Every business needs to generate sales, for this, you must have customers, and before you issue any purchase, it had to go through a process, initially know the company and be interested in the product or service offered, the first step that runs to interact with the company makes it a lead.
What is a lead?A lead is a person who shares with us their information such as:
- Email address.
- The company he or she works for.
We may receive it through a form posted on the website, on social networks, email, and others, either because some downloadable content was published that was of interest to you, or to request more information about the product/service, schedule an appointment with a representative, among others.
In this blog we will talk about the difference between a lead and a qualified lead; we already know what a lead is, but what makes it a qualified lead?
It is not enough to have many leads it is not even profitable, and you can spend time attending leads that are not going to generate any sale, and we may be losing the opportunity to attend the qualified leads that are interested in acquiring our product/service, they are the ones that fit perfectly with the buyer persona of the company, they are that ideal customer that you want to attract and who is willing to purchase at a certain time, this has certain characteristics already defined previously, for example:
- Geographic location
- Social class
- Average income
Types of Qualified Lead
Marketing Qualified Lead is generated by marketing, usually automatically through lead nurturing and lead scoring. It is a contact who has already shown repeated interest in the company's content by downloading the content, reading the emails sent, and who is already at a more advanced stage of the buying cycle and fits the buyer persona.
You usually uncover it by asking for more information on the forms. This information is used to find out whether or not the lead is a valuable business opportunity. If it is, it is considered a qualified lead for marketing.
- Sales Qualified Lead is a lead that is at the most advanced stage of the buying process and, therefore, is ready to make a purchase.
These are people who, generally, have progressed through the marketing funnel and respond to an offer that is much closer to the product or service that the company offers (for example, a demo, a trial, a commercial phone call, among others). They are also usually the leads that have downloaded more content or more advanced content and, as a result, the organization has more information about them.
Differences between MQL and SQL
There can be different levels between the two. Not everything will depend on the industry sector, but also the type of user, since we may think that a lead is not ready to generate the purchase but in reality it may be, at this point the sales representative should not let him lose interest. This is why it is necessary to analyze in which category he/she is using the lead scoring technique used by CRM platforms.
According to HubSpot, we could analyze the following categories to know if a lead can be classified as MQL or SQL:
Lead not very interested and unsuitable for your company: this is the case of people who are researching their competition or, for other reasons, offer false data and have no interest in what you offer.
Lead very interested, but unsuitable: although they have shown interest in the content, they do not meet the characteristics of the buyer persona. For example, we know that they are underage, do not have sufficient purchasing power, or are not the person in charge of making decisions, but they can still be kept in the database.
Lead suitable for your company, but less interested: It is necessary to execute more actions to attract and mature them, we have to keep nurturing them.
Lead suitable for your company and very interested: This is the ideal customer because he is also ready to talk to a representative and make a purchase.
A lead is usually considered to be a user who is in an initial phase of the purchase cycle, but there is still a previous phase that should not be underestimated: subscribers, who are those users who have shown interest in our company and ask us to keep in touch with us, have signed up for a newsletter or subscribed to a blog, but have not yet spoken with a representative or made a purchase.
Although subscribers initially only provide us with their email address (or other contact information), you can also indirectly offer them downloadable content to convert them into leads, or qualified leads.
Is a lead the same as a subscriber?
We should not confuse leads with subscribers or, better said, we should not confuse lead nurturing with the sending of a newsletter, in which offers, relevant information, and so on are sent every week.
Is a subscriber less sales-ready?
According to HubSpot and what we usually hear, indeed a subscriber is not ready to sell, but most leads are going to be people who find one of our content on the internet, download it and we never hear from them again.
On the other hand, a subscriber wants to receive information regularly, which is what he has subscribed to, so we should not underestimate him, since he is eager to receive new news about the company and what it offers.
It is impossible that all the leads that come to us are in line with our buyer persona, or that we manage to convert them all too qualified leads; we inevitably find people who do not fit the ideal customer we are looking for, and, therefore, that they do not make a purchase. However, even if they are not our customers, they can help us disseminate the content, generate likes on social networks, share the content, read the emails sent to them, among others.