Written by Dan Konstantinovsky
Strategic Marketing, RH Blake
MQL vs. SQL for Manufacturers
No, it’s not just semantics. The vocabulary of your lead qualification funnel is significant. Terminology matters, and it’s essential that everyone within a company be on the same page regarding these two terms in particular.
The challenge is to clarify the difference between a marketing qualified lead and a sales qualified lead. Especially for large organizations with complex operations and larger funnels, it is vital that definitions are clear, as these will guide marketing and sales teams to appropriate next steps. If the line between these two terms becomes blurred, communication breaks down, the funnel fails, and leads are lost.
This breakdown is evident in a large percentage of companies. MarketingSherpa reports that 61% of B2B marketers send all leads to sales, despite the fact that only 27% are qualified. Further, research by the TAS Group reveals that sales teams typically ignore 50% of the marketing leads sent their way.
What’s going on? Lead qualification needs clarification. To avoid leaving money on the table, businesses must ensure everyone on their teams understands exactly what to label as a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and a sales qualified lead (SQL). Here’s the difference.
What is a Marketing Qualified Lead?
A marketing qualified lead has shown interest in your offerings. MQLs have visited web pages, downloaded content, or engaged in other similar activities that reveal their interest. Due to this interaction, MQLs are considered more likely to complete the sales cycle than other leads. However, these leads are note yet poised to buy. They are positioned to be nurtured with strategic efforts to move further along the pipeline.
Companies can use closed-loop analytics to determine who and when a lead becomes a marketing qualified lead. Each business must establish specific parameters for these analytics that fit their systems and goals. For most, engagement and revenue are key factors.
What is a Sales Qualified Lead?
A sales qualified lead is further along in the sales process than an MQL. This lead has moved beyond mere interest in your offerings and recognizes that you have a product or service that could solve their problem. The lead has been vetted, fits the profile of your target buyer, and is considered ready to approach for a sale.
What is the Difference Between MQLs and SQLs?
To determine whether a lead should be considered an MQL or SQL, use the following chart.
For effective marketing strategies that attract buyers and generate qualified leads, contact RH Blake at email@example.com or 216-595-2400.