Earlier this year, we realized we needed a new metric for measuring our best leads.
While teams have been using marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), sales-qualified leads (SQLs), and product-qualified leads (PQLs) for years, none of these metrics could accurately describe this new type of lead we’d been seeing.
And that’s why we created the conversation-qualified lead (CQL), a new perspective on qualified leads.
It’s how we classify these types of leads:
CQLs are people who’ve expressed intent to buy during a real-time, one-to-one conversation, either with a human or a chabot. And compared to typical leads, they tend to close much more quickly, bringing sales cycles down from months and weeks, to days and hours.
Today, we’re pumped to announce that we’ve taken our CQL concept and we’ve incorporated it directly into our product.
Now, you can easily identify and measure the number of CQLs your team is generating with Drift.
These include CQLs that a Drift chatbot qualifies automatically based on the rules you’ve set up, as well as CQLs that you score manually during a conversation.
Best of all, with our new leaderboard, you can keep sales reps motivated and watch a real-time feed of who’s capturing the most CQLs.
Keep reading for a deeper dive into why we switched to CQLs and how we’ve made them an integral part of Drift.
You can also check out a little product tour of our new CQL-related features in the SlideShare below:
Conversations are the most powerful sales and marketing tool your team has.
In a world where buyers expect to be able to connect with businesses instantly, lead capture forms no longer cut it.
Some of your best leads, people who are live on your website, inevitably end up slipping through the cracks.
With the CQL, you can put conversations back at the center of sales and marketing.
And instead of missing out on leads, you’ll be able to identify your best leads and set up a fastlane for them. Just like Cody from Assertible did:
Just set up an Assertible demo for a F500 company in seconds with @drift ??⏲ Imagine if they had to use the “Contact us” form!
— Cody Reichert (@CodyReichert) August 11, 2017
And like Tom from RapidMiner did:
Just signed a new Fortune 100 company that started via a @drift chat. A bot-assisted human >>> your website + email “nurturing” campaigns
— Tom Wentworth (@twentworth12) June 14, 2017
To clarify, the point isn’t that you have to completely abandon MQLs, or SQLs, or PQLs. Instead, you can simply add CQLs as a new type of lead you’re generating.
With Drift + CQLs, it’s like you’re adding a second net to your website. It’s a new source of leads your sales team can tap into.
Here’s how it works…
How to Identify and Measure CQLs in Drift
There are two ways you can use Drift to identify CQLs.
First, if you’re having a conversation with a website visitor who tells you that they’re thinking about buying, you can manually mark them as a CQL right from the chat window.
See those little lightning bolt icons?
Those are how you score CQLs: The more lightning bolts you assign, the more confident you are that they’re going to buy.
(FYI: You can also mark someone as disqualified if you find out they aren’t a good fit.)
Now, onto the second way you can identify CQLs with Drift: using Playbooks.
With Playbooks, our intelligent sales assistant (a.k.a. chatbot) qualifies and scores CQLs for you automatically based on the target criteria you set.
That way, you can keep identifying CQLs 24/7, even when your sales reps are asleep or away on vacation.
But once you’ve identified CQLs in Drift, that’s not the end of the story.
With our integrations, you can sync those new leads into Salesforce, Marketo, or HubSpot.
And with our updated reporting, you can monitor how many leads your team has been qualifying (and disqualifying) using Drift.
How to Motivate Your Sales Team With Our Leaderboard
In order to make the CQL process more transparent — and to drive some healthy competition among sales reps — we’ve developed a sales rep leaderboard.
The leaderboard can be displayed on your office TVs (or a computer monitor) so everyone can see which sales reps are having the most conversations, generating the most CQLs, and booking the most meetings.
The leaderboard updates in real-time based on sales rep activity. And when someone new claims the #1 spot, be prepared for a celebratory GIF.
It’s not just a practical tool for monitoring progress, it’s a team morale-booster. (If you wanted to take things to the next level, you could even award weekly or monthly prizes based on leaderboard standings.)
You can find a link to the new leaderboard right in your Drift dashboard.
Stay Tuned: New Drift Data Dropping Next Week
Next week, our VP of Marketing Ilya is going to share some hard numbers around how CQLs and our conversation-driven approach to marketing have been working for us here at Drift.
He found that CQLs convert into sales meetings faster than any other type of lead we generate.
On average, it takes just three days from initial conversation to delivered demo.
Be sure to drop by the Drift blog next week for even more CQL stats.