Everything You Need to Know about MQLs

By Binary Demand - Last Updated on October 3, 2022

B2B Lead generation and conversion are one of the biggest challenges faced by modern B2B marketers.  The very fact that not all leads are created equally makes the lead generation process difficult.  Thankfully, the customer lifecycle is a great indicator that helps gauge a lead’s readiness to purchase. Given the direct relationship between the status of your lead and your lead nurturing strategy, interactions can be customized based on the lifecycle stage they are in. This will help you properly qualify leads moving down the sales funnel.

But with leads being categorized as Sales Qualified Leads and Marketing Qualified Leads, how do B2B marketers come to an agreement between the two? Moreover, how do they categorize leads and prospects that are a right fit for a business?

The sales and marketing teams also keep juggling, wasting time to answer this pertinent question: How to take leads from MQLs to SQLs? The lead qualification process – from MQL to SQL – encompasses more than just the right fit customer.

Organizations are, thus, redefining and repositioning the role of MQL in the customer lifecycle process, to vest new power in this classification to increase the sales success rate, identify worthwhile leads and encourage more conversions.

In this blog, we will take a closer look at what is a Marketing Qualified Lead, how to identify and generate Marketing Qualified Leads, the difference between MQL and SQL, and discuss ways to generate more MQLs.

What is an MQL?

A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) refers to a potential customer or a prospect that has shown a degree of interest or engagement in a product, solution or service that sends signals to the marketing team that the lead is legitimate and can be forwarded to the sales team.

How to identify and qualify an MQL?

Once the marketing team recognizes a qualified marketing lead, it takes a closer look at those who have interacted with their campaigns and marketing materials and then examines the customer’s behavior and marketing data related to it.

To facilitate this process, each team should have a set of standards based on previous buyer journeys and the total addressable market. The list includes the type of enterprise or organization, location, job title, and business size.

After the marketing sales lead has been identified, the value of the lead must be determined before it is passed on. Once the marketing team gives a green signal to an MQL that ticks all the aspects to be nurtured and converted, they venture into the sales funnel as a SQL. Below we have prepared a list of a few tips that can answer the most pertinent question faced by B2B marketers: How to qualify MQL leads?

Analyze past MQL behavior Inspect the actions of past prospects during the time when they were ready to make a decision and when they were not. The B2B data that has been gathered over a period of time from previous campaigns can help you determine buyers’ intent more quickly and avert an increase in lost deals that were closed.

Get customer feedback – After your SaaS sales team has converted a targeted lead into a customer, an SDR must follow up and inquire about the procedure. What led them to pick your business?  Then repeat the process with prospective leads who backed out and learn why they changed their minds and monitor future MQL performance.

Keep an eye on metrics Keeping a track of your marketing data will allow you to spot trends that come when it comes to achieving MQL goals through practical conversions. Look at the commonalities shared by these SQL leads, which lead sources generated the most interest, the content that generated the most conversions, and the best quality inbound marketing leads. You can use this information to identify which strategies are effective and which ones to replicate.

Stand out among your rival – Determine how your products differ from your competitors. Do you have something to pique a prospect’s interest that competitors don’t have? Utilize this to give your marketing materials an edge for a higher MQL conversion rate.

The MQLs and SQLs debate

Often, a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) are grouped into different categories as they come from different departments. However, in B2B, the sales and marketing teams must work in tandem to ensure the overall success of the company. This is where these two types of sales lead come in.

Put simply, the only distinction between an MQL and a SQL is the position occupied by each prospect in the sales funnel, based on their level of interest. MQL is referred to as a lead that has interacted with your marketing efforts but may not be ready for your sales team to approach them yet. The marketing team will continue to maintain contact with the prospect long enough to determine their level of interest and then hand it over to the B2B sales team. The latter will then make an outreach and convert the lead.

SQL refers to a lead that has expressed interest in your product or service and is prepared to communicate with your sales staff. When comparing the amount of interest, the SQL would enter the sales funnel before the MQL because the latter has demonstrated interest but is not yet prepared to engage with the sales team.

Strategies to get more MQLs

Increasing the number of MQL received on your website or any B2B website is not easy. A few tips and tricks can, however, help you enhance the number of MQLs.

  1. Set MQL criteria for website and business

Before growing MQL or other leads on your B2B website, define what you consider an MQL. Not all marketing techniques apply the same MQL criteria when building campaigns and advertising information, services, or products to specific audiences. Define the criteria you would use to target and increase MQL.

  1. Sort leads

Even a first-time entrepreneur is recommended to segment their leads. It’s best to sort leads by platform and approach used. Segment leads based on where you got their contact information, how they submitted it, and which platforms they used.

  1. Create funnel-based campaigns

Target segmented consumers with funnel-based content and advertising. After segmenting your leads, create unique, segment-specific content that resonates with the MQL you wish to increase.

  1. Provide relevant content

Give sufficient time to develop a content marketing strategy. Some of the best tools to establish and build a brand’s online presence are email, blogs, and social media, among others. Providing valuable content to users and followers can also boost MQL.

  1. Personalize segments

More personal interactions with targeted and tailored audiences enhance the chance to generate leads, sales, and revenue. Use content and email marketing to resonate with your current audience while registering increased MQLs and online engagement.

  1. Identify pain points

Use online marketing strategy to identify possible pain points of customers. Identifying pain points can attract new users’ interest and establish trust and loyalty with those genuinely interested in your business.

  1. Solve a reader or customer problem

Always try to solve any problem your reader or online customers may have. It is considered to be an important trait of a successful entrepreneur. When you aim to solve a problem, increase MQL and keep interested customers coming back more in the future.

  1. Give users the next steps

A little direction can give a boost to MQL. Provide actionable steps to your users and online readers based on the information or ad they’re seeing. Use practical actions to bring prospective buyers to your website, blog, or eCommerce store, where you may request their email addresses or motivate them to buy instantly.

  1. Use audiovisual media wherever possible

Use visual, audio, and video resources to make your internet marketing strategy stand out. Increasing MQLs with a high-quality, visually appealing brand is much easier. Graphical and video aspects help develop a company’s brand and attract new customers, thus boosting brand awareness. As with any online brand, you only have one chance to make a favorable first impression. This is why additional media elements can help make you appear competent, trustworthy, and authoritative.

  1. Showcase positive reviews

Showcase customer evaluations and client testimonials in your campaigns and on your website to reinforce your company’s position in your niche. Promoting great testimonials from content customers and verified testimonials and reviews is a great method to create a brand, especially if you’re new to an industry or want to establish an online presence for the first time.

Use the testimonials to shed light on how effective your customer service is. This will also help showcase the products and services you offer. Highlight the reviews and testimonials using a dedicated place on your website.

Understanding MQL can help you optimize online campaigns on any platform or tool. Whether you utilize social media, content, email, or PPC (pay-per-click) marketing, finding and boosting your MQLs can help you succeed in your market and business.

Binary Demand provides trusted Marketing Qualified Leads Services to help out B2B companies for boosting their business.