The relationship between sales teams and marketing departments has a rather bumpy history. In decades past, even up until recently, marketing teams worked to create advertising to catch as many prospects as possible and then, sales specialists were expected to achieve the near impossible: convert an uninformed or under-informed buying prospect into a client.
Was the marketing eye-catching? Absolutely! Was it helpful? Not really. Less targeted marketing strategies meant more of a shotgun approach to marketing in hopes of hitting just the right amount of interested prospects. This is the main reason why 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. (MarketingSherpa)
With the much-needed new emphasis on inbound marketing, sales teams are now better served by content-driven, educational marketing designed to nurture and properly educate marketing leads through the online sales funnel. The end result? Better informed buying prospects with more confidence in their final buying decision. Translation: quality over quantity.
Marketing qualified leads, or MQL's, are the ultimate buying prospect for a sales team. One of the best explanations I've ever seen of marketing qualified leads comes from Somametrics,
"Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL’s) are prospects that have indicated interest in your company’s products or services by doing something such as downloading a white paper, attending a webinar or seminar, giving you their cards during a trade show, etc. In other words, they have shown some interest, but you don’t really know if they are qualified to purchase your products or services yet." (Somametrics)
There is still no guarantee any MQL's will actually become your client, but they've expressed some interest in a specific service or product you offer. No marketing leads are created equal, which is why companies such as Hubspot create lead scoring systems to better rank and address each marketing lead in the lead nurturing process. Demographics, site activity, and level of interest play massive roles in determining the initial lead scoring of any prospect.
With the proper inbound marketing strategy and a lead scoring system, your business can better identify and nurture the right marketing leads. This means more profitable, longer-lasting customers who actually need what you have to offer.