The goal of any business is to generate leads and convert them into sales. Most websites see a 2.3% conversion rate, and the key to meeting (and hopefully, exceeding) this number is lead qualification. This process enables you to prioritize your leads, remove the ones that aren’t beneficial, and adjust your marketing strategy to ensure you’re getting the highest quality leads.
Once you have a plan that helps you identify leads that are worth pursuing, you can determine which ones are Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). These are people who are interested in your products and are more likely to make a purchase. Identifying MQLs not only helps you narrow your scope, but helps provide direction for your customer lifecycle marketing strategy. It saves you time and money in advertising to the wrong audience.
MQLs are invaluable to your bottom line. By understanding how to identify these prospects and nurture them through the sales funnel, your sales team can turn best lead generation into sales growth and help to increase your revenue.
Identifying an MQL
For lead generation to be successful, sales and marketing must be in alignment on the definition of an MQL. The sales team can offer valuable insight into what customers are looking for when deciding whether to buy. They can help the marketing department develop messaging that will appeal to the customer.
By working together, sales can help marketing understand how to identify MQLs and use them in a way that will develop the future of the business. MQLs should meet three main criteria.
1. Meet Target Personas
MQLs must hold positions within their companies that are likely to purchase your products. Gather this information through a Persona field in your download forms. This enables you to categorize job titles into groups for easier sorting and management.
2. Meet Firmographics
MQLs must work for companies that tend to buy your products. Whether you simply look up a company’s information on their website or pull details through data software, knowing whether a company needs your services is important to the lead qualification process.
3. Show Interest in Your Services
An MQL is someone who wants to purchase from you in the future. Therefore, they must be someone who is interested in what you have to offer. You can determine this by observing the following behaviors:
- Downloaded Content: watch for subject area and Awareness or Consideration stages in the customer journey.
- Click-Through Rates: people who click on email links are likely interested in the content. To further qualify your leads, build contact lists by total marketing links clicked as well as by content area.
- Viewed Pages: keep track of which pages your contacts have seen and watch for people who visit the site repeatedly.
By pinpointing your MQLs, you can better develop an effective marketing strategy to lead them through the sales funnel.
The Importance of Lead Nurturing
In the world of B2B sales, it can take a long time for a prospect to become a customer. From budgetary restrictions to personnel issues, there are numerous reasons why a company may not be ready to commit to a purchase. The key to MQLs is patience, persistence, and the ability to maintain interest in your brand.
It’s crucial that your company remain front of mind during this waiting period. This can be achieved by delivering high-quality content, serving as a resource, and building a relationship with your prospective customers. This lead nurturing is all about maintaining interest and keeping your contacts from unsubscribing before they make a purchase.
During this process, it’s essential that you track metrics on your MQLs. This helps you determine whether your marketing strategies are working, and in what areas you need to improve. Metrics should include how many MQLs you’re generating and which sources are yielding conversions.
Once you’ve nurtured your leads and developed solid MQLs, the next step in the customer journey is to hand them over to your sales department. There, they can transition from MQLs to Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) and add to your pipeline.
Transitioning MQLs to Your Sales Team
In the world of sales, timing is everything. A lead that is transitioned to the sales team too early can waste their time, since the lead isn’t quite yet ready to buy. However, a lead given to the sales team too late can jeopardize the likelihood of a purchase.
Leads who have been properly nurtured will ultimately be ready to buy. You’ll know they’ve reached this point when they begin reading testimonials, ask for a product demonstration, or request to schedule a meeting (bottom of the funnel activity). At this point, marketing can transition MQLs to the sales department.
There, a sales team will take a close look at the MQLs to determine whether they are, in fact, SQLs. During this period, the sales team may determine that some leads aren’t a good fit or aren’t quite ready to buy. Maybe they don’t meet the criteria, or perhaps the team sees areas where marketing should nurture a little further before transitioning them to sales. Either way, during this process, leads will either be accepted as SQLs or will be sent back as MQLs.
If sales and marketing have been working together throughout the process, then sales should be receiving leads that are ready to commit. Even then, sales and marketing should communicate about the leads, remain transparent about the history of each SQL, and make for a smooth user experience that ends in high conversion rates.
Televerde Helps Convert MQLs
With the right tools, sales and marketing can work together to convert MQLs to paying customers. Televerde can help you create a strategy to gain, manage, and track MQLs that will generate revenue. A global sales and marketing services company, Televerde provides the experience you need for lead generation and pipeline boost.