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Marketing vs. Sales Qualification

Want to continue from the revenue-theme from Tuesday – Common Revenue Roles – and quickly look at the differences and the importance of two types of leads – marketing qualified and sales qualified leads.
  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) – these are prospects have been vetted to be the right type of person to engage with. Commonly, these leads could have taken some action like filled out a gated content form that has effectively identified this lead as someone to engage with.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) – these are prospects that are typically engaged by the BDR or SDR, and who are viable opportunities.

It’s important to understand the differences between these two to effectively engage and sell. If leads are not vetted from an MQL perspective, SDRs can be wasting a lot of effort speaking with leads who either will not buy for many months down the line, or worse, never buy.

Market-qualifying leads includes verifying the lead fits the target market for the product or service. For SalesWise, we are [currently] looking for companies typically in the 50-750-employee range, technology industry, use Salesforce, have a complex sales cycle, etc. This does not mean we cannot serve a 1500-person company or one in manufacturing. Instead, this means that this particular cross-section of companies is where we fit very, very well. Perhaps, too, the lead fits into one of our buyer personas.

Without being sales qualified, account executives (AE) can waste loads of effort on follow-ups, and not spending appropriate time to close riper deals. Account execs can be the most expensive resources, so it’s important to leverage their capacity effectively.

Evaluating leads for sales qualification may include ANUM – Authority (to buy and making decisions), Need (there’s a problem or opportunity right now), Urgency (a pull to take action timely), and Money (they have budget).

Figure out who your target audience is, and who your target personas are. Drive MQLs and SQLs. Doing so early and with a strong process will make the sales cycle smoother and faster.


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