and are now on the path to purchasing.
Ultimately, an SQL means that the sales team has qualified this lead as a potential customer. All they need now is more lead nurturing (by the sales rep) for conversion into a paying customer.
How are SQLs Qualified?
Using lead scoring to make this process seamless and more effective.
But remember, this initial call isn’t meant to be a direct sales pitch. Why? Because contacts in this stage are still in the discovery phase of the sales process. At this point, both parties need to gather more information about each other before moving on to true sales conversations.
MQL vs. SQL in a Nutshell
Marketing Qualified Leads
- Responsibility = Marketing Team
- These are top- or middle-of-funnel prospects who aren’t as far along in the buyer’s journey.
- Not ready to be contacted directly by a sales rep
- Require additional marketing assistance to move them down the funnel
Sales Qualified Leads
- Responsibility = Sales Team
- These are middle- or bottom-of-funnel prospects who are farther along the buyer’s journey.
- Ready to be contacted by a sales rep
- Considered hot/strong leads and should be followed up on quickly to maintain interest.
We can Improve Your Bottom-line Results
We simply bridge the gap between your marketing and sales, making sure no leads are lost, dropped, or tossed.
With that being said, don’t miss out on any sales opportunities and talk to one of our experts today! Or simply click the button below to learn more.
[Contact us directly at (612) 455-7100 or toll-free at (888) 326-6118]
Stop losing leads! In this post, we dive deeper into what you could be doing wrong and how to make the corrections necessary to improve your process…read more
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