What is Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)?
MQL stands for Marketing Qualified Lead. It is a lead that has shown interest in a company's product or service and meets the criteria established by the marketing team as a potential customer. MQLs are often the result of various marketing efforts, such as website visits, social media engagement, or email responses.
An MQL is not yet ready to make a purchase, but they have taken actions that indicate they may be interested in learning more about a company's offerings. MQLs are typically handed over to the sales team for further nurturing and qualification before being converted into a customer.
Examples of Marketing Qualified Lead actions
Examples of MQLs may include individuals who have filled out a form on a company's website to download a whitepaper or e-book, attended a webinar or live event, engaged with the company's social media posts or ads, or requested more information about a product or service.
An MQL may also be someone who has spent a certain amount of time on a company's website or viewed specific pages, indicating their interest in a particular topic. Essentially, any action taken by a lead that demonstrates interest in a company's offerings and meets the established marketing criteria can be considered an MQL.
How to identify Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)?
To identify MQLs, marketers typically use a scoring system called lead scoring that assigns points to various actions taken by leads. The score is based on a lead's behavior, demographics, and firmographics, and it helps marketers determine which leads are most likely to become customers.
For example, a lead who has downloaded a whitepaper may be assigned a higher score than someone who has only visited the website. Similarly, a lead who works for a company in a target industry or has a job title that aligns with the company's ideal customer profile may also receive a higher score.
Once a lead reaches a certain score threshold, they are considered an MQL and are typically passed on to the sales team for further nurturing and qualification.
In addition to using a scoring system, marketers can also use lead tracking tools and analytics to monitor lead behavior and identify MQLs. These tools can help marketers track which pages leads have visited, which emails they have opened, and which social media posts they have engaged with, providing valuable insights into their interests and level of engagement with the company.
What is the difference between MQL and SQL?
MQLs and SQLs are both important types of leads in the sales and marketing process, but they represent different stages in the buyer's journey.
MQLs, or Marketing Qualified Leads, are leads that have shown interest in a company's product or service and meet the established marketing criteria for potential customers. MQLs are typically not yet ready to make a purchase but have taken actions that indicate they may be interested in learning more about the company's offerings. MQLs are handed over to the sales team for further nurturing and qualification before being converted into customers.
SQLs, or Sales Qualified Leads, are leads that have been vetted by the sales team and have a higher likelihood of converting into customers. SQLs have typically been further qualified through conversations with the sales team and have expressed a specific interest in purchasing a product or service. SQLs are at the stage where they are ready to be sold to and require less nurturing than MQLs.
In summary, MQLs are leads that have shown interest in a company's offerings and meet the established marketing criteria, while SQLs are leads that have been vetted by the sales team and have a higher likelihood of converting into customers. MQLs require further nurturing and qualification before they can be passed on to the sales team, while SQLs are ready to be sold and require less nurturing.