Marketing Qualified vs. Sales Qualified Leads: What’s the Difference & Why does it Matter?

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Marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead; seem like the terms many of us hardly heard about. Are they too difficult to understand? What’s the MQL Vs SQL difference? Why should you be aware of these terms? What is the importance of MQL and SQL? Basically, what’s SQL Vs MQL?

We are going to clear the air with this write-up.

Everything you need to know about marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads in one place.

At LeadX.

We know consumers are getting smarter, more sophisticated, and aware by the day. Whether you are playing in the B2B or B2C market, by now, you are also aware of this fact.

What you may not be aware that the necessity of the sales process to keep going with the modern changing times.

With the increased size of a funnel and more complex situations, it’s getting critical for all of those elements to have names and definitions. And you should know this all.

Otherwise, you will be left with less time & money and more mess on the table.

There are numerous sales definitions you may be learning or have learned so far and with this post, we are trying to break down the terms Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).

Get to know how you can follow NEXT Practices with LeadX’s webinar and unlock the power of integrated lead generation & management.

Lead Qualification

Lead qualification is the way toward arranging a qualified sales or marketing lead as a client who has been reached and has contacted with your sales and marketing team, as is further along the sales cycle than different leads.

What will you learn from this post?

  • What are MQLs?
  • What are SQLs?
  • Difference between MQLs and SQLs.
  • Why is it important to understand the difference between MQLs & SQLs?

So, without wasting more time, let’s get straight to the SQL Vs MQL concepts…

What are MQLs?

So, who is the marketing qualified lead?

One who is problem aware is a marketing qualified lead. One, who is willing to receive detailed information, direct marketing message and definitive calls to action like demo offers from a brand because he or she is:

  • Knows his/her problems and symptoms.
  • Want to know more about the issue and then get it solved through a specific product.

An MQL is not someone who idly consumes content for purposes other than focusing on solving the problem of their problems. An MQL will be ready to go deeper and engage in more meaningful ways.

Let’s take an example to get a better understanding.

John and Wick visit the same landing page of a brand named BrandXYZ. BrandXYZ specializes in offering health improvement tips and products. John fills out a form and starts reading an eBook about the Vitamin E supplement. Wick does the same.

Now both are in BrandXYZ’s email automation system or emailer list.

Now, this is the critical situation to understand who the real marketing qualified lead is and who’s just a passer-by.

Suppose John returns to the website after reading an eBook about Vitamin E supplement and directly visits the brand’s page where BrandXYZ is selling Vitamin E supplement box is the person who is really willing to buy the product and use regularly or wants to try.

John here is our marketing qualified lead and now about Wick…

Wick read an eBook, but never returned to the BrandXYZ’s website but he is still there on the brand’s mailing list and the company will keep him sending regular updates and launches of new products and blogs. Wick is a fan material and thus not our marketing qualified lead.

An MQL is all about intention!

An MQL understood the solution to his problem and thought of buying a pack of Vitamin E for himself. John is our MQL who really got engaged and invested in the brand – in terms of his time and attention – who will definitely become a sales qualified lead and actually purchase.

What are SQLs?

First, you should know about Sales Qualification. Sales Qualification is the act of assessing your potential prospects to understand whether they have qualities that make them a perfect fit for your product or service. In simpler terms, spending time on determining if your lead is worth your time or not is the sales qualification of a lead.

Let’s have a look at a clear definition of an SQL or Sales Qualified Lead…

An SQL is your prospective client who has investigated and reviewed by the brand’s advertising department and then by a sales team and is prepared for the next stages of the sales cycle.

The definition seems to be very clear, clarifying various things that need to happen before an MQL turns out to be an SQL.

Notice the words ‘reviewed’ and ‘prepared’.

A lead has been reviewed and prepared as a genuine prospect; this lead has been informed and has ultimately ‘raised their hand’ – ready for conversation.

In simple terms, an SQL is someone who has come to you either by organic ways or outreach and has shown interest in your product to some degree.

