MQL & SQL meaning?

Published July 07, 2022 · 4 min read

Leadgen platform

Let's talk about two different types of leads namely an MQL and an SQL.

Have you ever heated a frozen pizza in the oven but you are too hungry, in a hurry or too eager to wait for it to get completely done? A perfectly delicious and long-awaited pizza but the first bite is just luke warm or still slightly cold. I have and there are several reasons why I didn’t wait to eat a completely done and hot slice.

Like a frozen pizza, leads with their different definitions are almost always better when they’re warm. Therefore, my biggest recommendation is to read the packaging and take the time needed for a hot pizza (or lead).

Let’s move onto the actual topic and talk about two different kinds of leads. The meaning and definition of MQL and SQL and how they differ.

MQL meaning?

MQL is an abbreviation for Marketing Qualified Lead. A MQL is a lead that has shown interest in your company thanks to marketing. How they have shown interest can differ between different MQLs, but often a lead is someone who has downloaded material, engaged on your social media or your other digital channels, visited the website several times or shown interest in some other similar way.

SQL meaning?

SQL on the other hand differs from an MQL. It stands for Sales Qualified Lead and is a future lead that is ready to become a customer directly through one of your sales representatives, without having to be warmed up further by more marketing materials. An SQL will have been qualified by the sales team and has moved down the sales funnel.

The difference between MQL & SQL

Both are the definition of warm leads. The difference is that a Sales Qualified Lead has already been qualified by the sales team and is ready to move to the next stage for example a demo. While a Marketing Qualified Lead must be pursued to actually qualify if you’re both the right fit for one another and be qualified, usually by the sales or marketing team to become a SQL.

The right leads process

Companies that have divisions between sales and marketing usually have a clear process for when a Marketing Qualified Lead becomes a Sales Qualified Lead.

The marketing team's mission is to arouse interest, ie make the company visible to the target audience. Then through marketing materials find the right leads and create materials that make them warm enough to show interest.

With that said, It is important to be aware as not all leads have the same maturity. Some MQLs need more nurturing than others before being qualified, in that case you might need to plan and put more resources on that lead before it can move on and become an SQL.

It’s important to get to know your lead to see what stage they are at, whether it’s an MQL or SQL if you want them to convert and become a new customer. An MQL can be cold and disappear quickly if it’s not handled properly. For example if someone has downloaded material from your website - then a follow up might be required, perhaps through a question such as "Did this material help you?".

It’s also important to note the quicker you respond to an MQL the more chance you have of converting them to an SQL, so communication between marketing and sales on this matter needs to be efficient.

Best tips to increase the conversion rate on these various leads

  • Find out where the lead is located in the sales process.
  • Focus on their lead behavior, lead scoring, type of conversion, and referral channel to draw a conclusion.
  • The marketing team stays focused on arousing interest and maintains MQL with relevant content and passes to sales when ready.
  • Talk to them with personal messages, uncover their challenges by reaching out to them by email and various other channels, or educate them with content through social media.
  • The sales team focuses on SQL and closes deals.

A clear sales process on how to work with MQL vs SQL will strengthen your marketing and sales strategies. A strong collaboration between the marketing and the sales team will lead to increased conversion.

An excellent next step in finding new customers is utilizing sales automation with personalization, such as LeadPilot.

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#MQL #SQL #leads #leadgeneration #sales #B2B

// Jennifer Grånemo