Sales Qualified Lead

Sales Qualified Lead is a prospective customer that is ready to talk to a sales team. Typically, this lead has expressed enough interest in your product or service, that they\’re ready to move into your sales process. Usually, they\’ve been researched and vetted by your marketing department and then handed off to your sales team.

Why do SQLs Matter?


Understanding MQLs and SQLs is important for your sales team because the system can save your salespeople time so they spend more of their time selling to the right people at the right time.

At its best, the process of lead scoring and converting MQLs to SQLs gives your sales team more qualified prospects so they\’ll have more meaningful conversations.

Additionally, tracking MQLs and SQLs gives your sales and marketing team insight into what\’s working — what brings leads in, and how likely are they to convert? Plus, how often is your sales team closing SQLs? Is your sales team having more meaningful conversations?

The MQL and SQL systems can help you determine how ready a lead is for a conversation. If your company isn\’t using this system, you can use it to maximize your sales conversations, so you can make more sales.

Now let\’s discuss how SQLs and MQLs differ, and how they relate to one another within the sales process.

While a sales qualified lead has been researched and vetted by your marketing department and is ready to talk to your sales department, a marketing qualified lead is a lead who has engaged with your company and could become a customer if nurtured correctly. An MQL becomes an SQL once they\’re ready to talk to the sales team.

So, how do you move a lead from anMQLto an SQL? Consider the following factors.

Lead Score

The process of moving a potential buyer from an MQL to an SQL can vary depending on the company but often begins with a process called lead scoring.

Lead scoring is the process of assigning values, often in the form of numerical \”points,\” to each lead you generate for the business.

You can score your leads based on multiple attributes, including the professional information they\’ve submitted to you and how they\’ve engaged with your website and brand across the internet. This process helps sales and marketing teams prioritize leads, respond to them appropriately, and increase the rate at which those leads become customers. Lead scoring is a way to save salespeople time, so they spend more time talking to leads that actually want to talk to them and are interested in your product or service.

Lead Behavior

Sales and marketing teams work together to determine which actionsqualify a prospectas ready to move on to thesales process. You\’ll determine what the ideal lead looks like and decide how much weight a particular action carries?

For example, these actions could be booking a meeting, taking part in a demo, or responding to an email. Then, you could assign higher point values to book a meeting rather than responding to an email.

Without a defined set of actions, your marketing team might pitch leads that aren\’t ready to move on to the sales process. Overall, this will slow down your sales team.

So, what type of behavior can move a prospect along? It could come in the form of engagement on your site. Let\’s say a lead is engaging on your website, opening your emails, or downloading your lead magnets. That means that they\’re interested in what you have to say. Depending on how much they engage with you and the type of engagement, they might be ready to move from MQL to SQL.

You could also include negative actions. For instance, if a lead has stopped engaging with you or stopped opening your emails, that could bring their lead score down.

Likelihood to Buy

Typically, for a lead to become an SQL, they have to have a need for your product or service, have the budget to purchase your product and infrastructure to use it, and your product or service solves their pain points.

This is the idea of theBANT system(Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline). While you shouldn\’t use this system to ask a series of rote questions, it can give you an idea that you\’re selling to a good fit customer. For example, you\’ll still want to map out who\’s involved, identify your prospect\’s problems, and discover how quickly their organization moves.

Qualification, or disqualification, is one of the more difficult things to do as a sales representative. Salespeople are typically coached to make these decisions using theBANTmethod, i.e, budget, authority, need, and timing.

The BANT method gives an overarching picture of the customer based on theirbudget requirements, who make purchasing decisions for their business, their needs and pain points, and their timeline for finding a solution. While this strategy is valuable and provides perspective, it is a rather outdated method. There is still more information you can gather from your leads that these questions don’t give you that ensures you’re selling the right way and to the right people.

In addition, no matter how skilled you are, some leads just aren’t ready to buy yet even if you’ve compiled a full profile that says otherwise. That’s ok, they’re not ruling you out forever, but it’s important to learn how to distinguish these people from the rest so you’re not wasting your time.

Incorporating Leads Into Your Sales Process

Once your sales team gets a lead from the marketing team, it\’s time to work on your sales process so that you can close as many deals as possible.

When talking to SQLs, salespeople should prepare just like always, but use the information gathered during the nurturing MQL phase to help close the deal. For example, you should know what a prospect has downloaded, and the path they took to become an SQL. Then, it\’s time to talk with them and learn their story so you\’re aware of how your product can service them.