What is a lead?

A lead is someone who has somehow shown interest in your company’s products or services. The way the person has shown its interest varies a lot, since it may have come from a cold call or an online form. But there is a common base – there is an open line of communication, which means the person is willing to receive more informations about the company.

The lead lifecycle

Although the exact lead lifecycle phases definitions depend, in good part, of the type of costumer your company has, it should be similar to this:


Has completed some kind of form or contacted the company directly for more information, but hasn’t yet revealed its phone number


Has completed some kind of form or contacted the company directly and gave its informations to be contacted again and/or its need


The lead has been evaluated by the sales team and has been qualified as a potential cliente, because its needs fit the product or service


The sales team has identified the lead as a viable potential client, as he is open to receiving more information or a demo


The sales team has successfully managed to turn the potential client into an effective client


Both a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and a Sales Qualified Lead are, as the name indicates, a qualified lead. However, the type of qualification varies, especially due to them being usually developed by different departments with different objectives. See our article of considerations when defining a MQL and a SQL.

The main difference between the two types of lead lies in the amount of information. That is, a MQL is a lead who has shown interest and that may or may not become an opportunity. But it can only become an opportunity if the lead’s needs fit the company’s solutions. And, if they do fit, that’s when it becomes a SQL.

As you can observe in the table above, a SQL is a MQL with a bigger amount of information. And is this collection of information that makes it possible to adapt the speach and the advantages of the solution to the lead.

This is why it is so important that the marketing and sales department are synchronised in working toghether to define each lead type characteristics.

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