The acronyms MQL and SQL stand for marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads. Gain an understanding of the difference.

mql sql marketing vs sales leads

If you have a keen interest in marketing and sales, then you’ve probably come across the acronyms MQL and SQL. What are they and what do they mean?

MQL stands for Marketing Qualified Leads. SQL, on the other hand, stands for Sales Qualified Leads. But, before we can dive into MQL vs SQL and what they’re all about, lets first define what a lead is.

A lead is simply a person who has shown interest in a business’s services or products. A businessperson wants to get as many leads as they can to convert them into loyal and regular customers. But, before you can do this, it’s crucial to first understand the buying process that a lead is currently in. This is where knowing the difference between MQL and SQL becomes essential.

Understanding MQL vs SQL

Once a salesperson gets in contact with a lead, it’s tempting to immediately try and market the business’s products to them. However, it’s important that you do not.

Start by identifying the type of lead. Are they MQL or SQL? With the former, you’ll send marketing materials and promotions to boost their interest in the business products or services–it’s all about increasing their interest. However, with the SQL, you can go ahead and promote the business products as they have already shown interest in purchasing the products–it’s about getting the lead to buy.

But how do you tell the difference between an MQL and a SQL?

You can do this by analyzing data, such as the number of site visits as well as which pages the leads are most interested in. For instance, SQL may be interested in learning about the buying process and how long the product will take to reach them. With such data, you can perform lead scoring to determine whether the lead is an MQL or an SQL and then decide on the next step.

The Role of the Marketing and Sales Departments

The most important thing when it comes to increasing your business and marketing return of investment (ROI) is for the sales and marketing departments to work closely together, which can be achieved through sales enablement. This is because each department will do its role and hold the next department responsible.

When both departments are working on separate goals, it’ll be easier to lose leads than it is to get them to purchase the business’s products or services. This is because the wrong marketing and promotional strategies will be sent to the wrong leads, which may put them off your business.

The role of the marketing department is to generate leads and then forward them to the sales department. The sales department will then determine which level of the buying cycle the leads are. Moreover, both departments must work towards lead scoring.

Lead scoring involves nurturing the leads and getting them to make a purchase. This means that the sales department needs to understand the different types of leads and where they are in the buying cycle.

Lead scoring ensures that the sales department understands which promotional material to send to which type of lead. It also ensures that the sales department doesn’t bother the MQLs too much and that they nurture them until they’re ready to make a purchase.

Qualifying a lead as either an MQL or SQL can be done in several ways:

  • Site engagement – this means monitoring how the leads engage with your website–how many times do they visit your website? Leads that visit the site severally can be considered SQL.
  • Conversion count – when the leads visit your site, how many times have they converted on promotional offers. An MQL will likely convert on a few offers while SQLs will convert on several offers.
  • Referring channel – you may also want to consider the channels where the marketing department gets the lead and how they have converted previously. For instance, you may find that leads from Facebook and Instagram convert more than those from Twitter. In this case, you can consider Facebook leads as SQL.
  • Where are they on the buying cycle – of the leads that visit your website and convert on offers, which site pages are they most interested in? For MQL, they’ll likely visit information pages while SQL, on the other hand, may request a live demo, for instance.

Final Word

For a business to remain competitive and thrive, it’s crucial that the sales and marketing departments can work together to identify the types of leads and how to market to each. MQLs require nurturing while SQLs can be sent promotional content. This will help turn leads to repeat customers.

larry watsons
Larry Watsons

Larry Watsons spends his leisure by writing business-related articles online. Larry wants to help aspiring entrepreneurs to learn the ropes on business fast so they can progress moving forward.