Who is a Marketing Qualified Lead?
A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a lead who has expressed interest in what a business has to offer based on marketing efforts and is more likely to become a customer compared to other leads. This qualification is based on what web pages a person has visited, what they've downloaded, and similar engagement with the business's content.
A MQL takes the initial step to engage with your business by showing interest through your marketing channels, without buying. While marketing efforts can bring leads in, the lead’s behavior is what prompts marketers to consider them an MQL. They make some sort of active contact action to pursue what you have to offer.
Let say you are selling a B2B product and you want to identify qualified leads for sales. So when a customer visits your website or responds to any marketing campaigns, your lead intelligence unit will start collecting your customer’s content consumption patterns such as demographics and firmographic details.
By tracking and thoroughly analyzing their content consumption patterns and considering other factors like lead scoring, your marketing software can determine if there is a high chance that the visitor may become a customer. This visitor is called Marketing Qualified Lead.
Examples of Marketing Qualified Lead actions:
- Downloading trial software or free ebook
- Using software demos
- Filling out online forms
- Submitting an email address for a newsletter or mailing list
- Favoriting items or adding items to a wishlist
- Adding items to the shopping cart
- Repeating site visits or spending a lot of time on your site
- Clicking on an ad to find your site
- Contacting you to request more information
Marketing Qualified Lead vs. Sales Qualified Lead:
The main difference between a Marketing Qualified Lead and Sales Qualified Lead is the lead’s perceived willingness to make a purchase. A Marketing Qualified Lead is judged by its intentions and curiosity towards your product. They are compared to other leads based on lead scoring and engagement actions.
A Sales Qualified Lead is a prospective customer that has been researched and vetted - first by an organization’s marketing department and then by its sales team - and is deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process.
From a very general perspective: Marketing Qualified Leads turn into Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), which then turn into customers.