The truth: No one wants MQLs. Ever tried to get an experienced salesperson to follow up on an MQL? Marketers in companies that target mid-market or enterprise companies know this is an impossible task.
Salespeople aren’t interested in MQLs. They are interested in establishing accounts. And, while an MQL in one of their accounts is a signal, it’s only one of many. So, while the salesperson will add the MQL to emails, phone calls, invitations to meetings at industry events, exchanges on LinkedIn, and so forth, they know that MQLs don’t buy, accounts do.
On the buyer side, the situation is even more dire.
They don’t want MQLs either. They want answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. And they want a buying process that’s tailored to the way they want to buy.
The problem is, in most companies the processes between marketing and sales have been optimized to measure and track internal metrics like how well you acquire, score, process, and qualify leads. The external metrics – such as how fast and easy is it for the buyer to connect with a knowledgeable salesperson – get little if any attention.
So, what’s marketing supposed to do?
To better align with sales, marketing needs to look at the business from an account perspective, not an MQL perspective. Marketers need to understand who is on the sales team’s target account list for the year or the upcoming quarter. They need to be able to identify which accounts are the most important, and then help sales open those doors.
The best way for marketing to work in lockstep with sales is to provide sales with viable opportunities to build engagement via conversations that consider the full breadth of an account rather than focusing on a single, isolated individual within the account.
On the buyer side of the equation, marketers would do well to invert their thinking by looking at the process through a buyer lens, not a seller lens. They need to think about what technology buyers want:
- To find helpful information relevant to their specific problem
- To get their questions answered quickly and efficiently
- To get what they want based on their timeframe, not how long it takes the marketing team to process a lead
- To interact with humans, not gated content and web forms
In short, buyers want to be treated like real people.