The most effective revenue organizations have marketing and sales teams that work together. But these two functions are too often siloed—marketing drives MQLs but they fall through the cracks and don’t make it to sales, or sales doesn’t follow up on marketing’s hard-earned leads. Most often, it’s a little bit of both.

So, what does it mean to have a quality MQL and how can sales teams ensure that they’re optimizing them to their full potential?

It Starts With Your Data Quality

Sales and marketing teams must agree on the definitions, the processes, and the handoffs. Unfortunately, 90% of marketing and sales professionals admit that their goals are misaligned. Get around this by working together to see what has gone poorly and what’s gone well to determine how lead scoring should work.

It’s been found that only 27% of leads handed over to sales teams are high-quality. How do you drive more? Using real data is key—do high-quality leads include people who are reading your blog or downloading all your marketing content? The foundation of a good MQL is in its data.

You should establish fair parameters for what defines your MQLs. You’ll want to drive enough leads by creating wide enough parameters to send leads down the funnel and hand enough off to sales, but you want to make sure you aren’t scoring too many leads either or reaching out too early. A mass quantity of low-quality leads will create extra work for sales teams that won’t lead to any results as they track down contacts that are not interested in buying.

Use your data on your buyers and firms to establish more lead scoring rules. A decision-maker downloading a buyer’s guide is probably more likely to purchase than an entry-level researcher downloading a trends report.

Once you’ve established more information on the leads you’ve followed up with, be sure to provide cross-functional feedback to marketing. Sales teams who notice flaws in their leads but don’t speak up will continue getting the same poor leads.

Finally, be sure to revisit your lead scoring option. Continually checking in on your lead health will help revenue teams establish the best scoring rules.

Protect Your MQLs With Sales Engagement

Hopefully, if your MQL parameters are set up soundly, you won’t have to deal with leads falling through the cracks very often. But it happens regardless and teams have to find out why.

First and foremost, check in with your team. Often, SDRs believe they are reaching out more often and more frequently than actually are, in reality. Our data suggested that at times, SDRs believe they’re reaching out twice as often in half the amount of time as reality. And what’s more, the optimal metric is different from both what they’re perceiving and doing.

Technology can help revenue teams protect MQLs from being neglected. Sales engagement platforms such as Playbooks can give teams the helping hand with lead contact.

Teams can see real-time data with a sales engagement platform to optimize their interactions with leads. How often your team is reaching out, the frequency, and how long after a lead qualifies is critical information to inform sales leaders on where your team can improve.

To combat any lagging metrics, sales engagement platforms can typically send reminders or provide front-and-center to-do lists for their teammates with prioritized lists of tasks for the day. Knowing who to follow up with, the most likely buyers, the most effective tasks, and other hints and reminders for your team can increase sales efficiency and create manageable days for sales professionals often stressed by long hours and constant “no’s.”

And finally, sales engagement can protect your leads through automation. Inevitably, we sometimes forget to engage, don’t have enough time to properly nurture our leads or some other way life gets in the way of engaging. Automation can help save time and still properly make effective contact with your leads and help them avoid falling through the cracks.

It’s wise to consider what goes into your MQL scoring and whether or not your current methods are leading to high-quality leads. Ensure your revenue teams are working together to align their goals for the best results and that your data that goes into your MQLs is sound. Consider investing in a sales engagement platform to offer your team the helping hand to increase your effectiveness. Get in touch with XANT today to see how Playbooks could help your team.

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