Sales Qualified Leads

Sales qualified leads (SQLs – not to be confused with SQL, a database programming language) are leads that has been qualified by the sales team and are directed towards the logistics of making a purchase. The lead has displayed some form of intent to buy the product and have also met the requirements of being a right fit. A sales qualified lead should not be confused with a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), which is an earlier step in the marketing funnel. A sales qualified lead must be properly vetted first.

Marketing Funnel

SQL is the step right before a lead becomes a customer in the Marketing and Sales funnel. It is an important part of the lead lifecycle as it helps narrow down realistic customers even further. This funneling is depicted below. Once a lead has passed the requirements, they can be followed up on to close the deal. For more information on marketing funnel and how it works, check this out.

An example of a marketing funnel chat with a conversion table.


Sales and Marketing teams generally will set up the requirements of a sales qualified lead. In order to save the sales team time, the requirements can be set up as scores so that leads can be ranked. While all companies have different requirements for what qualifies a sales qualified lead, there are general characteristics that are desirable.

For instance, repeat visitors and visitors who download forms are deemed better candidates for SQLs than other visitors. Demographics of the company that is the potential lead can also be important. This can include company size, budget of the company, timeframe, and need.

Sales Qualified Leads as a Metric

Sales qualified leads are also an important metric to be tracked by CMO’s. They show leads can be followed up on efficiently by the sales team. For more information about this, take a look at this tutorial.

Steven McKim

About Steven McKim

Steven is a Senior at Virginia Tech studying Computer Science. Currently interning for Chartio, he helps with the Data School site as well as to keep them running smoothly and make them as user friendly and visually appealing as possible.

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