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Marketing Qualified Lead Criteria: Defining MQLs That Sales Will Love

marketing qualified lead criteriaThe abyss between sales and marketing grows wider when the sales department gets frustrated with lead quality. That's why it's critical to develop marketing qualified lead, or MQL, criteria that bridges that gap. 

Otherwise, you have no way to know what kinds of leads your salespeople love and which ones they would rather not waste time on. You may have to work to bring both teams into alignment before you can enjoy better sales conversions and improve relations.

Five Tips for Creating Marketing Qualified Lead Criteria That Your Sales Team Will Adore

These tested tips will help your marketing department generate MQLs that your salespeople will thank you for:

1. Focus on Lead Disqualification

If your sales team knows what qualities to look for in a good lead, you can bet they can also spot the red flags that signal a poor one. For instance, it's possible that people in certain industries are never eager for your B2B solution, so they aren't the sorts of prospects you should target.

For instance, Carrie Simpson owns a service that gathers quality leads for managed service providers. Her business thrives because she delivers quality leads to her clients, so she can't afford to disappoint the sales department. She disqualifies industries or even individual companies that aren't as dependent upon their computer systems. To do this, she relies upon her own experiences and information she gathers about individual prospects. You can meet with your sales department to learn what kinds of leads rarely work for them to develop disqualification criteria for your own business.

2. Share Information Between Marketing and Sales

Skilled salespeople use information about the path the potential customer took to become a lead. Online behavior can often determine the probability of an eventual sale. However, this kind of behavior might vary by industry or company. With some companies, customers are more likely to buy after they have visited the site several times. Other companies find that first-time visitors buy as often as returning visitors. You and your sales department might even score leads based upon the path a prospect took online before they filled out a lead form or swiped their phone to call.

In turn, marketers should take time to understand the kinds of conversations that sales has with their best SQLs, or sales qualified leads. This can help marketers refine sales materials to head off objections and make sales simpler to close. It's also prudent to let sales teams review marketing materials. That way, they know what their prospects have seen and may offer suggestions for improvements.

3. Capture Social Data

If you're running social marketing campaigns on sites like LinkedIn or even Facebook or Twitter, you can send demographic data along with your leads.

Understanding a lead’s job history or hobbies gives you a better idea of how to steer the conversation in a favorable way. However, you may want to caution salespeople not to disclose certain information ( age, marital status, etc.).

4. Encourage Feedback and Buy Ins

You need to encourage feedback from sales.The more that you call upon sales to become part of the marketing process, the more enthusiastic they are likely to be about working the leads that you send them.

Hold short (but frequent) meetings to refine each other's understanding and keep communication channels open. This way, you can educate them about your current and planned marketing campaigns. Marketing can also benefit from sales’ experience.

Feedback and Information Sharing Create the Best MQLs

Your marketing and sales team work towards achieving the same business goals. For virtually all companies, those goals include closing more sales and reducing costs. By working together towards common goals, sales and marketing can begin to turn more MQLs into SQLs, close more sales, and improve productivity and morale.

Of course, you can maximize marketing and sales productivity with the right tools. ConnectLeader's software can help you connect with more qualified leads. Learn more about ConnectLeader’s sales acceleration tools.

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About the ConnectLeader B2B Sales Blog

The ConnectLeader B2B Sales blog is written to share productivity tips, tools, news, and other information relevant to managers and senior executives interested in B2B sales productivity, demand gen, inside sales, sales operations, and business development issues.

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