Demand Generation

How to Start Generating MQLs Like a BOSS

Accountability often falls on marketers in many organizations to deliver leads that are both ready for a sale and the right fit for the product. Implementing a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) strategy can help ensure your sales team receives high-quality leads so they can improve their productivity, while sales and marketing teams remain aligned in their goals. Here are some pointers to consider to help you start generating MQLs like a boss and stop spinning your wheels:

Clearly Define Your MQL:

You’d think it goes without saying, but this is a step that’s skipped by most sales and marketing orgs. If sales and marketing can’t agree on the definition of an MQL, you are ice skating up Everest.  

  • Right Content, Right Time: Create content focused on each phase of your target customers’ buyer journey and deliver that content with laser-like precision. Use topical content to get the prospects in the door and more focused content to help solve their challenges.
  • Sales-Ready Leads Aren’t in Infinite Supply: At any given time, roughly 3% of your target audience is in “buying mode.” Relying on this tiny fragment of your market to hit your goals is a recipe for missed goals.
  • Lead Scoring: After sales and marketing have aligned on what an MQL is, quantify it. According to SharpSpring, companies who use lead scoring see 77% more ROI on their lead generation programs than those who don’t. 
  • Attack! When the Time Is Right: Driving pipeline and revenue is all about pressure and time (Shawshank Redemption, anyone?). Apply the right amount of pressure at the right time for long-term success. When your prospects score up to an MQL, make sure there is an aggressive, documented plan to convert these MQLs into opportunities and pipeline.
  • Multiple Mediums: Don’t over-rely on one specific medium to deliver your nurture. Everyone engages with content differently. Some folks prefer video, others prefer books, while some would rather just talk to a human. Your nurture should touch as many engagement mediums as possible.
  • JUST STOP With the BANT: 60% of the products I purchased in the past two years had no defined budget. 50% of them were pitched to me by a member of my team with no “authority.” IBM created BANT in the late ’60s and this is still the best we got? MQLs should be 100% about the “N” – focus on identifying prospects with needs/challenges and the revenue will follow suit.
  • Use a Mix of Gated and Ungated Content on Your Site:  Advice from the ole “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” school of thought. A great piece of ungated content can drive increased engagement with other gated content on your site. More specifically, leave your early stage funnel (eBook, infographic) ungated, and your down funnel (vendor comparison, case study, webinar) gated. By separating the two, you can better identify where your prospect is in their buying journey.

Building an MQL strategy truly comes down to alignment between sales and marketing in the organization. Without clear expectations and a definition of what constitutes an MQL to both teams, you’re setting yourself up for a counterproductive nurture. Through alignment on MQL strategy, you can benefit from tactics such as targeted content, lead scoring, and multiple mediums of outreach to generate MQLs that are ready for a sale and the right fit for the product.

Take ownership of the sales and marketing pipeline and increase demand generation ROI. DemandScience’s PureFunnel solution provides down-funnel outbound lead generation to help clients address the roadblocks they’ve hit generating bottom-of-funnel leads.