5 Ways to Make a MQL Sales-Ready

By | July 25, 2012

You may be asking yourself, “So, what is a MQL?” Great question! A MQL is a Marketing QualifiedLead, or someone who has engaged with your marketing efforts enough to meet your company’s definition as ready to be passed from marketing to sales. This definition is straightforward, however it is how companies define their MQLs that needs a closer look.

So often, sales teams complain that a MQL has not been truly qualified by marketing before handing it over, resulting in wasted time and resources and increasing tension between the two. As you consider how your organization defines exactly what criteria is necessary for a MQL, keep the following tips in mind:

1.    Truly identify the buyer. The best marketing teams work with sales to learn about and define their best buyers. Both teams come to agree upon the definition of a lead that is ready for sales. Once you have this definition – deliver on it; don’t send along unripe leads or it will undermine your credibility with sales. Having this foundation in place will set the proper expectations between sales and marketing and ensure that marketing can measure their contribution to the number at the end of each month.

2.    Message to the buyer. Seems pretty obvious, but all too often companies send the same message to all of their buyers. Different buyers have different needs, which is why many companies build buyer personas to understand the needs of their customers, their likes and dislikes, even their personalities! Aligning your value to the buyer persona helps you talk in terms of what they care about. Today, relevance is critical in getting folks to pay attention.

3.    Understand the buyer’s journey. Buyers require different information at different stages of their buying cycle to move their decision-making forward. As part of your efforts to get to know the buyer, you should understand HOW they buy and what info they require to make a decision. Understand what gets them to consider, evaluate and select your product and then align your assets to it. Anything other than the info they need is akin to the sound of the grownups in the Peanuts cartoons (“mwa, mwah, mwah waah”).

4.    Content is your greatest tool. Let’s face it; the days of features and benefits are over. We live in a world full of solutions and value-adds. One way of differentiating is with truly unique, educational content around the problems your company solves. If you continuously offer compelling content, prospects engage and self-identify as MQLs.

5.    Avoid the asylum. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Today’s marketers measure the heck out of what they produce. With automation systems that make it easy to measure, not falling victim to insanity should be easy. Here is a rule: If it is not working, STOP! That doesn’t mean try again or send it to “one more list”. It means halt and reevaluate what you are doing:

  • Have you properly identified your buyer?
  • Do you know what they care about and respond to?
  • Do you know how they make their decisions?
  • Are you providing them with the info they seek in the places they like to get that info?

 

Getting it right is an evolution and good marketers roll with the tide and constantly test and evolve their strategy. These tips should provide a good starting point for that evolution.

Article provided by NetProspex.