Why it’s time to ditch MQLs and start focusing on SRLs
As a marketer, you are likely familiar with the terms "marketing qualified lead" (MQL) and "sales ready leads" (SRL). But what do these terms mean, and how do they differ from each other? More importantly, why should you care about the difference between MQLs and SRLs?
Let's start with MQLs. A marketing qualified lead is a potential customer who has shown interest in a company's product or service through their interactions with the company's marketing efforts. This could include filling out a form on the company's website, downloading a whitepaper, or attending a webinar. MQLs are typically further along in the sales process than a general prospect but may not be ready to make a purchase decision yet.
MQLs are a useful measurement of lead engagement, but they should not be relied upon as the only indicator of a lead's readiness to buy. A study by Forrester Research found that only small percentage of MQLs actually turn into sales opportunities. This means that a lot of time and resources are being spent on nurturing and qualifying these leads, when they may not be ready to convert into paying customers.
On the other hand, a sales ready lead is a potential customer who has been contacted by a representative and has shown interest in the company's product or service during that conversation. SRLs are further along in the sales process than MQLs, as they have had a direct conversation with a representative and may be ready to make a purchase decision.
SRLs offer a more accurate picture of a lead's readiness to buy, and they are more likely to convert into paying customers. According to the B2B Lead Generation Benchmark Report from MarketingSherpa, the conversion rate from MQL to SQL (sales qualified lead) is only 10%, compared to a conversion rate of 50% from SRL to SQL. This means that by focusing on SRLs, you can increase the chances of converting leads into paying customers and get a better return on your marketing investment.
Another benefit of SRLs is that they provide valuable insights. By having a direct conversation with a potential customer, a representative can gain valuable insights into their needs, preferences, and objections. This information can be used to tailor your marketing and sales efforts to better meet the needs of SRLs, increasing the chances of conversion.
In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that sales representatives who have deep customer knowledge are 70% more likely to hit their quota than those who don't. By focusing on SRLs, you can equip your sales team with the information they need to close more deals and achieve their quota.
The key to successfully converting SRLs into paying customers is to tailor your demand generation and nurturing efforts accordingly. This means understanding the differences between MQLs and SRLs, and using the right approach to convert each type of lead.
For MQLs, the focus should be on nurturing and educating them about your product or service. This can be done through email campaigns, webinars, or other educational content. The goal is to help them move further along in the sales process and become an SRL.
For SRLs, the focus should be on closing the sale. This means having a clear and concise sales process in place, and using the insights gained from the SRL conversation to tailor your sales pitch to the lead's specific needs and objections.
At Quantum Marketing, we focus on delivering results. All our leads are qualified to a SRL level before they are passed to our clients, giving you a much higher conversion rate to sale and are focused on delivering 50 to 1 return on marketing investment.