A Qualified Lead is a person who is interested in the company's services and meets the criteria for evaluating a potential customer. Companies that constantly work with customer requests have their own methods for lead evaluation. These criteria allow for assessing a person's interest and readiness to make a purchase. Such a system is necessary to filter customer requests and prioritize those who show the greatest interest. Lead qualification increases the effectiveness of marketing and sales departments.
By identifying qualified leads, a company can understand who is truly interested in the product and concentrate on working with these customers. The marketing department and sales managers must jointly define the criteria that will help evaluate the lead. To assess leads, you can use a request form with a questionnaire, where users will fill in preliminary information about themselves. Then, instead of processing all requests in a row, you will look at the filled-in information and sort the leads.
Regardless of the chosen evaluation criteria, the main characteristic of qualified leads is their interest in the product and the desire to make a purchase. If you are familiar with the sales funnel and the stages that customers go through, you know that it usually takes time from product acquaintance to the desire to buy. That is why qualified leads are divided into two types: Marketing Qualified Lead and Sales Qualified Lead.
Marketing Qualified Lead or MQL is a lead that has shown interest in a product or company, for example, by subscribing to an email newsletter. They learned about the company through advertising and started to explore it further. Such users meet the minimum criteria of a qualified lead and need time to develop a desire to purchase. At least the company hopes that such a desire will arise, because the lead has characteristics that indicate this.
Sales Qualified Lead or SQL is a lead that is close to making a purchase. They shared additional information about themselves with the company and showed specific interest in the product. For example, the lead requested a product demo, gave their phone number, described their needs to the sales team, etc. SQLs are passed on to the sales team from the marketing department when they see that the lead is ready to make a purchase. This type of lead is the most valuable to the company and requires the most attention.