Businesses rely on their marketing and sales teams to generate leads. Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are vetted prospects that are ready to hand over to sales. A good MQL to SQL conversion rate is essential for businesses that want to close more deals and increase revenue.
To increase MQL to SQL conversion rate, align the marketing and sales processes, identify effective marketing channels, and ensure a smooth transition from marketing to sales. Improving product knowledge, having a clear follow-up process, and analyzing customer feedback are also essential.
A lot of factors influence the MQL to SQL conversion rate. By examining your process and tweaking certain parts, you can increase the number of committed leads you have. Let’s explore each of these tips in greater detail.
What Is a Good MQL to SQL Conversion Rate?
A good MQL to SQL conversion rate will depend on your business. However, a conversion rate of at least 15% is considered to be good.
Nevertheless, you should always aim for a higher conversion rate than the industry average.
Your business might have a higher or lower conversion rate depending on the products you sell, the target market, and the sales process.
Keeping track of your conversion rate will help you understand what’s working and what needs to be improved.
Tips to Increase MQL to SQL Conversion
Many factors influence a potential customer’s decision to buy from your business. By understanding these factors, you can take the necessary steps to increase your MQL to SQL conversion rate.
Here are a few tips:
1. Align Marketing and Sales Team Processes
“Smarketing” is the alignment of the sales and marketing teams. This means that both teams are both working toward common goals and are using the same tools and processes.
Sales and marketing are two essential pieces of the puzzle, but they don’t always work together as efficiently as they should.
If your marketing and sales teams are not aligned, it won’t be easy to generate high-quality leads that turn into customers.
“Smarketing” leads to better communication, higher quality leads, and increased MQL to SQL conversion rates. There are a few ways to align your marketing and sales team processes:
- Define what a qualified lead looks like
- Create lead scoring criteria
- Set up a system to track leads from start to finish
- Implement a lead nurturing program
- Organize strategy meetings together
- Create a central communication channel
The better the communication and collaboration between sales and marketing, the better the chance of closing deals.
Goal alignment enhances customer satisfaction because both teams are focused on providing a great customer experience.
2. Identify the Most Effective Marketing Channels
Not all marketing channels are created equal. Some generate more leads than others. To increase your MQL to SQL conversion rate, you need to focus on the channels that generate quality leads.
The best way to identify your most effective marketing channels is to track and analyze your lead sources. Look at where your best customers come from and what type of marketing they respond to.
You should track a few key metrics for each lead source, including leads generated, conversion rate, and cost per lead.
Once you know which channels generate the highest number of qualified leads, you can focus your efforts on those platforms and increase your MQL to SQL conversion rate.
The most effective marketing channels vary from business to business. Therefore, tracking and analyzing your data is important so you can identify what works best for you.
In the marketing world, nothing is set in stone. The channels that generate the most qualified leads today might not be the same channels that generate the most qualified leads tomorrow.
For example, TikTok didn’t exist a few years ago. But now, it’s one of the most popular social media platforms. If your target customer is on TikTok, you should be there too.
This is why it’s important to track and analyze your data regularly and continually adjust your marketing strategy.
3. Ensure a Smooth Transition from Marketing to Sales
Creating a smooth transition from marketing to sales is one of the most effective ways to increase MQL to SQL conversion rates.
This happens when marketing understands what type of leads the sales team is interested in and can quickly and efficiently provide them with relevant information.
When the transition process goes smoothly, it benefits both teams. Marketing employees know which leads are qualified and can focus on generating more of them.
At the same time, sales can focus on closing deals instead of determining which leads are qualified. There are a few ways to make sure the transition from marketing to sales is smooth:
- Identify when a lead is ready to be handed off
- Create an efficient process for handing off leads
- Train sales teams on how to use marketing data
- Set up lead scoring criteria
When both teams are on the same page, it’s easier to move leads through the sales funnel and increase MQL to SQL conversion rates.
Causes of friction between marketing and sales teams can include poor communication, different definitions of a qualified lead, and lack of trust.
To avoid friction, it’s essential to establish clear lines of communication between the two teams and agree on what defines a qualified lead.
In addition, both teams should understand each other’s goals and objectives. Once these criteria are met, there will be less friction and a higher conversion rate.
4. Improve Product Knowledge
Your sales team is the face of your business. They’re the ones who interact with potential customers daily. If they don’t understand your product inside and out, it will be difficult to sell it.
To increase MQL to SQL conversion rates, ensure your sales team is well-versed in your product. They should be able to answer any questions a potential customer might have.
Furthermore, they should be able to identify the features and benefits of your product that are most important to customers.
The best way to improve product knowledge is to provide ongoing training for your sales team. This can be in the form of webinars, product demos, training materials, and role-playing exercises.
Hands-on experience with your product is the best way for your sales team to understand it. This gives them the necessary confidence to sell it.
Apart from that, you should also allow them to provide feedback on your product. This will help you improve your offering and make it more user-friendly.
5. Have a Well-Articulated Follow-Up Process
The follow-up process is one of the most important steps in the sales funnel. It’s your last chance to make a good impression on a potential customer and convince them to buy your product.
Therefore, it’s important to have a well-articulated follow-up process. This means you must have a clear strategy to follow up with leads after contacting them.
Your follow-up process may include outreach methods, frequency of outreach, message template, and the lead assignment process.
