Focus on Marketing Qualified Leads or Sales Qualified Leads?

Wooden building blocks on office desk with hand tilting block so both SQL and MQL can be read.

No one likes to hear “no,” especially if you work in sales. On the enVisioning Success podcast episode, The Power of “No:” Navigating Rejection and Refocusing Efforts, co-hosts Laura and Julia express the frustration of failed sales talks and better solutions moving forward, including qualified leads. Let’s talk about how your sales team can work smarter with sales qualified leads, how your marketing team can help with marketing qualified leads, and which are a better fit for your business.

Qualified Leads vs. Other Lead Generation

First, it’s important to separate out qualified leads from other forms of lead generation. The defining aspect of qualified leads is that they are customers more likely to purchase products or services from you than other leads. There are multiple forms of qualified leads, but the two most common are targeting high-return criteria—demographics more likely to buy from you, tracking positive interactions with your business, and behavior that shows an interest. This allows the sales team to focus on higher-returning prospecting rather than just shooting in the dark.

Sales Qualified Leads

No salesperson enjoys cold calling, so sales qualified leads are about limiting the number of rejections by going after individuals who are more likely to complete the sales cycle. There are many ways of doing this, from networking to pouring over LinkedIn profiles. Some examples include:

  • BANT Sales Framework: An acronym of Budget, Authority, Need, Timing, BANT looks to target individuals who have the ability to make buying decisions and have a need for your services.
  • Sales Accepted Leads: SALs are sales-driven targeting using marketing data and analytics. These target larger groups of people based on demographics, job titles, and age, to name a few.

Sales qualified leads have the advantage of keeping everything in the sales department. But if your sales department doesn’t have the time—or your sales department is you as the owner and other executives—finding and pursuing leads can be a tall order.

Marketing Qualified Leads

Seeing as one of the major goals of marketing is lead generation, it makes sense to have marketing in place that better pre-qualifies lead generation and offers opportunities for salespeople to step in when a lead just needs a little push. Below are some of the most common marketing tools used for better lead generation:

  • Collecting Contact Info: From contact forms to squeeze pages, getting email addresses, phone numbers, and other voluntary information can better set up sales to follow through.
  • Free Products: From whitepapers to videos, providing free products (usually digital) related directly to your services shows interest and the willingness to jump the hurdle of the download.
  • Email Marketing: From drip campaigns triggered on some of the actions above to regular newsletters, tracking the behavior of readers can help filter out likely candidates—assuming you have the subscribers.
  • Better Advertising: Use as much targeting information as possible in ads, from showing specific cities and zip codes to demographics and interests that align with your ideal client profile.
  • Brand Interactions: From social media to reputation sites, how people interact with your brand—from likes to comments to reviews—can better position sales teams to follow up.

Much of this information is driven by marketing analytics, so you’ll need to ensure your marketing team is collecting and using it. From website traffic sources to email opens, it’s all useful information to target specific individuals and see what’s working on a broader scale.

About the enVisioning Success Podcast

This article is based on topics discussed in enVisioning Success, our weekly podcast hosted by Vision CEO Laura DiBenedetto and COO Julia Becker Collins. In it, they discuss all things business and marketing, from lead generation to leadership. Find us on PodBean to download from your platform of choice, or subscribe to our mailing list to get new episodes and other news delivered directly to your inbox.

Of course, to have marketing qualified leads, you’ll need the right marketing department. Whether your team is too small or the department doesn’t exist at all, Vision Advertising is ready to step in. From building out and aligning marketing and business strategies to building out your lead generations (including websites, social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization), we can help find better leads and communicate with your sales team the information they need to do their job, especially for long sales cycles. Contact us today to learn more.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by background, Alex writes “content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to website copy and beyond. In addition, as Senior Brand Strategist, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision, manages multiple client projects, and herds many meetings. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, reads a copious amount of fiction, plays video games, and an enthusiastic chef at home. He’s trying to become a better plant daddy.

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