What is a Marketing Qualified lead?

What is a Marketing Qualified Lead?

Every sales business will know that there is more to lead generation than volume. What matters is the quality of leads. In fact, quality beats quantity every day of the week.

The term Marketing Qualified Lead (MQLs) is used to distinguish this.


When a new lead is generated successfully, it will include information about the prospect. That information can include:


  • Name
  • Business Name
  • Job Title
  • Phone Number
  • Email

Additional Information

  • Location
  • Industry
  • Company Size: Headcount or Revenue
  • LinkedIn Profile

You can also gather custom questions such as “what is your annual spend on X?” or “how are you currently doing Y?”

A Marketing Qualified Lead is a lead that (based on the information collected) appears to be target market. The easiest way to think of it is asking yourself: “is it worth allocating sales resource to this lead?

How to Embed an MQL Process

The key to a good MQL process is to have clear criteria about what constitutes your target market. From there, it’s a simple Yes or No answer. Here’s an example of three criteria you could use:

  • Product
    Would this company benefit from our product?
    Example: Is it from a predefined list of industries
  • Size
    Is the company big enough to afford our service?
    Example: Does its LinkedIn page show more than 10 team members
  • Job Title
    Is the individual capable of approving/progressing a sale?
    Example: Does it match a predefined list of job titles

The process of MQLing should be quick. The purpose is to filter out obvious non-target market prospects.

It should also be recorded in your CRM and linked back to marketing campaigns. This allows you to assess each campaign on quantity AND quality.


Once a lead has been deemed a Marketing Qualified Lead, it should promptly be actioned by the sales team.

At that point, the sales team will gather more information on the lead, and this starts a similar process of assessing for Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).

That process elaborates by assessing deeper sales questions, for example:

  • Need
    Is there a need for our product/service?
  • Timing
    Are they capable of proceeding to a sale in a timely manner?
  • Budget
    Do they have budget for our product/service?
  • Mindset
    Do they have the right mindset for a timely sale and success?


Taking the time to define and embed a Marketing Qualified Lead process will allow you to shift your focus from quantity to quality. This will result in a more productive sales team, better campaigns and an improved bottom line.

Discover your Lead Generation Potential

Simon Anderson - Qualified Leads
Managing Director
With a career spanning consultancy roles across industries and global locations, Simon brings expertise in digital marketing, corporate strategy and finance. Originally from New Zealand, he holds degrees from the University of Otago and a Masters from L'Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
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