Sales Qualified Lead vs. Marketing Qualified Lead

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The internal definitions of a Sales Qualified Lead and a Marketing Qualified Lead offer numerous stumbling blocks in everyday business. In many companies, the transition from Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is inadequately regulated. If marketing and sales are not pulling in the same direction and there is no cross-departmental understanding of the term, discrepancies are inevitable. It follows that valuable working time wasted becomes and successful conversions escape could.

Do you want to avoid friction losses and, on the contrary, even increase the acceptance of the MQL and SQL it is important to deal intensively with the definition of an SQL and an MQL across departments.

Free guide: 5 steps for a successful ABM campaign - download

Unique criteria for SQL and MQL

If leads are not assigned to clear phases during the customer journey, the vast amount of information your CRM about your customer base can lead to inconsistent data handling. Phasing is based on the current status of the lead and actions that can be expected in the future. Of relevant importance is the precise and uniform distinction of a lead into Marketing Qualified Lead and Sales Qualified Lead.

Sales Qualified Leads and Marketing Qualified Leads need to be differentiated.
Sales Qualified Leads and MQLs need to be differentiated. (Image:

A fluid, for the clientele imperceptible transition between the two phases is an important prerequisite for a lead to become a customer and for your company to generate sales. At best, this qualification process - the "flip side" of the customer journey, so to speak - also contributes to the satisfaction of your clientele and you get advocates who decisively support you in the acquisition of new clientele.

Clear assignment of responsibilities

It is unproductive for a marketing team to hand over all leads to sales, as is still the case in many companies. Better for your employees is a clear distinction between MQL and SQL and the associated associated perception of responsibilities for customer service. This ensures consistently high quality.

Satisfied leads reward your efforts with low bounce rates in the customer journey.

Automated scoring systems help your team determine the right time for a change from MQL to SQL. It is important to keep in mind: Manual intervention and premature upgrades to Sales Qualified Leads can be critical to gaining new clientele and associated conversions.

Brief description of MQL and SQL

Marketing Qualified Lead: MQLs have for their objectives relevant content downloaded from their own motivation. In addition, they have received content as part of online campaigns and targeted marketing activities on various channels - keyword Lead Nurturing. You show Interest and Respond to offers. There may have been initial personal contact between your marketing staff and potential customers.

Sales Qualified Lead: If leads have been qualified by Marketing as agreed and it has been determined that a concrete interest in purchase exists, Sales can take a Sales Qualified Lead and schedule an initial consultative sales call.

SQLs and MQLs may come across your company for different motivations
SQLs and MQLs may come across your business for a variety of motivations. (Image:

Crucial for sustainable success in selling high-quality and complex products and services is a Combination of marketing and sales automation. Equally important is the consolidation of a customer relationship through targeted engagement on a personal level by your employees.

When to turn a Marketing Qualified Lead into a Sales Qualified Lead?

There are different influencing factors that indicate to your marketing staff when it is the right time to change the status of an MQL to an SQL. The assignment to individual Buyer Personas as well as a profound Understanding of specific interests and needs play a decisive role.

Allocation of lead scores

A Lead Score indicates how far a Marketing Qualified Lead has progressed on its path to becoming a Sales Qualified Lead. Support automated processes You in keeping hesitant leads interested and sending them information at regular intervals. Your products and services will stay in the minds of potential customers.

Second, automation allows you to implement a scoring system that enables your marketing team to keep potential customers in focus. The level of scores depends, for example, on what relevant information your leads have submitted so far and how much they have engaged with your website as well as other content from your company.

Consideration of lead behavior

Information from sales is of extreme importance to your marketing in order to properly classify lead behavior. The Linking the marketing and sales CRMs can be essential for this. There are indicators that give clues to the intentions of a lead and show the readiness for a phase change from Marketing Qualified Lead to Sales Qualified Lead.

These range from responses to emails, to on- or offline conversations with your company's employees, to suddenly dropping out of interactions. Defining these behavioral indicators for different buyer personas helps to understand the find the right time, to pass a Marketing Qualified Lead to the Sales team.

Analysis of the probability of purchase

To become a Sales Qualified Lead, certain requirements must be met on the part of the potential customer or client, such as:

  • The product or service is needed or even solves urgent problems
  • There is budget available for purchase.
  • There is knowledge of internal hierarchies and decision-making processes (especially in the B2B environment).
  • Key decision makers know.
  • There is a time frame for the acquisition.

The assessment is based on the BANT framework commonly used for lead qualification, which stands for the acronyms Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing.

With the BANT framework, you can qualify potential leads.
Use the BANT framework to qualify potential leads. (Image:

A decisive factor in turning a Marketing Qualified Lead into a Sales Qualified Lead is the careful and correct application of the BANT method, especially in dialog situations.

Lead qualification with clear structures

To reduce redundant activities to a minimum and ensure consistent qualification of leads, it is important to, clear structures and Scoring systems to implement. In addition, all information collected in the CRM about a potential customer can be used. Responsibilities and accountabilities must also be clearly defined as decision-making processes with regard to a phase change.

Conclusion - SQL vs. MQL

If all processes and activities are consistently aligned with the behavior of your leads, a targeted and continuous qualification from Marketing Qualified Lead to Sales Qualified Lead takes place. A well thought-out combination of automatic and manual qualification methods helps you save working time and costs and significantly increase the number of successful conversions through the combined efforts of marketing and sales.

Free guide: 5 steps for a successful ABM campaign - download


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