The Qualified Marketing Leadership (MQL) stage. The Qualified Sales Leadership (SQL) Stage. Have you heard the term “lead lifecycle” but aren't 100% clear about what it is (or how to use it)? In some cases, you can also count social media followers here, although some brands won't include them, since you don't yet have their details in your customer relationship management (CRM) database. It depends on how you and your target audience use social media and how you track potential customers.
Leads are one step ahead of subscribers. Your interaction with your company is more active. Instead of passively reading your content, they've taken some action that indicates that they're potentially interested in your products or services. It also makes this process measurable.
By analyzing what percentage of your MQL progresses to become SQL, you'll have a way to track the success of your criteria in identifying useful leads. With this data in hand, you can refine your processes so that only the best leads reach your sales team. That gives them time to focus on encouraging potential customers who are likely to convert, without wasting time on people who will never become customers. You'll also have a clear idea of the content that's needed for contacts at each stage.
Subscribers need good quality blog posts and email content that interest them in what else you can offer. Potential customers are ready to take the next step and learn more about you. For them, you can offer them educational content that positions you as a source of authority, such as e-books, guides or technical documents. With this data, you can look for strengths and weaknesses in your sales funnel.
That way, you can plan your content marketing campaigns more efficiently (and effectively) to reach your potential customers, regardless of where they are in the customer journey. It's especially important to have these definitions clear, since marketing and sales teams often have different ideas about what it means to be a marketing-qualified lead than a sales-qualified lead. To help you begin to define the stages of the lifecycle of your potential customers, I'll guide you through each stage and explain how you can identify what each one means for your company. A contact in the lead lifecycle phase has been converted to your website or through some other interaction with your organization beyond registering a subscription.
For example, in HubSpot, this is set up automatically when a contact is converted to a lead form, synchronized with HubSpot from Salesforce, or created from a contact profile in Gmail or Outlook. If you have multiple conversion points on your website, you should identify which conversion points, such as forms, pop-ups or chatbots, define a new contact as a potential customer. A qualified marketing lead, or MQL, is a contact that your marketing team has rated as ready for the sales team. A qualified sales lead, or SQL, is a contact that your sales team has rated as a potential customer.
Whatever your company's behavior, an SQL should be someone more likely to make a purchase than a subscriber, a potential customer, or MQL. Your sales team may have more information about what qualities or behaviors identify a contact as an opportunity for your team. For example, if an SQL is someone who requests a demonstration of their product or service, an opportunity could be someone who has completed their demonstration and has given verbal confirmation that the price of their product or service is within their range. Where things can get complicated is if you offer free products or services.
If that's the case, talk to your marketing and sales teams to find out if you would consider these types of contacts as customers in your CRM. An evangelist is a client who has advocated for their organization and whose networks can be harnessed to gain more potential clients. It could be someone who left a review about your product or even shared your brand on their social media platforms. By determining which customers in your system are evangelists, you can run specific campaigns for them as a way to generate new leads.
By identifying and organizing each of your potential customers based on their readiness to buy, you'll be able to develop a lead management strategy that helps your potential customers progress through the buying process. But it doesn't stop there: once you've defined each of the stages of your life cycle, you need to determine which teams are responsible for each type of potential customer. Marketing is generally responsible for subscribers, leads, and MQLs, while sales are responsible for SQL and opportunities. No matter what your company looks like, confirming who is responsible for what type of potential customer will help ensure that no one goes unnoticed.
Each month, Marketing will deliver 1000 qualified leads to Sales, and the Sales Department will contact each of those potential customers within 24 hours of receiving them. If you're struggling to quantify your goals, check out HubSpot's marketing and sales goal calculator and SLA template. Do you want to learn more about managing leads throughout their lifecycle? Check out this free lead management course with Zapier. Why customer marketing should be a priority and how to turn it into one Why customer marketing should be a.
The two key steps in this process are qualified marketing leads (MQL) and qualified sales leads (SQL). These are the points where, first, your marketing team and then your sales team rate a potential customer as “ready to sell”. When we were in Business School, our teachers would give us projects to test our entrepreneurial spirit. I remember that, during one of those projects, we were asked to form groups and draw up a business plan.
One of my classmates had an incredible idea, but when asked how he would execute it and how he would encourage his potential customers to become prospects, he replied: “I'm going to improvise. My teacher wasn't happy. And that's how he gave us a lesson about how ideas are worthless, and what always matters is execution (to paraphrase Steve Jobs). But what does this have to do with the initial stages? Let me tell you.
Potential customers who enter your system will have different levels of preparation to purchase your product. Some of them may desperately need what you're selling and therefore may convert faster, others may need extended parenting to become customers. In simple terms, the position of your potential customer in your sales funnel based on their engagement levels and their propensity to buy is called the lead stage. As I said before, defining lead stages only helps you plan what your sales process is going to be like and the steps you need to take to drive leads to convert.