After they have shown enough interest, they appear in front of the sales team who at that point vets the lead further to measure the lead’s sales-readiness. At last, the lead is cleared and goes into the following phase of the sales cycle.

Now, the next part…

What is the difference between MQL and SQL?

Now that we have referred definitions and basics of MQLs and SQLs, its time to get in the pond and discover what’s the difference between MQLs and SQLs.

Rather than just asking ‘Who is an MQL?’ you should know the direct difference between an MQL and SQL. This will give you a full picture. And it clarifies their role in the sales pipeline and enables sales and marketing to get along better.

A Sales Qualified lead is aware of the solution. He not just realizes that he has a problem and it needs to be resolved but also knows whom to contact; i.e. your brand when it comes to buying a solution.

A Marketing Qualified lead needs a resolution. But he doesn’t have enough information to choose a particular product or service. So, he requires more push and presentation of the features and benefits of the solution to be persuaded.

When done right, an MQL should move forward and become an SQL. In an ideal world!

So how would you separate an MQL and an SQL in a manner that is useful to your company?

All things considered, it is very simple.

When a prospect is declared MQL, he is prepared to peruse more in-depth content like eBooks and may even bounce on a demo call with the business. He is likely to explore the best fit. MQLs may be nurtured by both the marketing and sales teams.

A SQL then again is somebody whose research is finished. He can get customized and thorough sales division attention. His activities show that he is prepared to settle on a choice. The sales agents mitigate purchase anxieties, re-confirm item suitability, and swing that forthcoming decision in favor of the company.

It sounds simple and sensible however in real-world situations; there is an immense, practically unbridgeable gap among marketing and sales, among MQLs and SQLs.

Some Exciting Stats about MQLs & SQLs

The MQL – SQL blame game continues

  • Just 6% of salespeople accept that advertising hands them over-promising prospects. The remaining 94% feel that the lead quality is flawed.
  • 40% of marketers don’t have the foggiest idea what a Marketing Qualified Lead or a Sales Qualified Lead is!
  • 59% of advertisers don’t have a proper agreement and division of responsibilities with their sales partners. This implies what is SQL to the marketing group feels like an under-nurtured prospect to the sales division. There is no agreement to be had.

Why is it important that sales and marketing people should understand the difference between MQL and SQL?

Judging and understanding the difference between an MQL and an SQL is a base to strengthen the relationship between marketing and sales. This underlying advance of differentiating a lead as either being an MQL or an SQL is a definitive establishment as far as a lead hand-off. Thus, we’re going to separate this so you can understand why marketing and sales groups need to know and understand the difference between the two sorts of leads.

Let’s revise these two leads.

Marketing Qualified Leads quality is determined on engagement levels or specific practices, for instance, website visits, to decide leads that are probably going to change over into paying customers. A Sales Qualified Lead is the next aspect of the cycle. This implies your sales team has decided this lead as a possible client. The MQL isn’t prepared to buy right now, yet the SQL is. When your teams understand the difference between the two, you can rehearse lead scoring, which implies you can give higher lead scores to the visitors who have seen your site multiple times, filled out high-value forms, and visited high-value pages, for instance, sales guides.

Basically, your sales and marketing teams should be energetic about this since sales and marketing should be aligned to avail your business the greatest open door to improve your business performance. At the point when your sales and marketing teams are bound together around a single revenue cycle, they can support development, sales profitability, and marketing ROI. On the off chance, when everybody is on the same page with these concepts, they can easily be responsible, and understanding concepts like MQL and SQL along with the difference between them plays an important role.

In summary…

As it is obvious, there is a lot that should be mulled over with regards to deciding marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads at your business. We trust that the information that has been mentioned above has helped you to understand the difference between the two.

About LeadX

LeadX is your partner for generating leads faster and converting them even faster into sales. LeadX provides you better insights into data, analytics, and real-time tracking all at the same time. LeadX helps you build and nourish more efficient sales cycles making you free to focus on other growth areas of the business. Start your Lead Generation journey safely with LeadX.

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