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How Lead Classification Saves Your Day?

A short and simple theory in better understanding sales and marketing lead management. And how lead classification process works down the funnel.

In our recent blog “Why They Place Quality Over Quantity” we have discussed reasons why marketers prefer lead quality over quantity and discussed the classification of leads to reach out the quality measurement goals. In this blog, we will discuss lead management and how a lead classification process works down the funnel. 

You will be surprised to know that how hard a B2B marketer tries to get a customer on board. Even after 150 live calls, talking to at least 20 to 30 decision-makers, and sending reference content and materials to 120 contacts in a day. He is not sure about whether his targets are on board or not. This is where classification of leads can make this hustle a bit easier for you just by segregating and managing hot, warm, and cold leads for you. To implement this theory we have to set a lead qualification criteria that can classify a lead by its level of willingness and readiness to buy. As a result, leads get qualified in terms of making a purchase. The leads with the most and least potential level: hot, warm, and cold.

In digital and outbound marketing (B2B marketing) we use different criterion channels to distinguish qualified leads while generating sales leads to avoid mismanagement. You can also refer to the graph for detailed information.

Top of the Funnel Leads: The upper part of the funnel is the place where we spread awareness, educate our targets and nurture them to promote the brand. The leads generated in this part are mostly QL, INQ or NQL leads, which can have a decent impact down the funnel.

INQ- An inquiry will definitely not be a lead but these are raw responders that showed interest in your content, through downloading your white papers or clicking on your ads. The NQL And QL show the overall degree of your marketing efforts.

lead classification funnel

Marketing Qualification: Today organizations are increasingly focused on understanding their buyer's perspectives and redefining their marketing strategies according to their needs. In terms of that, classification of leads can take you a step closer to closing the deal and save your sales team efforts and time.  

MQL-  These leads are the ones that showed some interest in your brand or services and are willing to be contacted for further required information but not ready to purchase this time. We can mark such leads as ‘Qualified Business Opportunity’. And make them ready to be nurtured down the funnel.

HQL- A high-quality lead’s definition will differ greatly on who you ask. An HQL stands between MQL and SAL lead. A high-quality lead displays sales-readiness. Let's explore what makes a lead termed as a ‘High-Quality Lead’.

  • Customized qualification questions

  • Automatic lead validation and field checks

  • Real-time fulfillment with rule-based routing

  • Automatic email alerts

Sales Qualification: Sales Qualification can only be determined when sales and marketing work together to develop the definition of a sales qualified lead ( SRL/SAL or SQL) by evaluating the degree of determination to buy, down the funnel.

SAL-  Sales-ready or accepted leads are marketing qualified leads (MQL) that have been reviewed and passed after nurturing efforts to the sales team for approval. We can also take It as a marketing opportunity qualified as being in need of your product or service.

SQL- A 'Sales Qualified Lead' should not be confused with a 'Marketing Qualified Lead' as all SQL is MQL but not all MQL could be SQL. A lead is only called an SQL once the contact is qualified as a capable prospect for a sale by the sales team.

Through the classification of leads, we would be able to identify our targets and non-targets. We engage with these buyers very early in the process. We gain more visibility in identifying companies that are currently in the market for our solutions. Getting only the right leads from a marketing or sales strategy could be a tricky task, however marketing qualification criteria can clear your thoughts to manage and enhance your marketing and sales team efforts.
Lead generation, sales, and lead nurturing are the top three organizational objectives for content marketers. 
Source : (Wordstream)

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