A question we’ve been asked several times recently is, “What’s the difference between an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) and an SQL (Sales Qualified Lead)?” There are several important differences between the two terms which are vital to understand, and not only in the context of your sales funnel, but also with regard to the smooth conversion of an MQL to an SQL.

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What’s the difference?

To put it simply, an MQL is an engaged lead — for example, they have downloaded information from your website or landing page, like an ebook or infographic — who isn’t yet ready to receive a direct sales call. There should be a strong possibility that they match your business’s buyer persona.

An SQL, on the other hand, is a vetted prospect that has been deemed ready to be contacted directly because they’ve indicated that they’re ready for direct sales contact, perhaps by filling out a contact form on your website/landing page or by responding to direct business offers. It should be clear that they’re a match for your buyer persona.

Why is it important?

Understanding the difference between the two enables you to nurture MQLs using lead nurturing best practices until they’re ready to convert to an SQL. Not only must the time be right to convert an MQL to an SQL to ensure a successful transition, but as not all MQLs are sales opportunities, you could be wasting time which could be better spent on more suitable sales prospects.

Moreover, failing to use lead nurturing best practices throughout the relevant stages of the sales funnel and contacting an MQL before they’re ready to convert to an SQL could have the effect of driving them away before they’re ready to commence the sales process. It’s important to recognise that MQLs require marketing action which takes into account the buyer’s journey and nurtures them to the decision stage when it’s time to contact them in a sales context.

Final thoughts

By understanding the sales cycle and the crucial differences between an MQL and an SQL, you’re empowered to make the most of your budget and time and successfully transition marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads that convert into customers that are the right fit for your business.

Bambrick Media provides digital marketing solutions, including SEOsocial media and Google Ads, for businesses of all sizes across a range of industries from our base in Spring Hill, Brisbane. Have time for a quick chat about your digital marketing goals? Contact us here.