Beware of the MQL Trap 

Is your business tangled in the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) trap? Did you spend a significant amount of effort gathering and screening a huge number of low-quality leads? You are not, however, solitary. 

Marketing-qualified lead (MQL) frequency has become a near-universal indicator on the dashboards of B2B CMO’s. The amount of MQLs forwarded to sales is frequently cited as the most critical indication of demand creation performance by marketing leaders. If MQL traffic is your most vital demand generation statistic, your team’s ability to measure and optimize demand generation efficiency is certainly hampered. 

MQLs have two fundamental shortcomings: 

1 No one outside of the marketing knows what an MQL is worth. 

2. With their present rate of conversion, you’re more likely to discover someone who admires your services. 

Marketing Qualified Leads allows your marketing team to identify their actual target population to whom they should send their content, hence increasing the ROI of MQL. When certain groups are targeted, it results in enhanced and higher-quality material, which ultimately leads to a return on investment. 

Main Reasons Why Over-Reliance on MQL Metrics Can Harm Your Marketing Team : 

1. Your capability to convey marketing’s impact on sales is hampered by a concentration on MQL measurement. 

B2B marketing leaders are frequently engaged in a constant struggle with corporate stakeholders to change their perspective of marketing. Marketing aspires to be considered as a strategic contribution to economic expansion rather than only a sales support activity. While MQL provider and creation is a leading sign of commercialization, this is not a true metric. Usually, businesses do not provide lead statistics to directors or shareholders; instead, they report financial results to these audiences. 

Simply announcing how many leads you delivered to your sales team for reps to generate risks establishing marketing as the sales team’s dependable sidekick rather than a proactive sales development leader. Marketing executives should articulate their contribution to business results in terms of cash, not leads. 

2. By focusing on your marketing team’s emphasis on MQL generation, you are most certainly encouraging undesirable behavior. 

When you hold people accountable for specific metric objectives, they will change their behavior to meet those targets. When it comes to demand generation, if you inform your salespeople that MQL generation is their most critical measure, they will prioritize actions that assist MQL generation. Yet, the first pointer, marketing’s primary goal should be income-generating rather than lead generation. 

Lead generating habits may not always immediately promote revenue growth, especially profit-maximizing revenue generation. 

A team that prioritizes revenue creation, on the other hand, would explicitly target customers with a high tendency to buy. This would advertise a webinar on a theme that is of direct interest to prospects who fit its buyer persona. Since this marketing team isn’t under enough obligation to continue MQL, it may opt to postpone calling each lead “qualified” until the lead has displayed additional positively connected behaviors with strong purchase intent. 

This marketing team’s leads are much more likely to be receptive when they are eventually passed on to sales. These leads are often more inclined to make a larger buy and complete the deal in a shorter sales cycle. 

3. An emphasis placed on MQL generation results in marketing spending that is too narrowly focused. 

Continuing the second point, emphasizing MQL-generating actions limits marketing’s capacity to engage in other activities that can create long-term revenue development. Time and money invested in the brand, content marketing, and organic social media, for example, may greatly increase your organization’s capacity to raise brand recognition, build demand for your solutions, and generate customer support. 

Therefore, if your team is continually facing pressure to meet quarterly MQL objectives, these long-term expenditures are likely to take a back seat to whatever activities allow you to rapidly gather up so many leads because you need to meet your target. 

What Should B2B Marketing Leaders targets Instead? 

MQLs should be tracked by B2B marketing leaders indefinitely. MQL volume can be used as one of several indications of organizational performance. However, other more closely related variables to revenue outcomes should be prioritized. Here are several examples: 

  • Marketing’s impact on revenue is expressed as a proportion of sales sourced by marketing. 
  • MQL traffic and conversions: the proportion of MQLs that convert at each step of the revenue lifecycle, including concluded agreements. 
  • Cost per acquisition is computed by subtracting the expenditures associated with acquiring new customers (marketing expenses) by the group of clients obtained in a certain period. 

Additionally, marketing executives must constantly collaborate with key corporate executives, particularly sales leaders, to align around common business goals and develop a consensus on marketing’s involvement in accomplishing those targets. 

Make a business case for why marketing’s impact should go beyond producing a large number of leads. There, you may choose the best blend of operational, functional, and conceptual indicators to calculate the quality of marketing adequately. 

Stop looking for a single statistic that quantifies the worth of marketing in a single figure (especially if that number is MQLs). Instead, employ a variety of indicators to present the full picture of marketing’s benefits to the business. 

So here is the to those who are forging genuine connections. It’s more of a lengthy inning, but there’s no such thing as a fast blast in many product lifecycles. 

Passing the MQL Flag 

After going through everything in the previous step to how it should function, clearly identifying a lead, building up the whole process, and analyzing outcomes, the true trick is knowing when to move the flag from marketing to sales. 

Consider it a relay race in the Games. To win a relay, everyone on the team must be at their best. Although some of them compensate for the shortcomings of others, this cannot be the rule. Every individual must provide something until the next person to engage with (defining a lead over the competition). 

Trying to perfect the flag effectively can help necessitates precise timing, mutual trust, and direct understanding. 

That’s the same situation when it comes to transitioning the MQL from marketing to sales. Therefore, in this scenario, the modification is not just about when to transmit the lead to sales but rather about to whom to transfer the lead. 

For example, in most firms, the SDR is simply tasked with BANT qualifying leads. They are not permitted to do demos, and Endpoints are expected to take over for the demo portion and carry it through to sales closing. But what if the prospective prospect understands how the solution addresses their problem and simply wants to witness a demonstration? 

We provide prospective prospects who are interested in you but haven’t taken the next step into a sales discussion. They are, nevertheless, far more likely than a typical lead to be responsive to a sales proposal. Choosing the proper marketer to match your specific voice can be difficult. We understand that there comes a period in the life of a business when a fresh start is required. 

Connect with us to increase your sales by leveraging our market-qualified leads. 

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