5 Steps to Defining an MQL

How do you make a decision? Is it a well thought out consideration of the pros and cons of the situation, or do you make a snap judgement based on gut instinct alone? Both methods have their merits in different situations. In the business world, it can be beneficial to know what you want, and what you don’t. So, as a critical cog in any business, how would you go about deciding who qualifies as an MQLPersonally, we used 5 steps to help us define those leads who meet our criteria to become an MQL. 


Step 1: Know who your company want 

Take your existing customers, you already have your relationship up and running, does it work or is it more of a burden than it’s worth? Use the DNA of your customer data to form your Killer Values. Identify the criteria which a lead must meet to even be considered for your engagement. Know who fits, and who’s better off avoiding.   


Step 2: Identify the ideal 

Shared characteristics, traits and what leads want to know. It’s all information you can use to perfect the MQL selection process. Create your company persona so that every key aspect which makes your customers is accounted for. Do you target marketing teams, criteria 1. Do they work in technology services, criteria 2. What are they looking to achieve, criteria 3. Keep going until you have a persona to dictate which factors make a company the perfect fit for you. Take the guesswork out of targeting leads 


Step 3: Check your channels 

Chances are you don’t have a channel working in solitude to generate all your leads. There’s a multitude of methods working in sync to bring in the goods. Whether its email, social media or events, identify whether a particular channel excels as the origin for leads converting to MQLs. If there is, consider reflecting this in your qualifying criteria. It’s also a great indication of where to focus your marketing efforts.  


Step 4: Critique your criteria 

Once you know who you want to target, what makes them unique and how you’re going to do it, it’s time to set some criteria in stone. (Don’t actually use stone, you’ll likely have to amend your criteria down the line, and that’s just added effort.) Work out how you will separate your MQLs from the leads. We typically use lead scoring to identify those leads who are actively engaging with our company. This lets us contact the lead as soon as they achieve the qualification benchmark. Once qualified, all MQLs are cross-referenced with our killer values to confirm they are the best of the bunch.


Step 5: Revisit again and again 

By no means is setting your MQLs a one-time occurrence which you can use forever into the future, as easy as that would make our lives! It’s a process which needs constant revision. Report on whether your criteria is working, are you generating the right leads, or do you need to take a step back? Once you’ve rolled out your process, revisit your prototype to confirm it’s still applicable. We recommend checking up on your MQL criteria as often as your business requires, but every 3 months is necessary, or more often as business demands.  

Implementing MQLs into any strategy will serve to strengthen the quality of leads passed across to sales. Every lead will have passed the set requirements making the likelihood of converting into a sale 12 times higher than when simply a lead. That’s a figure we can get on board with. Set your criteria, implement lead scoring, and revise and report. It’s the method for better leads all round.

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