Over 60% of marketers send unqualified leads to salespeople. When leads aren’t qualified, they’re not sales-ready. But what are sales-ready leads, and how do they differ from market-qualified leads (MQL)?
Read this complete guide to understand the difference between market and sales leads. You’ll discover how to generate more actionable leads from your marketing campaigns.
MQL vs. SQL
The first step to understanding sales-ready or sales-qualified leads is how they differ from market-qualified leads. Qualified leads vary by a lead magnet (e.g., contact forms, email pitches, cold calls, etc.). Understanding the difference between MQL vs. SQL is fairly simple.
MQLs are less qualified and, therefore, less reliable leads. This prevents them from being sales-ready. Basic contact information, such as name and phone number, serve as limited sales contact.
These limitations prevent MQLs from being sales-ready leads. SQLs, alternatively, factor in buyer demand, volume, and urgency. Marketing and sales alignment result in SQLs.
SQLs come with higher lead generation costs per lead. The higher cost isn’t a downside, though. Fewer leads are required, as they more thoroughly address business clients’ needs. In turn, less money is spent on the decreased amount of leads.
What Are Sales-Ready Leads?
Various factors qualify sales-ready leads. These factors include fit, interest, behavior, and the buying stage. Each of these factors is defined as in-depth below.
Determining how well a lead fits and qualifies as sales-ready is determined by data. Usually, demographics, firmographics, and BANT help determine lead fit. BANT stands for budget, authority, need, and time.
Each of these qualifying details helps assess fitness for a particular company’s needs. Scoring leads ensure they’re of higher quality and worth investing time and other resources.
A lead’s interest focuses largely on network and content interactions. With data from email opens and click-throughs, social media engagement, and content downloads, you can deduce a lead’s interest.
The more you understand lead interests, the better you can market to leads. The better you can market, the more qualified a lead becomes for nurturing conversion. The easier conversion ensures a more seamless revenue generation.
Qualifying sales-ready leads by behavior focuses on patterns across a buying journey. If a lead scores high in fitness, monitoring behavior determines where some leads fit best.
Active and latent behaviors accompany higher and lower lead scores, respectively. Initial lead score estimates are finalized by tracking lead behaviors.
Qualifying a lead through the buying stage finalizes its fit and sales-readiness. Aligning marketing leads with a sales funnel ensures its fit from start to finish. Following buying stages ensures leads are ready for any part of the purchase path.
Sharpen Your Focus and Generate Sales-Ready Leads
With your newfound understanding of qualified sales-ready leads, it’s time to nurture those leads. Focusing your marketing team on SQLs increases lead generation and decreases cost.