The MQL Trigger Approach... Since You’re Not Ready for Lead Scoring

“We’re not ready for lead scoring.” 

Say it, it’s okay. In fact it may help to know that you’re not alone.

SiriusDecisions reports that only 40% of salespeople see value in scored leads.  With a stat like that, we can extrapolate that most lead scoring implementations are failures (HINT: if sales doesn’t buy in, it’s not going to work).

There is a better way.

I call it the MQL Trigger Approach.  Here’s how it works:

(1) Marketing Facilitates a Discussion with Sales and asks the question “What Actions would a lead take that would warrant you wanting to call them?” 

If there’s a Teleprospecting team ahead of the sales reps, then the question could also be used to determine which leads are sent to Teleprospecting for appointment setting.

For example, prospect actions could include (the first few are obvious):

  • Filling out a Contact Sales Form
  • Filling out a Product Evaluation Form
  • Calling in to Sales Number
  • Registering for a late stage content asset e.g. a Product Evaluation Guide or Vendor Comparison
  • Indicating product interest via a polling question response at a live webinar
  • Registering for an on-demand webinar on the product
  • Registering for a product demo

(2) Leverage a flag in the marketing automation platform (I call it a “HVA” or High Value Asset trigger) to tag the lead as marketing qualified and route it to Sales.

(3) Ensure Sales has clear visibility into the reason they are receiving the lead. I do this via MQL Source & MQL Source details fields as well as the campaign to indicate the specific asset.

(4) *Extra Credit* - Provide sales with email templates and conversation pointers to guide them based on the different MQL Triggers.

This process gives sales something actionable to work on, increases their BELIEF IN THE LEAD, and therefore drives higher conversion rates to opportunity and overall effectiveness of the automation program. It also is simple to implement (Marketing Ops and IT will love it) and simple for sales management to grasp so that they can manage to it, also critical to success.

Then, once this is working, there’s a natural evolution, still using this MQL Trigger concept, and now creating additional rules for MQL triggers e.g. based on demographics or behavior. And that is how the MQL Trigger model evolves to lead scoring as a second generation once it has proven success and momentum with sales.