What is a marketing qualified lead (MQL)?
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a prospective customer who has been identified by your marketing team as having a higher likelihood of becoming a customer compared to other leads. It’s an individual or business who has shown some level of interest in your products or services through their actions, interactions, or engagement with marketing efforts. If you’re managing a partner program, tracking and sharing MQLs with your partners through automated lead management is a smart way to streamline your sales process and grow indirect revenue for your business.
Typically, an MQL is determined by the prospect’s level of engagement with your business, like downloading a white paper, attending a webinar, signing up for a demo, or frequenting your blog. The criteria for defining an MQL can vary but often include factors such as:
- Engagement: MQLs typically engage with the company’s marketing materials, such as website visits, downloading content (e.g., whitepapers or eBooks), subscribing to newsletters, or following the company on social media.
- Demographics: Basic demographic information, such as industry, job title, company size, and location, may play a role in determining if a lead qualifies as an MQL, particularly if it aligns with your company’s target customer profile.
- Behavior: Track actions that indicate a lead’s readiness to move further in the sales funnel, such as repeated visits to pricing or product pages, requesting a product demo, or attending a webinar.
- Scoring: Some organizations assign scores to leads based on their interactions and attributes. Leads that accumulate a certain score may be categorized as MQLs.
- Budget or authority: Especially for B2B organizations, MQLs may be evaluated based on their potential budget for purchasing the product or service and their authority to make purchasing decisions.
Once a lead qualifies as an MQL, they are typically passed on to your internal sales team or partners for further nurturing and conversion. The goal is to move the lead through the sales funnel, educate them about your company’s offerings, and ultimately convert them into a paying customer.