A qualified lead is a potential customer in the future, based on certain fixed criteria of your business requirements. Only willing leads are classified as qualified leads, meaning the information provided by the lead is given willingly and freely. So purchased leads and databases don’t qualify as qualified leads.
There are three ways of classifying qualified leads:
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are those leads that have qualified the minimum criteria to continue performing marketing outreach.
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are those leads that are qualified enough for a sales outreach.
- Product Qualified Leads (PQLs) are those leads that have experienced a meaningful value using your product through a free trial or a freemium model.
Each organization will need to set its own criteria of MQLs for marketing-driven, SQLs for sales-driven and PQLs for product-driven.
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL):
MQL tends to be someone who has met minimum criteria to continue engaging them in the hopes of converting them down the marketing funnel and passing them to sales for further evaluation and lead conversion.
To qualify a lead as marketing qualified you to need some early data points such as:
- Lead Name
- Company name
- Email address
- Industry or vertical
- Contact Number
- 1-2 questions to evaluate interest, such as a pain point, which can help you in deriving a targeted marketing approach.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL):
Unlike MQLs SQLs have indicated budget information, an increased level of user interest, company size, lead’s role/company, number of employees, or something else specific to the lead’s industry. When you run an account-based marketing campaign, you can “fast-track” the new leads from the target list as an SQL.
To qualify a lead as marketing qualified you need some early data points such as:
- Users’ interest to speak to sales
- Requesting for a demo/quote
- Company Size
- Buying intent