What is a lead?
A lead is a person or an organization that has shown interest in a brand’s products or services, making them a prospect or potential customer. This interest in what a brand is selling is expressed by sharing contact information, such as an email address, contact number, or social media handle. The main objective of any company is to generate as many leads as possible and take them down the sales funnel with relevant content and offers to turn them into loyal customers.
All the leads a company generates hold the potential to become future clients. Therefore, sales teams are responsible for converting a maximum number of leads into active customers to maintain a good conversion rate.
What are the different types of leads?
The leads are qualified based on their placement in the marketing funnel.
- Information qualified lead (IQL): A person or an organization that has shown no interest in your business and instead looks for information about a particular topic. These leads are at the beginning of the sales funnel (awareness stage). You need to educate them about your offerings with valuable resources in exchange for personal information like their name, mobile number, email address, location, etc. An information qualified lead is also called a “cold lead.”
- Marketing qualified lead (MQL): A person or an organization interested in your business and periodically engaged with your brand or marketing channels. These leads are in the middle of the sales funnel (interest stage). They have expressed continued interest in your product or service by signing up for your newsletter, following you on social media, reading your post, or being referred by a friend or previous client. These leads have successfully identified their problem and are now looking for a company that can handle it. A marketing qualified lead is also called a “warm lead.”
- Sales qualified lead (SQL): A person or an organization that has shown deep interest in what you are selling and has a high purchase intent. These leads are at the bottom of the sales funnel (action stage) and have moved from the entire sales funnel to the stage where the sales team can now work on converting them into a paying customer.