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Sales Glossary

The sales industry is always changing and evolving. Keeping on top of those changes can be tough. The Vidyard Sales Glossary is your ultimate guide to important sales terms, definitions, concepts, slang, insider business jargon and more to keep you up to date with the latest in sales industry lingo.

What is a Marketing Qualified Lead?

A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a potential customer who has interacted with a company’s marketing materials and has been identified as a qualified lead to pass on to the sales team. Based on their activity, it’s likely that they are interested in purchasing the company’s product.

How are Marketing Qualified Leads Generated?

MQLs enter the sales funnel via the marketing team’s efforts. This is why it’s crucial to ensure sales and marketing alignment. Prospects interacting with material produced by one team will expect the same information and details company-wide. Always ensure messaging is consistent.

Some places where an MQL will make initial contact with a company include:

  • Interacting with social media content.
  • Clicking on paid, targeted ads.
  • Attending online events such as webinars or virtual conferences.
  • Downloading content from a company’s website, such as free templates.
  • Subscribing to a newsletter.

It’s important to track metrics for all of these interactions so you can determine exactly how MQLs are entering the sales funnel, and what segments are the most effective. If a company’s social media accounts are converting more prospects, for example, then future resources should be put towards growing those channels and expanding outreach.

Identify a Marketing Qualified Lead

To identify an MQL you will need to track where potential customers enter the sales funnel, and how they travel throughout it. MQLs always enter via marketing materials first. The way they interact with a company’s website, for example, and other actions they carry out will determine if they are a qualified lead or not.

Many people will engage with marketing materials, but all of them are necessarily interested in purchasing a product. A good sales rep will be able to make this distinction and act on it.

Looking for common trends will also help determine how MQLs go from discovering your company to making the decision to purchase your product. Measure and track all sales, pay attention to how contact is made, what channels they entered or exited through, and what different MQLs have in common.

Knowing exactly what makes them go from “interested” to “want to purchase” will help you cater your sales funnel more specifically, and work towards fostering more successful sales.

Marketing Qualified Lead Criteria

In order for an MQL to be successfully handed over to the sales team, they should meet a minimum set of criteria. This will help the marketing team ensure they send top-quality leads over to the sales team. If a sales rep is handed an MQL who isn’t actually interested in the product, or has needs that can’t be realistically met, it’s not a good match.

Always pay attention to the following:

  • Location. Does the MQL operate in an area that your product serves?
  • Company size. Do you know how large or small the MQL’s company is? Can your product be utilized by companies of all sizes?
  • Type of company. What field does the MQL work in? If your product helps improve customer service, but the MQL doesn’t deal with customers directly, it’s likely not a good fit.
  • Goals. Do you know what the MQL is trying to achieve, and can your product help them get there?

It’s important for the marketing team to be aware of the sales team’s ideal customer profile so they can easily filter through marketing leads and determine if they are qualified or not before passing them on.

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