Building the First Software Platform for Executive Assistants
Base CEO Paige McPheely explains how High Alpha became part of the Base team in order to build a new category of software.
Intro to Product Qualified Leads
It is important for everyone to take steps to grow their business and this starts with converting leads into paying customers. Of course, not every lead is created equal and some leads are “warmer” than others. One example of a possible lead is called a product qualified lead. For those who might not know, the product qualified lead meaning is a lead who has already experienced the product in some way, shape, or form. In general, a product qualified lead has tried out the product through a free trial (or a similar trial that might convert into a subscription or purchase after a certain period of time).
In the world of software, product qualified leads are essential because they often become a part of the paying customer base. It is critical for everyone software company to understand product qualified leads and how to convert them into paying customers because they are already warm to the product. Therefore, software companies need to know how many product qualified leads are being generated at any point in time. If the number of product qualified leads starts to drop for any reason, it is important to take steps to increase them. For those who are looking for product-led growth in the world of saas and saas applications, product qualified leads are the lifeblood and should be treated as such. For this reason, it is critical for everyone working in this industry to understand as much about product qualified leads as possible.
At the same time, it is also important to note that a product qualified lead is not yet a normal customer. There are certain ways that software companies can go about converting a product qualified lead into a paying customer. Figuring out how to do this in a quick and efficient manner can make a big difference in the growth rate of a company and its ability to compete in this sector.
Product Qualified Lead (PQL)
For those who might not know, PQL stands for product qualified lead. There is a lot for people to know about a product qualified lead and PQL statistics show that these leads often convert at higher rates than other leads. Because all leads are different, the world of business decided to categorize them. Before getting into the PQL determination, it is also important to think about what they are not. First, a product qualified lead is not someone who is looking to upgrade a plan they already have. In addition, a product qualified lead is not the same as a marketing qualified lead. These are two different things. Instead, the PQL meaning is someone who has already interacted with the product in some way. While the PQL marketing and PQL language might vary from company to company, the fundamental understanding is the same. The customer has used the product before and is interested in learning more about it.
First, a little bit of history behind a PQL. The PQL came to be because of the internet. Buyers now have access to more information today than ever before. Therefore, they are often able to research information about the product, such as software, beforehand. When buyers research this information beforehand, they might already be a marketing qualified lead; however, they are not yet a product qualified lead. Once a potential buyer has tried out the product, they become a PQL. When people start to use the product, they demonstrate the intent of purchasing it. How can a company figure out which PQLs are more likely to buy the product?
Companies need to track this information. Track the number of uses. Track the features used. Look at the spending patterns. The more someone interacts with the product, the more they are interested in it. This is important for the marketing and sales teams.
Once someone demonstrates a lot of interest in the product, they can be converted into a customer. Overall, the cost of acquisition in the software industry can be high. It is important to use these resources wisely. A PQL is more likely to become a paying customer. Therefore, companies need to pay attention to this information.
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
In contrast to a PQL, a marketing qualified lead (MQL) is someone who has indicated interest in a product based on marketing but has not yet used it. In contrast to a PQL, they have not yet interacted with the product, which is important in defining the marketing qualified lead parameters. As a marketing qualified lead example, this might be someone who has entered contact information, added items to a shopping cart, or visited the company website; however, they have not yet signed up for the free trial. SQL marketing and MQL marketing to have some crossover; however, they are not identical. Because a marketing qualified lead has already interacted with the company in some way, they are considered “warm.” For this reason, it is important for companies to know how to get marketing qualified leads. A marketing qualified opportunity is an important chance for companies to grow and develop.
A marketing qualified lead Salesforce might demonstrate a few actions. For example, they might download a free ebook from the company. They might submit an email address to get on the company’s mailing list. They might have even added items to their shopping carts but haven’t yet purchased them. A marketing qualified lead in Hubspot might contact the company and ask for more information. They might have added items to their favorites list or clicked on the website and explored a little bit. These are all great signs that someone is now a marketing qualified lead.
When someone becomes a marketing qualified lead, it is important for the company to pursue it. The marketing team should take a look at the shopping cart or the browsing history and figure out what the person might be interested in. Then, tailor the information to meet these interests. This is a way to convert a marketing qualified lead into a customer.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
Typically, once someone has become a marketing qualified lead, the sales team gets involved next. The sales team is going to do some research and figure out what it is going to take to convert that prospect into a successful sale. Once the sales team has vetted the potential customer, they are deemed ready to move to the next stage of the process. This is called a sales qualified lead (SQL). If the sales team does its job well, then the sales qualified lead conversion rate should be high. In order to make sure this process is a success, there are a few key points to keep in mind regarding how to measure sales qualified leads.
There are a few important sales qualified leads metrics that companies should keep in mind. Sometimes, companies offer webinars. It will be important to track this attendance rate because the more interest someone shows, the more likely they are to become a sale. It is also a good idea to encourage someone to fill out a contact form. Then, track the number of times the person has contacted the company. The more they interact, the more likely they are to complete the process and become a sale. It is also a good idea to track how often the person visits the website. The more often they visit the website, the more likely they are to become a sale.
Once someone has become a sales qualified lead, they also enter something called a sales funnel. This the process of moving someone along the journey until they finally complete the purchase process. There are a number of stages to this process including awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and purchase. Gradually, a sales qualified lead will progress through these stages until they finally make a purchase at the end. The final purchase is the conversion.
PQL vs. MQL vs. SQL
Clearly, there are a lot of different types of leads. Each one is at a different place in the journey. MQL vs SQL language has some notable differences, as a marketing qualified lead has interacted with the company but has not yet been vetted by the sales team. It is up to the sales team to manage the MQL to SQL process. The sales team is going to have to take a look at the information from marketing and figure out whether or not someone has expressed enough interest to move along in the process.
Regardless of whether or not someone has identified a PQL, MQL, or SQL, it is important for a software company to use all three of these leads. Each of these leads has expressed an interest in the product offered by the company. Therefore, they must have some need for the product. It is up to the company to show that person or entity how the product can meet their needs. When it comes to software companies, this involves demonstrating the quality of the software and how the software can help the customer become more efficient or productive. This is the big key when it comes to converting any PQL, SQL, or MQL lead into a sale.
Finally, in the world of software, it is costly to acquire a new customer. When the company has an opportunity to do so, they need to take full advantage. Because a lead is already warm to the software options offered, the company needs to focus its attention on completing its conversion process. This is why it is critical for companies to track their leads, follow their metrics, and convert them whenever they possibly can.
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