A lead is anyone who shows interest in a company's product or service in any way possible. Typically, a lead learns about a business or organization after opening communication (by giving personal information for an offer, a trial or subscription), rather than receiving a random call from someone who purchased their contact information.


Leads are part of the lifecycle that consumers follow as they make the transition from visitor to customer. Not all leads are created equal (nor are they qualified equal). There are different types depending on how they are qualified and the stage of the cycle they are in.


Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)


Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are contacts who have engaged with your marketing team's efforts, but are not yet ready to receive the sales call. An example of an MQL is someone who fills out a landing page form for an offer.


Qualified Sales Lead (SQL)


Sales qualified leads (SQL) are contacts who have already taken actions that expressly indicate their interest in becoming a customer. An example of a SQL is someone who fills out a form to ask a question about your product or service.


Product Qualified Lead (PQL)


Product qualified leads (PQLs) are contacts who have used your product and take action to indicate that they are interested in becoming a paying customer. PQLs commonly exist in companies that offer a product trial or a free or limited version of their product (like HubSpot), with upgrade options, which is when your sales team gets involved. An example of a PQL is a customer who uses your version at no cost, but contacts you or asks about features that are only available for a fee.


Qualified Service Lead


Qualified service leads are contacts or customers who have indicated to your service team their interest in becoming a consumer of your product. An example of this type of lead is a customer who tells your service rep that they would like to upgrade their product subscription; at this point, the rep would send the person to the appropriate sales team or representative.


Knowing what a lead is helps you immerse yourself in the world of digital marketing, an area that cannot be neglected when seeking the success of a company. It is up to you to educate yourself every day to improve or seek the help of professionals to meet your needs.


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