Difference Between MQL and SQL

When handing marketing qualified leads to sales team what criteria should it be fulfilling? What makes a Marketing Qualified Lead and Sales Qualified Lead? Let us see in this article Difference between MQL and SQL. The distinction between MQL and SQL is very important as it will contribute to the success of your marketing strategy which otherwise will be a failed efforts because of poor services. Understanding the Difference between MQL and SQL is important to understand how your sales funnel is working.

According to one study, many leads are lost because of poor follow-up and the number amounts to 70% (Source: Gartner). Because it is difficult to determine which leads are highly qualified, many wastes their time on those which are not qualified. In order to achieve high ROI, lead scoring plays a vital role in this as it gives 77% boost in lead generation revenue.

Many of us are using lead scoring to reduce the ambiguity involved and time taken to score leads. But for any lead scoring system, a clear definition of MQL and SQL has to be set and both sales and marketing teams need to be aware of MQL vs SQL difference as they work for unified goals. There is manual lead scoring and predictive lead scoring. In manual lead scoring you can decide the criterion on your own and predictive lead scoring captures data on its own based on leads behavior.

Above all, to define what is MQL and SQL there has to proper alignment between sales and marketing team. If both the teams are working on the same goals, then there will be proper hand-off as the teams will be able to identify MQL and SQL difference.

If you know the Difference Between MQL and SQL, you can use lead scoring. The leads that visited the sales pages/services pages, filled demo requests or visited website numerous times can be given a higher score.

Lead is any person that has shown interest in products or services. After they sign up for your newsletter or download an eBook, they enter your sales funnel and as the leads go through different stages of sales funnel they can be classified as MQL and SQL.

Marketing qualified leads (MQL)

These are the leads that likely to become customers and qualified by marketing team which can further be passed to the sales team. MQLs are the leads who have initiated the interest but you cannot gauge the level of their interest. Probably these are the leads that visited your landing page or downloaded eBook, etc.

You can a simple example to understand this which is –

Many people visit your website, attend webinars, in short, get in touch with you in many possible ways but only a few of them will have the potential to buy your products or your products fulfill only to a few of their need while a few others might find them irrelevant. Those for whom your products are not a good fit are not MQLs because they are not going to buy from you. To understand if the leads are to be qualified as MQLs or disqualified, check if your leads are doing following things –

  • Reading your emails
  • Interacting with you on social media
  • Downloading an eBook
  • Filling out an online form
Is Your Lead Really Sales Qualified? Here’s How To Tell

Sales qualified lead (SQL)

A SQL has aimed to purchase an organization’s products and has met an organization’s qualification criteria that decide if a lead is a correct fit. The contrast among MQLs and SQLs is availability to purchase.SQL is a lead that is interested in –

  • Knowing how your products function and the cost of it
  • Knowing how your product is compatible with the products they are using
  • Your product because they think it is the perfect choice for them

Once your sales rep has a conversation with them on these questions, they can confirm whether a particular lead is SQL.

Establishing the standard definitions of MQL and SQL are important because this will help in nurturing MQLs so that they get converted soon reducing the sales cycle.

sales funnelSource: https://www.smartbugmedia.com/blog/handing-leads-off-to-sales-the-mql-vs-sql-difference

Whether your leads are first-time visitors or repeat visitors, a number of times they fill out the form, sources from where you got them, etc will help you see Difference Between MQL and SQL. It is important to capture the right data in order to convert leads from MQL and SQL. Your sales and marketing teams need to sit on a monthly basis to discuss the leads’ status. Discuss with your teams what information needs to be passed on while doing the hand-off.

Above image will help you see the lead’s journey through sales funnel. Depending on that you can compare MQL vs SQL, do an amazing job in converting your leads by means of smooth hand-off. Hope, above all information, helps you gain more insights on the Difference Between MQL and SQL. For any questions, comment in the below section.

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Ameet Bhinganiya

Author Ameet Bhinganiya

Ameet is the co-founder of OnlyB2B ITES Pvt Ltd, a Lead Generation Expert, and brings 10+ years of experience working with Marketing, Advertisements, NGO, BPO, and ITES etc. Say hi on ameet.bhinganiya@only-b2b.com

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