MQL to SQL: The Qualification Process [Infographic]
November 14, 2016
The customer lifecycle is a useful guide to help you gauge a lead’s readiness to purchase. This is important because the status of your lead should affect your lead nurturing strategy. So, to make a long story short, your interactions with your leads must vary depending on what lifecycle stage they are in for you to properly qualify Leads moving down the funnel (i.e. MQL to SQL conversion).
For example, discussing details of a product or service might not be appropriate for a customer who has been identified as a “subscriber” in the lifecycle because these types of leads are only in the initial stages of learning about your brand. In this case, product-specific content might come off as too sales-y, which might deter a potential customer from moving forward.
However, a customer who has been tagged under the “Sales Qualified Lead” stage is likely to be ready to hear about the finer points of your product offer such as pricing and other areas of personalization. These types of leads might even welcome a more upfront approach to selling because they’re weighing their options and need very specific information to make an educated buying decision.
It goes without saying that you should have a good grasp of each stage of the customer lifecycle. It’s critical for you to identify where a potential client lies so that you can adjust and tailor your message accordingly. Adequate preparation is key to improving your chances of successfully nurturing a prospect towards the ultimate goal that is a sales conversion.
Optimizing the Qualification Process
Marketing qualified leads are generally a lot more engaged than your average lead, but they are not yet ready to buy at the time of contact. It’s ultimately up to you to identify how far along the funnel an MQL is in the lifecycle based on your own unique criteria.
It’s possible to have several layers of MQLs and SQLs depending on where they are in the typical lifecycle journey. Essentially, you should define what types of buyer behaviors and triggers would promote a lead into either an MQL or SQL.
It is critical for marketing and sales teams to forge a strong partnership to create a seamless lifecycle that effectively drives sales conversions. This allows both teams to be well-versed in who their target market is and be alert on what types of behaviors to watch out for. They are able to identify which leads need to be nurtured first, or which ones are ready for a sales call based on potential opportunity.
When the sales and marketing teams are in alignment, the chances of identifying better leads and closing them increases. Ultimately, this results in higher revenue, improved ROI, and a healthy bottom line.