Marketing qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL) are different from each other but can easily be confused. Whether you are into B2B sales or B2C sales, it is important to clearly demarcate the two. This helps keep up with the sales process to simplify large and complex sales funnels.

Let’s understand the difference between a marketing qualified lead and a sales qualified lead. So, you can invest your marketing budget in the right way for easier and faster conversions.

Not sure what a lead is? Learn more in our blog here

What is a marketing qualified lead?

MQL or marketing qualified lead refers to the lead who is more likely to become a customer as compared to other leads. This information is based on lead intelligence and usually conveyed by closed-loop analytics.

An MQL is a part of your marketing funnel. This is the first stage where you advertise your product and let the market know that you exist. Basically, you educate the audience about your services and create a content marketing strategy based on the stage at which a lead belongs.

You can identify MQL in either of the two ways-

One. You define an ideal buyer persona and target that particular audience with relevant information. These leads belong to a certain desired category and are most likely to promise greater conversions.

This is called target marketing.

Two. You distribute your content across all marketing channels and then identify who would fit well in your leads funnel. This is quite opposite to target marketing because basically you are trying to attract anyone and everyone into your marketing funnel.

marketing qualified leads

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Once this is done, you have to segregate the ‘prospects’ from ‘suspects’.

A prospect is the one who shows interest in your product or service. Someone who is willing to make a buying decision after going through your marketing material.

They have been educated enough to move to the next step, that is to interact with your sales team and figure out the best plan for their business to generate sales.

A suspect is the one who may have gathered the education material from your marketing content. However, they may or may not be ready yet to make a buyer decision. Worst case scenario, they were simply bored and that’s why downloaded your presentation or clicked on the CTA button.

All you have to do is segregate prospects from suspects and move on to the next stage.

SQL is the next stage and we have discussed this below in detail.

What is a sales qualified lead?

SQL or sales qualified lead refers to the lead who is qualified by the sales team as a potential customer.

Therefore, an SQL is a part of your sales funnel. These are the leads who are sales-ready and are in a comfortable position to take a buying decision.

The MQL process can take some time but when the sales team takes action, things speed up. It’s this faster pace that necessitates the need for a great system of identifying when a lead is ready and can be transferred to the sales team.

So, when is a marketing qualified lead ready to become a sales qualified lead?

The bridge between marketing and sales is critical. This way you can identify the difference in an easier manner.

Lead Scoring

They key is to work with an intelligent and efficient CRM that provides authentic lead scores. The purpose of putting a number on each lead is to figure out their perceived value. Once these leads hit the threshold the sales team takes them up to process them further.

At this stage, you cannot be as pushy as you were before at the marketing stage. Now you have to take a more sophisticated approach because the situation is a mixture of sensitive, complex and fragile.

Different leads at this same particular stage will have different conversion rates. So, you have to play smart with content and interaction.

Know more about lead scoring in our blog here

Fill the Missing Link

The marketing team can easily see the shift of the lead towards becoming sales qualified. However, many companies tend to miss that and lose a lot of money.

Therefore, proper segregation and intelligent content marketing helps.

Conclusion. Ensure a successful transition from Marketing Qualified Leads to Sales Qualified Leads.

It is exciting to see your sales conversions increase with the help of an effective CRM. Seamless demarcation between MQL and SQL definitely helps.

An effective content strategy also plays a crucial role in sales conversions. So, keep experimenting, analyse data diligently and track lead and campaigns in a personalised way that improves experience for faster conversions.

For more on MQL, SQL and sales lead generation, please visit!