With the marketing team taking the lead in developing the lead capture strategy, effective communication of expectations and needs from the sales team is crucial. The main goal is to foster teamwork between these departments, which not only promotes cooperation but also has the potential to generate high-quality Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), thereby enhancing overall business efficiency. One way to simplify the process is by using lead scoring software.
But first, let’s clarify what MQL and SQL mean. An MQL is a lead that has shown a higher likelihood of becoming a customer based on their interactions with a brand. These interactions can happen across various marketing channels over a certain period of time. In this article, we will explore the significance of MQLs in the context of sales enablement.
The criteria for identifying an MQL vs. SQL may vary depending on your organization. Many businesses have different definitions based on factors such as the length of the sales cycle, product type, unique buyer’s journey, and more. However, there are some universal definitions that can serve as a starting point.
An MQL refers to a lead who fits specific criteria set by your sales team and is likely to become a paying customer. Not every engagement with marketing materials qualifies as an MQL. Examples of MQL actions include downloading gated content, clicking on ads leading to your website, favoriting items, and signing up for email marketing campaigns. Leads that do not meet the set criteria do not qualify as MQLs.
On the other hand, an SQL is a lead that has met all the lead criteria and has been approved by the sales team as a viable prospect. These leads actively search for a product or service and have expressed their intent to purchase. Examples of SQL actions include signing up for a free trial, requesting more information about products or services, and requesting to be contacted by the sales team.
Aligning the sales and marketing teams is advantageous in helping leads transition from prospects to customers. Lead scoring can be used to determine the readiness of an MQL to be passed on to the sales team. Lead scores are based on parameters set by the sales team, and they indicate the quality of a lead. Marketing automation can be utilized to create an effective lead-scoring system.
When scoring leads, it is important to consider personal information, company information, level of engagement with marketing, online behavior, referring channel, and stage in the buying cycle. Identifying MQLs is significant because it signifies the first time a visitor has shown interest in a company or its offerings. Even if MQLs do not convert immediately, they are likely to find value in the brand and its content.
To generate high-value MQLs, it is important to have a strategy that both marketing and sales invest in. Understanding the sales cycle and aligning marketing goals with sales goals are essential. Measuring the success of the lead generation strategy involves metrics such as the number of MQLs generated, the sources of leads, and the conversion rate to MQLs. Choosing the right lead generation channels is also crucial for capturing consumers’ attention and delivering the right message at the right time.