This Week in Publish or Perish – The Secret to Converting a Marketing Qualified Lead

Publish or Perish is a podcast for innovative and scale-seeking sales leaders and CMOs, hosted by Fathom’s Chief Revenue Officer, Jeff Leo Herrmann.

This week’s episode focused on social selling, marketing automation, and the most appropriate (and inappropriate) ways to contact a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). You can find a brief overview of this week’s episode below–or check out the podcast to get more detailed, proven advice on social selling methods for moving leads down the sales funnel.


The Secret to Converting a Marketing Qualified Lead



Marketing Qualified Leads vs Sales Qualified Leads

At Fathom, we spend a lot of time trying to decide who is an MQL and who is an SQL. Find Jeff’s definitions below:

  • MQL: Responded to soft CTAs, such as downloading a whitepaper or signing up for newsletter. They have showed mild interested, but haven’t asked to be contacted.
  • SQL: Responded to hard CTAs, such as contact us, request pricing, and submit RFP. Every sales qualified lead should be contacted immediately (we do within 5 minutes). Route new SQLs to salespeople’s inboxes so they can contact as soon as possible.

What to do with Marketing Qualified Leads

What is the one thing salespeople can do to help scale relationships and revenue with an MQL? Nothing.  It’s called a Marketing Qualified Lead for a reason–don’t email or call this person. Pouncing on MQLs too quickly shows that you’re a sales amateur. Sales people should only touch Sales Qualified Leads.

Social Selling with MQLs

It’s still useful to have email alerts set up for MQLs, but it’s not necessary (or smart) to follow up directly. If an MQL rolls through that you’re very excited about–maybe because they’re an ideal client or you’ve been interested in working with them for a while–there are ways to build a relationship without scaring them off. This is where social selling comes in.

Practice social selling with these top funnel leads by using social media to learn about their interests and intent. Then, start to germinate this relationship with online conversation.

This method of social selling allows you to build a large funnel of online conversations, which you can use to build relationships and eventually drive offline conversations. Yes, this is a less aggressive approach. Too aggressive of an approach will kill the lead, though.

Using Marketing Automation to Support Sales

As a growth organization with big goals, Fathom is always looking for opportunities to engage and grow our prospects. For us, marketing automation is the solution. Through marketing automation, we can track activity of subscribers to determine who is ready for a sales conversation and who should still be nurtured.

What if You Feel Like You Have to Call the MQL?

When you’re too excited about an MQL to wait for them to move through a nurture campaign, there are less aggressive ways to start a direct conversation with a lead. If you have content you produce on a consistent basis, reach out to that lead and ask if they want to participate in your content creation via interview, quote, guest blog, etc. That way, you can leverage their knowledge and offer a friendly way to engage with them.

Finally, if all else fails, at least contact them about the piece of content they consumed and ask them about a specific statistic or piece of info from that content.

Listen to Publish or Perish now and get Jeff Herrmann’s personal strategies for scaling your business.

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