High-Quality Leads (HQLs) have very specific characteristics: They are decision-makers or strong influencers who want to see change happen in their organization now rather than later and are capable of finding a budget for the solution, when they find the right fit.
In other words, HQLs are highly motivated and capable.
Studies comparing companies that lead their category in sales with average performers find that sales reps in the leading companies work far more with HQLs than the average performers. These studies show as much as a 6x increase in number of deals closed from HQLs.
Our own analysis shows that HQLs can increase sales by 72% and net profits by 9%.
Consequently, sales leaders demand HQLs from their marketing departments.
There is good reason for this. HQLs are ready to make change now, and as a consequence sales cycles are much shorter. Win rates are also higher—there is no doubt someone will get the win. The only question is who.
Unfortunately, many companies continue to think of lead generation as a volume operation, misled by the outdated “top of funnel” mindset.
In today’s model, the buyer’s journey is nearly invisible until the buyer decides to contact a vendor. Therefore, from the top to the bottom of the funnel is far shorter and narrower than it used to be—when things actually work. Things are going wrong when the top of the funnel looks very wide. Wide funnel means that “leads” end up getting stuck and take a long time to get into the sales funnel.
Failing to understand this fundamental shift means that sellers will find themselves losing more deals than they win, and the rise in cost of sales and marketing outpace the rise in revenues.