Did you know? 68% of businesses never tend to maintain or measure their sales pipelines and they managed to convert only ~21% of their leads to customers. It is important to generate new leads and close deals to grow revenue for your business and it can be done efficiently with a few best practices.
Without a working sales pipeline, it becomes near-impossible to have an efficient lead conversion rate. With 37% of marketers reporting that prospecting is the most difficult part of their job – something that is essential to build a sales pipeline.
This blog post outlines how MQM can help generate more leads for you. This, in turn, also ensures that you convert the generated MQLs into customers.
There are three recurring terms in this article that you need to have a well-founded understanding of –
- Sales pipeline: A tool to help you visualize and organize your sales process. It helps you keep track of multiple potential buyers’ status and at what stage of the sales process they are currently in.
If we may compare your business to a car, your sales team is the driver, and the sales pipeline is the GPS/navigation device. Without a sales pipeline, your sales team is driving blind towards the destination of higher sales numbers – it seldom works, and poses a huge risk to your business running out of money.
- Marketing-qualified lead: A marketing-qualified lead (often indicated as MQL) is a prospect that has shown identifiable interest in your brand, solely based on your inbound marketing efforts. Such prospects are 9x more likely to convert when you follow up with them within five minutes of them expressing interest in your business.
Over 50% of a marketing team’s budget goes into lead generation, as reported by 53% of marketers. However, lead nurturing and conversion is as much of a challenge as lead generation is, despite 61% of marketers reporting lead generation is their greatest hurdle.
- Marketing-qualified meeting: A marketing-qualified meeting (abbreviated to MQM) is a session held by your business’ marketing team to educate and engage prospective customers that are interested in your business’ brand. Such sessions are usually held on a one-on-one basis, providing a level of personal service while trying to generate more leads of higher quality. Here is a basic introductory guide to MQM.
With only 1% of leads making it through the lead conversion process, it has become a priority for more businesses to integrate MQMs into their lead conversion funnel. Trust-building is a huge part of the exercise of generating leads, and MQM is a surefire way to achieve that efficiently.
Using MQM and MQL to grow your sales pipeline
As discussed, the first step to growing your sales pipeline is to build a sales funnel. Although they are used interchangeably, a sales funnel is fundamentally different from a sales pipeline. A sales pipeline is about purchases, deals, and tangible revenue, whereas a sales funnel is about lead management.
Despite their differences, sales pipelines and funnels go hand-in-hand, and a sales funnel is often a precursor to a scalable sales pipeline. A typical B2B sales pipeline has 5 stages in general, depicted below:
The above depiction is a template that you can build upon and personalize for your business.
There are three possible outcomes when you ask a buyer to purchase – “yes”, “no”, or “later”. Depending on the response, leads are either converted, discarded, or nurtured further. The demo plays a very important role in determining the mindset of the buyer before purchase and is often held as a sales-qualified meeting. While this turns the tables in your favor (which is why they are a great revenue catalyst), they are not scalable if the inbound lead numbers are not ramping up.
So, to grow your sales pipeline, it is vital to increase the initial parts of the pipeline – lead generation and qualification. Both of these are possible by making use of MQL and MQM. The differences between MQL and MQM run deeper than their definitions.
Marketing-qualified meetings are a great way to build your database of prospects and leads, as leads that are currently not interested in your business can be welcomed back with the introduction of new products/services. MQM also serves as a great way to quantify and measure how well your lead generation and qualification strategies are working, thereby serving as a key performance indicator. By holding more MQMs, the lead database grows quickly, increasing the number of qualified leads moving forward. This, however, does not increase your lead conversion rates.
MQM must be used along with secondary lead nurturing and management strategies such as lead scoring and target content marketing to help increase lead conversion rates. By making use of long-term plans, you are ensuring that the influx of leads is constantly growing, thereby scaling your sales pipeline consistently. While new leads can be generated efficiently using marketing automation platforms, revisiting old leads with a relationship foundation and history gives you a better shot at converting them into paying customers.
MQM makes sales pipeline growth possible, and FunnL makes MQM possible. FunnL is a global pioneer in B2B lead generation and qualification services. With an AI-powered lead generation solution and over 25,000 successful qualified meetings conducted, our team of professionals is well-experienced in what they do, and that is why we are the best at what we do. You can browse our website to learn more about what we have to offer, or contact us today and gain a competitive advantage in your industry!