Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are defined as potential clients that have displayed both the interest and capacity to reach a purchasing decision within a relatively short period of time. Nailing down a narrower marketing qualified leads definition is the responsibility of the marketing and sales teams. Lead qualification and lead scoring should play a large part in reaching a company-specific definition.
Here at Sprint Marketing, marketing qualified leads play a critical role. They are a key performance metric that enable us to measure the success of certain online strategies. They are also essential to pinpointing areas that require fine-tuning by marketing managers and their teams.
The lead generation process for any sophisticated B2B company involves a series of stages intended to capture, score and qualify leads. This lead gen route is often referred to as the organization’s sales funnel, sales pipeline, or demand waterfall. With this type of lead generation, the marketing team takes responsibility for the initial web leads that enter the sales funnel.
For many marketing teams, a web lead qualifies as an MQL as soon as the lead enters his or her contact information onto a lead form, typically located on a landing page. The lead usually volunteers this information in exchange for a marketing offer, such as a downloaded whitepaper or participation in a webinar. The provided information enables the marketing team to identify and qualify any promising leads. Those qualified marketing leads are then delivered to the sales team.
Ideally, this should enable the sales team to concentrate their efforts solely on those leads that have the strongest likelihood of becoming a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), i.e. a lead with a high probability of progressing to a closed sale. By focusing on qualified sales leads, the sales team will narrow its close cycles and boost its closing ratios, thereby producing more revenue with less wasted effort.
Generating qualified leads is the aim of most marketing teams. Two of the more effective ways of driving web leads into your sales pipeline are:
Once web leads have entered the sales pipeline and their information is captured, what criteria should be used to sift the strong prospects from the weak?
The qualities for an ideal buyer should be generated beforehand during the collaboration between the marketing and sales teams. In most cases, these criteria boil down to:
1. Does the lead fit the profile? Factors to consider when establishing an ideal buyer’s profile are: job title, company revenue, and geography. These should then be used to title the fields on the lead form.
2. Is the lead interested? This determination should be based off the lead’s activity level and his or her response to various marketing campaigns. Email replies, web visits, whitepaper downloads and social media engagement can all be indicators of a marketing lead’s degree of interest.
3. Where marketing ends and sales begins. Once the marketing team has vetted and qualified a lead, it is then handed over to sales. In an ideal sales lead management process, the sales team quickly follows up on the lead, determining whether it meets all their requirements. Remember, a sales lead’s momentum toward a closed sale often relies on a speedy follow-up.
At Sprint Marketing, our driving motive is to increase our clients’ web leads by optimizing their marketing and sales channels. We accomplish this by determining – and increasing – your marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads and sales accepted leads, and by delivering the latest B2B lead analytics and reporting. Contact us today for a free leads analysis.