So, your Marketing team has generated the targeted amount of MQLs, now it’s time for sales to take up the gauntlet to convert your MQLs into SQLs. Or that’s the aim at least. Your Marketing team has toiled day in day out for months to produce these leads, now they’re passing MQLs to Sales. Ensure that your Sales team follow up sufficiently.
The difference between lead types may not sound like a lot, it’s only one letter after all, but the impact on your sales can justify the added work each necessitates. An MQL is an engaged lead who has shown interest in the company. Typically, this is portrayed through interaction with marketing communications such as emails, and by moving around the company website. An SQL, on the other hand, is a lead who has the makings of a viable prospect. They will have undergone more stringent qualification to ensure the lead matches company requirements.
When an MQL has been passed between teams, Sales need to take on a series of tasks to qualify a lead to SQL status:
Making a sale forms a partnership between the two companies involved, yourselves and the customer company. You need to make sure your prospect will fit the bill. Inspect the company’s teams, who you’ll be working with, does their company fit with yours? Use your killer values to identify whether these companies will be good for you. And don’t be afraid to get stuck into their website. See what it is they offer and match it with yours. You need to accumulate enough ammunition to convince the lead they need you, not whoever the competitor is they’re currently using!
In every company, they’ll be one person who calls the shots. It may vary depending on which department you’re targeting, but get in contact with them, and you’re more likely to get an answer which is productive. Based on your killer values, identify the likely person you need to contact. LinkedIn is a great way to then identify who this person is. Call the right person, the first time.
You need to be relevant, forward thinking and personal. Luckily, since your leads have come in as MQLs already, you’ll be able to achieve this. Each lead will have been qualified for a reason. You can identify what this is. See what campaigns have been sent, which have been interacted with, and what pages your lead has visited. Make your pitch personal with this insight. Discuss what they’re interested in, and how you can help them achieve their aim. Make your product relevant to them.
By the time you reach this point, you’ve likely spoken to your MQL at least once. Now is the time to decide if they qualify as an SQL. Are they a customer in waiting? Or do they need a bit more TLC? Maybe it is the case that your lead just isn’t quite ready to buy yet. There are a few options from here on where to direct your lead. One option is to put them on watch. You can keep track of the company, so you are alerted as soon as the company next visits your website. Alternatively, send them back to marketing. Place them into a workflow to warm up your lead a little further, until they’re ready to enter the buying cycle for good.
Knowing your leads is the key to converting a lead to a sale. Identify how you will spot a lead from an MQL from an SQL. Each is critical to the sales pipeline, and each will need a different style of interaction. So, undertake the tasks required at each stage to give your teams the best chance of making those conversions. MQLs require a great effort to generate, don’t lose them in the conversion to a sale.