To define the stages of development of your company, you must first understand how your company works. The initial stages of, for example, a B2B and a B2C business tend to be different. For example, in an online fitness business, the goal would be to get potential customers to sign up for your business. However, in a B2B business, there are more decision makers involved and they may not follow the same process.
However, we all agree that there is a basic framework that is common to all companies. There are six main stages on which we can all agree. Yes, Hareesh has voluntarily given his contact details, but it's not a clue yet. He hasn't yet taken any action to suggest that he might be interested in buying you something.
Then, you start sending him informative articles about how following a proper fitness regimen can do wonders for your health. Hareesh has started to actively use your application, consulting everything you have to offer. Now you know that he is interested, so little by little you start to pressure him to buy. Let's say you're offering him a free trial of a nearby gym or a free dietary consultation with your nutritionist.
With each activity, your lead quality score increases and your propensity for conversion also increases simultaneously. Now is an opportunity for you. You need to make sure his call goes well and offer him enough incentives during the call about why buying a fitness package would be the best thing you can do to take the first step toward a healthy lifestyle. If you can convince him, he will move on to the next main stage.
But companies don't always get a dream customer like Hareesh. Sometimes, the cables may change their mind at the end of the funnel. Or your competitor may have earned it. In this case, the next stage of leadership is “Lost”.
Are you looking for a CRM that will help you configure the delivery stages and better track them? Why not give LeadSquared a try? Meenu Joshi works with LeadSquared's content marketing team. Consult with several customers on how to leverage content to generate and encourage leads. You can connect with her on Twitter. But you might find that not all of the leads you get are of the highest quality, but would eventually become your ideal customers.
Next week we'll discuss exactly how to determine if a potential customer is qualified, but first you need to understand the different stages of a potential customer's lifecycle. The term lead lifecycle refers to the way in which we manage the life of a potential customer (or contact or prospect, depending on their terminology) from the moment they appear in your system until, finally, they become a customer. The lead lifecycle defines where a potential customer can live, how a potential customer advances, and what we do with a potential customer at each stage. You must foster a long-term relationship with subscribers and offer them content that increases the chances of them advancing the customer lifecycle.
Potential customers have shown more interest in what you offer than subscribers. Marketing-qualified leads, commonly known as MQL, are those people who have raised their hands (metaphorically speaking) and identified themselves as contacts who are more engaged and prepared to sell than their regular potential customers, but who have not yet become full opportunities. Qualified sales leads are those that your sales team has accepted as worthy of a direct sales follow-up. Using this stage will help your sales and marketing teams stay firm on the same page in terms of the quality and volume of leads you're delivering to your sales team.
Not all potential customers qualify immediately for a sales pitch. You need to ask the right questions to separate the lifecycle stages of your customers. At this point, you can label people as qualified marketing leads in your database. This label indicates that they are considering solutions to their problem.
At this stage, you're encouraging a marketing-qualified potential customer to start looking for solutions, one of which could be yours. This maintains message consistency throughout the entire customer lifecycle and creates a better potential customer experience. The key is to focus on current problems in the mind of your potential customer and offer effective solutions to their problems. Involving your sellers in the buying process as soon as possible, where appropriate, will increase your conversion opportunities.
The lifecycle of potential customers begins in the early stages of the buying process and it's very important that you get involved at the beginning and not at the end. What's the best tool for customer lifecycle marketing? Here's why HubSpot will make converting potential customers easy, organized and effective. It can also be a qualified list that you buy or add, but for the purposes of this framework, let's say that each of these names has done something to proactively give you their contact information (however scant). If you're an organization that currently directs all potential customers directly to sales, moving from a two-step process to a five-step process can be a bit intimidating.
Add only one additional stage first (for example, send only sales to the leads listed in the profile). Then add another one when you're ready. They just need to identify their leadership stages and bring people more effectively into the marketing funnel. The SQL stage is mostly in your sales team's stadium, but there are content elements that can be very useful at this stage.
In other words, marketers assume that there are too many potential customers in the decision stage, when in reality they are only venturing into awareness. These stages will help you track each of your potential customers throughout your marketing and sales processes and develop an effective lead management strategy. If your products or services are more expensive, it's likely to take longer to get people through the lifecycle stages of your potential customers. Planning and configuring these lead stages within your CRM will help you better visualize and build your sales funnel.
Depending on what stage of the cycle the prospect is in, you'll ensure that you know where each potential customer is and how to communicate with them most effectively. Therefore, you can think of an MQL as a potential customer who has met certain criteria and has been automatically qualified, and of an SQL as the stage in which a sales representative manually verifies the prospect's suitability. . .