To understand what Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) are, we must enter into the context of the strategies used by companies today to capture the attention of their potential customers.
This group of actions are framed within the concept of Inbound Marketing through which messages are personalised within the segment of people who would be most likely to buy our product or service.
With this point in mind, we will explain what MQL and SQL are, which translates as Marketing Qualified Lead and Sales Qualified Lead.
what is MQL?
It is worth mentioning that it is not the same to talk about a lead as an MQL, as the former is in the first phase of the conversion funnel, i.e. it is still a long way from making a purchase, it is in the discovery phase.
Taking this into account, it is important that these qualified leads are well defined from the beginning, so that you can know at all times what route and actions to take to achieve them.
Importance of MQLs
This leads us to the conclusion that the more MQLs we have, the better, as it is a powerful indicator that there are more people interested in your offer and that your marketing strategy is well focused.
The fact of being a qualified lead means that it is a customer who has decided to trust your brand and has left their contact details to continue to maintain a relationship with it, so you can continue to mature it and make it become a customer.
The Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is that person who knows exactly what they are looking for and has entered the company's website, browsed it and perhaps downloaded some material to enrich their knowledge. In other words, they are a potential customer for our business and are already a qualified lead.
The process of qualification and generation of MQL leads is fundamental because for many professionals, it is the main indicator to measure their success.
what is SQL?
The Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is our well-nurtured customer, i.e. a potential buyer. In order to qualify a lead at the end of the funnel as a potential buyer, it has had to go through the entire funnel through a strategic process that has led it to decide on our product or service.
SQL leads have interacted extensively on the website, they have made contact asking about a specific product or service and are interested in the proposed solution.
In order to reach this point, the previous marketing work with MQLs must be strategic and careful.
How to convert an MQL to SQL
The Marketing and Sales teams must work together to get a lead to achieve the final conversion and decide to buy. This is the expected result of this teamwork.
To be successful, we must analyse how the sales funnel works. At the top of the funnel is the analysis of leads and identification of prospects and potential sales opportunities. This is the function of the Marketing team.
Before converting from MQL to SQL leads, these users must meet the following characteristics:
- Have the requirements of your buyer persona.
- They have the necessary means to pay.
- Is a customer determined to buy and has demonstrated interest in finalising the sale(not just curious)
After you are at this stage and the user has been qualified within the group of MQL leads, the process should be strategic. It will take some time perhaps, a good exchange of information, facilitated by the marketing team.
This means that the person has moved from the MQL lead group to the SQL lead group and it is then up to the sales team to finalise the commercial agreement. An agent or representative will be in charge of selling the product of interest and negotiating with the customer.
If the lead has been well qualified, the probability of a sale is higher and then we will have taken the lead through the whole process to the third stage of the funnel, the final sale. To get to this point, the sales and marketing teams have worked in total synchrony to accompany the customer throughout the process using optimal marketing strategies.
The process of taking a prospect to the final stage involves many factors, from determining what an MQL and SQL lead is, to developing an aligned strategy between the sales and marketing teams, until each individual has completed their purpose by finalising the sale.
There isno doubt that automating lead qualification through CRM is what companies are doing today. According to studies, companies that automate lead management see an increase in revenue of 10% or more after a six-month period.
But in addition to cost savings, MQL and SQL lead management through CRM allows you to quickly identify the stage each lead is in and determine which are most likely to move through the funnel and which customers should be discarded because they don't meet any of the above requirements.
Other tools such as chatbots can help to increase lead conversion rates by up to 29% because with the right data analysis of the information that emerges from them, the marketing team will have resources to feed their contact strategies.
Nowadays,centralising customer and team information allows us to be agile and efficient in the face of highly competitive scenarios driven by technology. Using the funnel method to differentiate the stage in which our users are at is essential for a good marketing strategy. By joining the forces of marketing (MQL) and sales (SQL), you can achieve better analysis and boost your business.