SQLs and MQLs are two ways to categorize leads. Sales and marketing are responsible for identifying the most ideal target prospect for a sale or a campaign. They then qualify them by validating the prospect’s needs, determining key buying influences, creating customized solutions that position your brand as the go-to choice, thus converting them into customers at the highest possible rate.

Let’s talk through some of the nuances between these two kinds of leads and how your business can benefit from them.

What is MQL?

Marketing Qualified Leads are people who have demonstrated interest in your company and its products. They’re considered more likely to be ideal customers than other leads because they’ve already taken some of the steps companies typically use to identify and develop leads.

The specific criteria for MQLs depend on the type of business and its sales cycle but might include things like:

  • Signing up for a free trial
  • Subscribing to a newsletter or blog
  • Completing a form with contact information (e.g., email address)
  • Downloading content from your website (e.g., white paper, case study)
  • Visiting certain pages on your site (e.g., pricing page)

What is SQL?

Sales Qualified Leads are prospects who have been identified and vetted by marketing and passed on to sales because they seem like a good fit for the company’s product or service.

SQLs meet these criteria:

  • Interest – The prospective customer has expressed interest in the product being offered.
  • Budget – The prospective customer has been qualified to have a budget for the solution.
  • Authority – The prospective customer has the authority to approve purchases of the product or service.
  • Need – The prospective customer has an identified need for the solution.
  • Timing – The prospective customer has an identified time frame to make a purchasing decision.

When do we use SQL?

The concept of “sales qualified leads” is useful because it allows the sales team to communicate what types of leads make sense for them to pursue, and which do not. This can be based on a number of factors:

  • Is the lead from a target industry or vertical?
  • Does this prospect have a high-enough budget for us to break even?
  • Do they have a need for our product or service?
  • Can they get approval from the right stakeholders to purchase?

A good scorecard will help the marketer identify which leads are ready to be handed over to sales. However, this tool has its limitations. A lead with a perfect score may still not be ready to buy, while one with a poor score might be further along in the buying cycle than expected.

According to Deco Facts, it’s also important that marketers listen closely to sales feedback on which leads are worth pursuing, and which should go back into nurture until they qualify as SQLs.

When do we use MQL?

You should use MQLs when you need to collect information from your contacts before initiating the sales process. This is useful when the sales cycle is longer than usual because you can use this time to provide additional information and build trust with the prospect.

MQLs can also be helpful when your product is expensive or complex and you need to ensure the prospect is serious about making a purchase.

Marketing Qualified Leads should also be used when your company is in the early stages of its marketing efforts and doesn’t have enough leads from other sources yet.

How can your business benefit from MQLs?

MQLs have already shown some level of interest in your company and its products, so they’re more likely to become customers than other leads.

They’ve also demonstrated that they’re willing to provide their contact information, which means you can reach out to them directly with additional information or offers.

Since they’re a more qualified lead, it’s also likely that they’ll be more responsive to your sales efforts.

Differences between MQL and SQL

Marketing qualified leads are contacts that have shown interest in your company but not at the point of purchase. These leads may have downloaded a white paper or an e-book or signed up for a webinar. This is important because it means that the contact has shown interest, and will be more likely to convert if he/she receives some more information about your products or services.

As opposed to marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads are contacts that have already turned into potential customers. They have asked for a quote, indicated that they want to buy something from you, or asked for more information about your product or service.

The other difference between the two types of leads is that marketing qualified leads are not ready to buy just yet. They may still be in the research phase, or they may need more information before they make a purchase. Sales qualified leads, on the other hand, are ready to buy and just need someone to close the deal.

Also, different teams are responsible for generating MQLs and SQLs. The marketing team is responsible for generating MQLs, while the sales team is responsible for converting them into SQLs.

Their position in the buying cycle is also different. MQLs are in the early stages of the buying cycle, while SQLs are in the late stages.

Which is better, MQL or SQL?

There is no simple answer to this question. It depends on the company and its products/services. MQLs may be better for some businesses, while SQLs may be better for others.

However, MQLs are generally considered to be a less qualified lead than SQLs. This is because they haven’t shown an interest in making a purchase yet. SQLs, on the other hand, have already shown that they’re interested in your company and its products.

This is not to say that MQLs are not valuable, but they’re usually less valuable than SQLs. This is because they have not yet been fully qualified as a potential customer.

However, this may change over time as the contact continues to receive information about your company. As they learn more about your products and services, they may become more interested in making a purchase.

Ultimately, it’s up to the company to decide which type of lead is better for its business. MQLs or SQLs.

We recommend using both, depending on the company’s needs. MQLs are great for generating leads, while SQLs are great for converting leads into customers. Also, there won’t be SQLS without the efforts of the marketing team.


Both MQLs and SQLs are important for a business. MQLs are great for generating leads, while SQLs are great for converting leads into customers. SQLs are only possible with the efforts of the marketing team. A sales cycle would not be possible without the leads generated from marketing.

If you structure your business in a way that uses MQLs and SQLs, you’ll be able to generate more leads and convert more of them into customers.

Now that you understand the difference between MQL and SQL, you can start using them to generate more leads and convert more of them into customers.

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