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MQL vs. SQL: What’s the Difference?

MQL is an acronym for marketing qualified leads and SQL for sales qualified leads, these are two different things and have their own importance. SQL is generally direct-sales ready but MQL is not. Deciding the MQL and SQL requires a proper channel between the marketing and sales team.

In a customer lifecycle, MQL and SQL are concurrent processes. They are both relevant to the business and are often confused amongst each other.

The origin of an MQL or SQL goes back to the origin of a lead. A lead is a piece of information about potential customers obtained from various sources such as forms or surveys.

MQL vs SQL is a general area of conflict between marketing and sales. The marketing team is always on the lookout for more leads and the sales team ensures that more sales come in.

Both the marketing and sales teams must work together in order to generate a good amount of business for the company.

What is MQL?

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) are the leads that are potential clients but not ready for the buying stage. These leads are handled by the marketing department

Generally, the people who are interested and potentially might purchase your product can be termed as MQL for the business. You need to separate unqualifying leads and MQL to ensure good business.

You could look through certain factors in people to qualify them as MQL. Here’s a list of certain factors that you could look out for –

  • Filling out a contact form
  • Writing emails to your customer care
  • Chatting with you on social media
  • Responding to your marketing emails

What is SQL?

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) are the leads that are potential clients who are ready to buy your products. Such leads are handed over to the sales department for management.

Potential customers who display a keen interest in the products and show some urge to purchase can be listed under SQL.

Here are some factors to look out for a potential SQL –

  • They have specific questions about the products
  • They do not understand the application of the product
  • May not be sure about the product


You may consider any lead as a potential sale and pitch to them only to find out that the customer backed off at the last second. This is waste of time for you as well as the customer. It is crucial to differentiate between MQL and SQL.

The customer constantly goes back and forth with the marketing or sales team to be more confident about making the purchase. A nudge in the wrong direction can lead to the failure of a potential sale. The customers have to take in a lot of information and if they get the wrong or too much information they bail.

The customers need to build a sense of satisfaction and trust in the product and directing them to the right team by classifying them as MQL or SQL can be the difference between a potential sale or failure.

Once an MQL is ready for sales, they have to be forwarded to the SQL team. A constant communication channel needs to be maintained between the marketing and sales team to ensure that most of the leads are converted to sales.

A marketing team could provide information about the customers that the sales team could use.

Don’ts of MQL and SQL

Your teams need to handle the leads carefully to get in more customers for your business. Here is a list of a couple of don’ts for your leads –

  • MQL need not be handed over to sales immediately. The marketing team might need some extra time to convert the MQL to SQL.
  • Analyze sales and remove leads that are not MQL
  • MQL need not be forwarded to the sales team.
  • Since all potential customers do not convert to actual customers all MQL will not be converted to SQL


Both MQL and SQL are an integral part of every business. Leads are one of the easier ways to increase the number of customers.

Many fail to recognize the difference between MQL and SQL and often lose potential customers. We hope this article guides you in the right direction towards differentiating MQL and SQL.

Originally posted 2019-10-20 18:00:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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