The follow-up process aims to keep your business top-of-mind and nurture leads until they’re ready to buy.
There’s no one-size-fits-all follow-up process. However, here are a few tips to help you create an effective follow-up process:
- Start with a plan: What is your goal? Why are you reaching out? Who will you be contacting?
- Create a schedule: How often will you reach out? When is the best time to contact them?
- Prepare your message: What will you say? How will you say it?
- Assign leads: Who will follow up with each lead?
You should also track your follow-up process to see what’s working and what’s not to adjust your strategy accordingly.
6. Regular Customer Feedback Analysis
Customer feedback is essential for businesses. It helps you understand what your customers want and how they feel about your product.
Furthermore, it allows you to identify any areas that need improvement. You should regularly analyze customer feedback to understand the current state of your business.
This will help you make necessary changes to improve MQL to SQL conversion rates. There are a few ways to collect customer feedback:
- Surveys: You can send out surveys via email or include them in your follow-up process.
- Interviews: You can conduct interviews over the phone or in person.
- Focus groups: This is a great way to get feedback from a group of customers.
Customer feedback analysis is essential if you want to understand what customers want and how they feel about your product. The frequency will depend on the size of your business and customer base.
7. Automate Processes to Close Gaps
There are many gaps in the sales funnel that can lead to lost opportunities. These gaps can be caused by a lack of communication between marketing and sales, poor lead quality, or a lack of follow-up.
To close these gaps, you should automate processes to improve efficiency and communication. This will help you track leads and ensure they’re contacted in a timely manner.
There are many software solutions that can help you automate processes. However, you should only automate the processes that will benefit your business.
Some of the activities that can be automated include:
- Lead assignment: Automatically assign leads to sales reps based on certain criteria.
- Lead nurturing: Send automatic emails or messages to leads that are not yet ready to buy.
- Follow-up: Send automatic reminders to sales reps to follow up with leads.
- Reporting: Generate reports automatically to track the performance of your sales funnel.
Automating processes can help close sales funnel gaps and improve MQL to SQL conversion rates.
8. Differentiate between Prospects and Suspects
Have you ever spent time pursuing a lead only to find out they’re not interested in your product? It’s important to differentiate between prospects and suspects.
A prospect is a potential customer who has shown interest in your product. On the other hand, a suspect is someone you think might be interested in your product but hasn’t shown any interest yet.
You should focus your efforts on prospects, not suspects. This will help you save time and resources.
One way to differentiate between prospects and suspects is to create a lead-scoring system. This system assigns points to leads based on their interest level.
Creating buyer personas can also help you understand the needs of your target customer.
By understanding your target customer, you can focus your efforts on prospects that are more likely to convert.
Because you’re targeting prospects that are more likely to convert, you’ll see an increase in MQL to SQL conversion rates.
9. Define a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
A service level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a company and its customers. The SLA defines the level of service that the customer can expect.
It’s important to have an SLA so you can set expectations and prevent misunderstandings. Therefore, the SLA should be clear and concise.
It should also be reviewed regularly to ensure it meets the needs of both parties.
An SLA can help you increase MQL to SQL conversion rates by setting expectations for the marketing and sales teams. Your team will know exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.
10. A/B Testing
Unlike trial and error, A/B testing is a scientific way to test hypotheses. You can use A/B testing to test different versions of your website, emails, or landing pages.
For example, you can create two versions of your landing page and see which one performs better. Version A could be the control (the current version), and version B could be the variable (the new version).
You can also use A/B testing to test different subject lines for your emails. The goal is to find the subject line that gets the most opens and clicks.
This strategy allows you to try different versions of your marketing materials to find the best one.
Unfortunately, many businesses make the mistake of relying on hunches or guessing when it comes to their marketing. However, this is a recipe for disaster.
If you want to give your business the best chance of success, you need to use data and analytics to make decisions. This data-driven approach will help you achieve your business goals.
11. Perform Regular Assessments and Adjustments
The marketing world is constantly changing. That’s why it’s important to regularly assess your marketing and sales processes and adjust them as needed.
Performing a regular assessment will help you identify any issues that need to be addressed. It will also help you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest trends.
By making regular adjustments, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are aligned with your sales goals. For example, if you’re not seeing the desired results, you can try a different marketing approach.
Businesses that don’t make regular adjustments are more likely to see a decline in MQL to SQL conversion rates over time.
12. Motivate Your Marketing and Sales Team
Although it’s important to have the right processes in place, they won’t matter if your team isn’t motivated.
It’s essential to create a positive and collaborative environment that will help your team members feel appreciated and valued.
You may also consider providing incentives for your team. For example, you can offer commissions for sales or bonuses for hitting certain targets.
By motivating your team, you can boost MQL to SQL conversion rates. As a result, your team is more likely to take the necessary actions to convert leads into customers.
Do you want to increase MQL to SQL conversion rates? The secret lies in having the right processes in place. First, you need to align your marketing and sales team processes.
You should also ensure that leads are followed up on time. Additionally, you should conduct regular assessments and adjustments to align your marketing efforts with your sales goals.
Finally, you should motivate your team so they’re more likely to take the necessary actions to convert leads into customers.
These tips can increase MQL to SQL conversion rates and help you achieve your business goals.