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  • Writer's pictureDragos Mihai

Demystifying MQLs and SQLs in Salesforce: Harnessing the Power of Lead Qualification

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Understanding the customer journey is crucial in every business. Salesforce, the world’s leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform, provides a holistic view of this journey through a robust and customizable system. But to fully leverage the power of Salesforce, we need to understand some key concepts: Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). These metrics are central to lead qualification, helping businesses streamline their sales funnel and focus on the most promising prospects.

What are MQLs and SQLs?

In the world of sales and marketing, leads are potential customers who have expressed some interest in your product or service. However, not all leads are created equal. Some are merely interested, while others are ready to purchase. This is where MQLs and SQLs come into play.

MQLs, or Marketing Qualified Leads, are leads that have engaged with your marketing efforts but are not yet ready to receive a sales call. They could have downloaded a whitepaper, subscribed to a newsletter, or attended a webinar. MQLs have shown an interest in your offerings, making them ideal targets for further marketing nurturing.

On the other hand, SQLs, or Sales Qualified Leads, are a step further down the sales funnel. An SQL has shown a clear intent to buy and has met specific criteria that indicate they are ready for direct sales engagement. These criteria may include a certain level of interaction with your company, budget availability, or a request for a product demo or consultation.

Harnessing the Power of MQLs and SQLs in Salesforce

Salesforce, with its comprehensive lead scoring and grading capabilities, can help you identify and manage MQLs and SQLs effectively.

1. Lead Scoring: Salesforce’s lead scoring feature allows you to assign points to leads based on their behaviour and engagement with your marketing efforts. You can customize the scoring parameters to match your business needs. As a result, leads that reach a certain score threshold can be classified as MQLs, signalling they are ready for more targeted marketing efforts.

2. Lead Grading: Besides scoring, Salesforce also allows for lead grading, which matches a lead's profile against your ideal customer profile. Factors like industry, job title, and company size can be considered. When a lead's grade and score reach a certain threshold, they can be transitioned from an MQL to an SQL, ready for the sales team to engage.

3. Automated Workflows: Salesforce’s automation features can be used to create workflows that move leads from MQL to SQL status. For instance, when a lead reaches a specific score and grade, automated workflows can assign the lead to a sales rep and notify them to take action.

4. Reporting and Analytics: Salesforce’s robust reporting and analytics features help you monitor and refine your MQL and SQL processes. You can track the conversion rates from MQL to SQL, identify bottlenecks in your sales funnel, and uncover opportunities for improvement.


Understanding and applying the concepts of MQLs and SQLs within Salesforce can greatly improve your lead qualification process, ensuring your sales team focuses on the leads most likely to convert. By effectively managing your sales funnel, you can improve efficiency, increase conversion rates, and ultimately drive more revenue for your business. As you embark on this journey, remember that these processes should be continually refined to match the evolving needs and behaviours of your customers.

Salesforce, with its robust features and customization capabilities, provides the perfect platform to leverage the power of MQLs and SQLs. So, dive in and start optimizing your lead qualification process today!

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