MQLs vs HQLs – Choosing One Over the Other


MQLs vs HQLs – Choosing One Over the Other

We have discussed in detail Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) in our previous article; in this blog, we will talk about High Qualified Leads (HQLs), a term so frequently encountered by sales and marketing professionals. Of course, the sales team receives a plethora of leads from marketers to ensure they do not miss out on any high-quality prospects. But when faced with a high volume of undesirable contacts, sales reps spend much of their time filtering out low-quality leads from MQLs and nurturing relationships with prospects who do not match the ideal customer profile requirements.

The fact is that there may be thousands of people who may be interested in your company, but there may who would not want to be contacted – these are low-quality leads. If the leads lack qualities that define SQLs, sales teams may also categorize them as low quality. However, low-quality leads aren’t always negative; when nurtured adequately, they can become High Qualified Leads in the future.

Unfortunately, B2B businesses have limited budgets for marketing. In light of this, they must focus on leads that can generate greater ROI. But often, marketers make a similar mistake in lead generation – indiscriminately supporting all kinds of leads. This blog will discuss how businesses must go about marketing budgets to invest in each type of lead. But before we begin, let’s gain an understanding about High Quality Leads.

What are high-quality leads?

High-quality leads are categorized as those prospects who are most likely to be converted. A better-quality lead means the buyer is informed about your product or service and is ready to make a purchase.

But how do you classify leads as high quality? One of the best ways to do this is to allocate values to their characteristics or actions – for instance, job title, budget authority, and interest in marketing content – and compare them with your ideal buyer persona.

Difference Between MQLs and HQLs

The main difference between HQLs and MQLs lies in the sales readiness a prospect shows.

The following are the main traits of HQLs:

  • Holds the ability to make a purchase decision
  • Has a thorough understanding of your product and believes that your product or solution will ease their problems
  • Realizes that the cost of not taking any action is too high
  • Has the necessary funds to acquire purchase your offering
  • Willing to interact with your sales representatives

However, in B2B marketing, if a probable HQL finds your product or solution to be a fit does not guarantee that he/she will make a purchase. Marketers must keep nurturing these leads to turn them into customers.

Compared to MQLs, HQLs are far more likely to decide to purchase from your firm.

MQLs, on the other hand, are leads who:

  • Are still looking into potential solutions for their issue
  • Have expressed interest in your business by visiting your website
  • Have taken actions like downloading content assets, clicking ads, or adding items to carts
  • Have you finished your lead capture form
  • Have read your blogs and opened your marketing emails
  • Have contacted your business with inquiries

Regarding lead scoring, Marketing Qualified leads (MQLs) rank lower than SQLs and HQLs. However, in the sales funnel, MQLs are located at the top of the funnel. Converting such leads into consumers takes time. Even so, there’s no guarantee that they will convert. Effective marketing strategies such as B2B content syndication are required to nurture them.

HQLs v/s MQLs: Pros and Cons

Both types of leads – HQLs and MQLs – have their own benefits and disadvantages. The pointers below offer a summary of the pros and cons for each lead:

Advantages of HQLs:

  • They are simpler to convert because their expectations have already been established
  • They have already made up their minds to buy, so you can pounce on them later in the sales funnel and convert them
  • It is easier to get your returns faster

Disadvantages of HQLs:

  • Less quantity of leads
  • Although they might make a purchase, they are less likely to remain loyal customers
  • You must nurture the lead after you close it to get repeat business

Advantages of MQLs:

  • A greater volume of leads allows you to spend time nurturing and forging genuine connections with customers
  • High-volume leads help raise brand awareness

Disadvantages of MQLs

  • Nurturing leads will require a lot of time and more cost
  • Longer time to get ROI
  • Low rate of conversion

MQLs or HQLs: Which Ones Should You Buy?

B2B marketers use customized business marketing strategies for B2B lead generation. Marketers use first-party intent data or third-party intent data to generate leads. First-party intent data helps gather information from interactions with visitors, prospects, and customers across various digital platforms. On the other hand, third-party intent data is information collected by other companies like publishing networks, media exchanges, and review sites.

While first-party data is readily available, third-party data is not because it is collected from different sources and aggregated together. Moreover, to access this data, companies need to pay the providers. The beauty of using third-party data is that companies can reach prospects outside their immediate audience and, hence, widen their reach.

B2B marketers can utilize the data to target new prospects who purchase comparable or complementary services and goods from partners or competitors. Companies must decide whether to buy MQLs or HQLs from third-party data providers.

Given that lead generation efforts affect the B2B marketing budget; here are some of the crucial factors that determine the type of leads a company decides to buy:

New Product Launches:  In an increasingly cutthroat business world, new products must be promoted aggressively to break into the market. When a company decides to launch a new product, buying MQLs is advantageous; it allows businesses to have an extensive database of customers to nurture.

Product Promotions: The lead nurturing process can be minimized when companies provide goods or services at a discount or include value-added extras with every transaction. For B2B companies running product promotions, they might decide to buy a mixture of MQLs and HQLs, then raise expenditure during promotions to capitalize on growing demand.

Changes in key personnel: To avoid losing any opportunity, B2B enterprises can purchase data for HQLs and utilize it to alert them about changes in key individuals.

Internal budget changes: Cutting overhead expenses becomes vital as the business environment grows more competitive. During such times, investing money in a marketing team that can pursue high qualified leads might be an expensive affair. A better option is to purchase such leads and ask the salespeople to close them.

Competition: B2B marketers should monitor their competitors to notice changes in their strategies. You risk losing out on many prospects if competitors start marketing aggressively to your audience. By purchasing MQLs and HQLs, you may prevent rivals from capturing the lion’s share of your market.

Business season: The performance of businesses varies throughout the year. A few months do poorly, while others witness a peak in demand. B2B marketers must make the most of the peak season and prioritize purchasing of HQLs as demand for their product or service is the highest this time. And when the peak season is off, they can focus on purchasing MQLs.


We may infer from the abovementioned information that all organizations require HQLs and MQLs to expand and grow. Since HQLs are more sales-ready than MQLs, it is simpler to convert them into customers. However, the firm’s internal and external problems significantly determine whether it should purchase MQLs or HQLs.

To ease this dilemma, you can connect with experts at Binary Demand, who can help you with your lead generation process.