SaaS B2B Sales & Marketing Resources

Why MQLs Are Irrelevant (And How To Make Them Relevant)

Most marketers begin by looking at ‘how do we build a framework’ around Marketing Qualified Leads. This isn’t a bad thing. But the current MQL framework is in dire need of a shakeup.

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are normally determined on what web pages somebody visited, what they’ve downloaded, and engagements through a variety of channels. Normally built from a marketing automation lens. This is a mistake. In my experience you see the marketing leader building an automation funnel and tech architecture with a consultant or MA specialist. This is normal to one extent. But watch out to not fall into the trap of MQL vanity.

The above approach is growing in irrelevance in the eyes of most CEOs.
For MQLs to benefit your business, as marketers, we must change our line of thinking and not purely present MQL numbers reports. Most people in the business don’t even know what they mean. Some marketers don’t even know what ‘they’ mean by MQL.

I think it’s essential when designing your lead score / workflows, you think about the true value to the sales funnel. It’s more important than ever to define more stages in the lifecycle — MQL 1, MQL 2 and MQL3 (for example). The idea behind this structure will allow you define multiple touch-points across the buyer journey. Ensuring greater personalisation.

However, in many companies, there’s a disconnect between marketing and sales that leads to stagnant, one-dimensional techniques like MQLs.

This growing issue is evident in other marketing models and practices, such as ‘adding value’ and buyer personas. As such, many marketing leaders find themselves operating on an island, separated from the rest of their company — as opposed to an indispensable cog in a finely tuned machine.