Marketing Qualified Lead vs Sales Qualified Lead: What is the Difference?

Jump Ahead

Every Lead goes through 6 different stages in a Sales Funnel.

However, every Lead can be classified into two categories once they enter the sales funnel.

Classify them depending on how likely they are to convert and become a paying customer.

They are either Marketing Qualified Lead or Sales Qualified Lead.

But what does it mean exactly?

And more importantly, how do they differ from each other?

Knowing this key difference can help you create an effective sales and marketing strategy to help you sell better.

What is a Marketing Qualified Lead?

A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is someone who has expressed interest in your product but has not yet converted into a paying customer.

These leads may have visited your website, downloaded a free eBook, watched a video about your business, or even contacted you via social media.

A Marketing-Qualified Lead will typically fit a broad customer profile of your business.

In short, these people are interested in learning more about your company and products. But they haven’t decided if they want to buy from you yet.

What is a Sales Qualified Lead?

A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is a potential customer assessed and qualified by the sales team to approach and close a sale.

These leads have undergone several stages of brand awareness and product awareness. And they are ready to buy and become your customers.

A Sales Qualified Lead will typically show an explicit interest in your product or service. And they fit the specific customer profile, like their budget, decision-making authority, etc.

A standard way to assess and confirm a Sales Qualified Lead is to have a salesperson reach a qualified lead over a call to gauge their purchase intent.

Convert Better

The purpose of a clear distinction between MQLs and SQLs is to focus your efforts on creating strategies for each group separately.

It will help you nurture your Marketing Qualified Leads better and turn them into Sales Qualified Leads in an optimal period.

However, you must identify Sales Qualified Leads among the MQLs so that you can convert them quickly.

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