How to Implement Marketing Qualified Lead Reports - dummies

How to Implement Marketing Qualified Lead Reports

By Mathew Sweezey

Marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) are leads that meet the basic requirements to leave marketing’s hands and be passed to sales. Marketing automation uses the term MQL frequently. Most leads that come in to your funnel will, you hope, be converted to an MQL that is passed to the sales team. After the sales team members agree that the lead is qualified, they accept it and change it to a Sales Qualified Lead.

MQL is a standard term used in marketing automation. If you use another term to denote a lead passing to sales, make sure that you also understand the MQL terminology and what it means to your lead funnel so that you can measure and report on your growth.

Basics of an MQL report

MQL reports are tools to help you manage and measure your lead hand-off process. When passing MQL leads to sales, you need to keep track of the number of leads you pass and the number of MQL leads accepted by sales. Giving sales the ability to accept or reject the MQL leads gives you a check and balance on your lead qualification process.

Most organizations have a set goal of leads they need to produce each month, and MQL is the report used to measure this goal. MQL reports tell you whether your department needs to produce more or fewer leads in the future. The efficiency of your MQL stage helps you determine whether your qualification for MQL is correct. Here is the formula for determining your efficiencies within your MQL stage.


To measure MQL efficiency, take the number of leads that reach the MQL stage and divide it by the number of leads that make it to the SQL stage. The closer you are to 100 percent, the better your efficiency.

If you’re not currently being measured on MQL efficiency, consider advocating for this metric. Many companies find value in the percentage of leads moving from MQL to SQL as a measure of how good your marketing efforts are.

How to create SLAs with sales

A service-level agreement (SLA) is an agreement with your sales team to ensure that they are working leads in an appropriate time frame. Harvard University studied the follow-up times from leads after they were sales ready, along with the effect of follow-up times on close rates.

The report shows that companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly seven times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later. Yet, only 37 percent of companies respond to queries within an hour.

Your SLA helps ensure that the work you are doing is not going to waste. Your SLA is your check and balance with the sales team to hold them accountable for following through on your efforts.

When you create your SLA, remember that the leads you pass over are qualified based on what you and your sales team agree on. So the leads should be good and should be accepted.

Leads that are not called within the SLA time frame should be counted as wasting company assets and accompanied by repercussions of some kind. The duration of a lead in the MQL stage should be fixed by your SLA.

That way, your velocity report will tell you whether the sales team is adhering to their SLA. If your SLA states that sales reps have two days to accept or reject any MQL lead, and your velocity is three days, you know that the sales team is dropping the ball and not holding up their end of the bargain.