Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are prospective clients who have met a certain standard set by the sales team. Those standards reflect a good probability that the prospective clients will progress to a closed sale. Identifying a qualified sales lead represents a critical step in the complex lead generation process of any B2B organization.
At Sprint Marketing, one of our primary focuses involves finding those key performance metrics that will best determine the value of our marketing efforts. We’ve concluded that SQL rates help sales managers predict just how many prospects in their pipeline will convert, thereby allowing sales to forecast just how much revenue will result.
SQLs are also a valuable gauge for marketing managers, enabling them to determine what percentage of their qualified marketing leads (MQLs) go on to become sales qualified leads, or whether marketing needs to fine-tune its efforts in order to yield better-quality leads.
How Sales Leads Relate to Increased Web Leads
The widespread use of the Internet has led to an unprecedented opportunity for marketing teams to reach vast amounts of potential clients. Now, rather than trying to reach a wide audience, the challenge facing marketing and sales teams consists of sifting through all the possible leads and narrowing them down to qualified leads.
This sifting process is commonly referred to as the sales funnel, sales pipeline or sales tunnel. To properly define “sales qualified lead” requires placing it among the many steps that make up a B2B company’s sales funnel.
The marketing team employs various methods to capture large streams of web leads: search engine optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and content marketing to list a few. This is done in the hopes that these web leads will progress to marketing qualified leads.
2. Marketing Qualified Lead
Marketing qualified leads are those prospects that indicate an interest in your company’s product or service. This is usually indicated when they volunteer their contact information in order to download a whitepaper, sign up for a webinar, or some other marketing offer.
Depending on the prospect’s level of participation, the marketing team will either nurture the lead further or pass it along to the sales team.
3. Sales Qualified Lead
Marketing and sales usually have an agreement establishing lead qualification and lead scoring so that marketing only passes well-qualified leads on to sales. This in turn decreases close cycles, increases closing ratios, and represents an overall better investment of resources.
Once the marketing team hands off a lead to sales, the sales team must then follow up and discover whether the lead meets their criteria for a sales qualified lead.
A sale’s leads qualifications will often vary from company to company. However, savvy sales teams tend to consider these factors when identifying a qualified lead:
1. Pain points. What problems does your lead face? How will your company’s product or service solve that problem?
2. Authority. Is your lead in a decision-making position?
3. Budget. Can your lead afford your services?
4. Timing. Will your lead decide to purchase your service relatively soon, or is it going to take some time before a decision is finally reached?
Sprint Marketing’s driving motive is increase our clients’ web leads by optimizing their marketing and sales channels. We accomplish this by determining – and increasing – your sales qualified leads, sales accepted leads and marketing qualified leads, and by providing cutting-edge B2B lead analytics and reporting. Contact us for your free leads analysis today.