marketing qualified leads

How to Use MQL Metrics for Sales and Marketing Alignment

As a follow-up to our recent webinar, Ask the Experts with SiriusDecisions: 4 Pillars of Building Sales & Marketing Alignment, I’ve been answering our webinar viewers’ questions in greater detail here on The Future of Business Collaboration.

Here’s a final viewer question I’ll look at today: How do you prevent sales and marketing from going in different directions?

I’ll reveal one highly successful way we keep sales and marketing intertwined at PGi: our MQL metrics.

Why MQLs Are Critical to Alignment

Marketing works hard to drive top of funnel leads, engage them through lead nurturing and score them based on explicit and implicit data for hand off to sales. Often, after the marketing qualified lead (MQL) is passed to sales, there is little follow up or feedback between the marketing and sales organization. Marketing just hopes for the best.

This commonly results in sales not accepting, qualifying or following up with these leads and marketing’s inability to accurately measure ROI for their efforts. While marketing-qualified leads are really just one component of your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with sales, they are critical to building alignment.

Instead of handling MQLs in siloes, we as a company at PGi stay tightly aligned with the sales pipeline and revenue by maintaining a laser focus on conversion of MQLs to opportunities and driving all open opportunities to close, particularly on those with an expected close date of 30-60 days.

Metrics for Evaluating MQLs With Sales

We use our own technology at PGi to stay on top of what’s happening with MQLs and conversion rates to opportunity within the entire region. These are the type of metrics my marketing team monitors and shares with sales through our weekly virtual sales calls:

  • MQL Status: We monitor MQLs in the assigned, contacting, disqualified and qualifying lead stages. This helps us establish transparency in the lead process and their progression.
  • MQL Conversion Rates: We look at the conversion rate of MQLs to opportunities created to measure the quality of the leads we are sending to sales. We also look at the conversion rate of opportunities to closed-won deals and the programs and campaigns that influenced those opportunities.
  • Programs & Campaigns: In addition to creating better visibility into sales activity, we also give sales an outlook on how our programs and campaigns directly tie to pipeline acceleration. For example, we break down MQLs, opportunities created and the value of influenced opportunitiesby program (such as events, trials, content, webinars, etc.) and rank top performing campaigns.

We also benchmark and compare metrics for individual regions and create scorecards for lead owners to create a little competition. We love to internally recognize our sales team’s contributions at PGi, and even that simple incentive drives motivation to yield better results and increases engagement in sales and marketing alignment activities.

Presenting these reports to the entire sales organization ensures direct, continuous communication with sales reps and increases team-wide awareness of the contributions happening on both sides.

Read my previous blog post to understand the importance of diversifying your technology for effective communication with sales, and watch the complete sales and marketing alignment webinar on demand today, presented by PGi, for more ideas.

Take me to the webinar

About Cheryl H.

With more than 15 years’ marketing experience, Cheryl Hanley is passionate about developing B2B marketing strategies that result in the ultimate goal – revenue. Her expertise is in creating marketing and sales alignment, launching integrated programs, and driving demand through content, events, social, search, web, and lead nurture and scoring programs.

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