For any business to flourish, it is important to generate and maintain good leads. However, the process is not as simple as it sounds. Certain strategies are needed to be outlined and adopted to keep the right leads coming in. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to differentiate between the leads at different stages. For instance, sales-accepted leads are the ones that are accepted by the sales department and are ready to take action on them. Similarly, sales-qualified leads refer to the leads that are ready for sales. This article focuses particularly on marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and the factors that differentiate them from leads at other stages.
MQLs, in simple words, are the leads that have convinced the marketing department of their genuineness and are ready to be passed on to the sales department. However, defining a marketing-qualified lead is an elaborate process. Below are the steps to do it right.
- Define What a Marketing-Qualified Lead Means to You
While MQLs for all businesses have similar characteristics mostly, but there are always a few things that are specific to each organization. Therefore, the first step is to define an MQL. Sales and marketing come together to outline this definition depending on shared factors. The definition has to be agreed upon by marketing and sales alike in order to make it work for the organization.
- Focus on Target Audience
The beginning point has to be the audience you are aiming to reach. The target buyer personas should be used as a starting point. From the profile attributes and buying cycle of your target audience you can know a lot about what will make a marketing qualified lead.
- Sales feedback is Important
In the process of defining MQLS, it is advisable to get feedback from the sales department. Here you dig into what is a qualified lead for them and what leads get easily qualified. This is important because the marketing department will know what kind of leads they are expected to deliver to sales which they will find easy to work with.
- Choose Demographic/Firmographic Factors
Demographic and firmographic factors have an important role to play. Choosing the factors that define your customer base very clearly can help you get better leads. The common factors include company size, location, industry, and buyer’s role. It is important to include factors that make your business stand out. This will increase your reach.
- Behavioral Qualification Information
Wherever people go on the internet, they leave digital footprints. They allow you to determine the interest of your audience and how urgent their need is. Therefore, it becomes crucial to observe buyers behavior and use it for the benefit of the business. Buyer behavior allows you to recognize and come up with qualification criteria that will make a lead to speak to the sales. For instance, downloading white papers may be one of the actions that are taken by leads who buy. You have to determine what such behavior for your business is.
- See If there are Enough Qualified Leads
A good business is one that is able to forecast whether there is enough number of qualified leads given by marketing. For this, you have to closely watch the parameters for doing so. If the parameters are too narrow, there may not be enough number of leads to be passed on to sales. Therefore, sales and marketing have to agree on the parameters of lead definition.
- Redefine your MQL Every Quarter
The world is changing rapidly and the businesses are too. Therefore, it is very critical to keep visiting your MQL definition every three months and see if your definition is still valid. It is important to redefine the MQL with changing times. Also, sometimes the businesses requirements change too. For example, a new product launch may require a whole new demographic to be targeted.
The target is always to expand the business and score more leads. Therefore, it is very important to clearly differentiate the leads so that they can be targeted in the right manner. For more insights watch this space or get in touch with MarkSpace Media.