SaaS has been used as a first-generation solution software that has been constantly improving since the 2000s. It is a pay-as-you-go service software solution that enables computer and mobile device users to connect to cloud-based applications via the internet. Today, many departments as finance, HR, sales, marketing, and service appreciate and use SaaS privileges. However, the marketing and sales departments of companies need to discover leads and convert them into paying customers. MQL, as a commonly used one, and SQL used to be the main methods for classifying leads. Along with altered types of doing business, product qualified leads (PQL) have become a new classification method leading the marketing and sales rather than MQL, and SQL. In this article, we will focus on how the concept of PQL can contribute to your SaaS product.
First Glance at MQL and SQL Definitions
Companies get in touch with customers with various needs, through campaigns or projects. To manage resources accurately, you need to separate the customers who are interested in your product from others who do not intent to buy or are not familiar at all. At that point, there are two kinds of leads:
MQL – Marketing Qualified Lead: It represents people who have already interacted with your product through the website or other channels, meaning they are more likely to become paying customers because they already demonstrate a particular interest in what you are offering. MQL is important for the relationship goals with the customers. Interactions like filling a form on your website, or subscribing to e-mailings are considered metrics that determine where a customer stands in the buying cycle.
- They are not fully engaged with your product but are likely to purchase it, and various marketing efforts will show either they will convert to paying customers, or not. In other words, this will show you if the User Activation is successful or not.
SQL - Sales Qualified Lead: After trials, demos, and special solutions are offered to MQL at the decision stage, they become SQL's who exhibit more potential for prospective purchases. These are leads that have reached the contracting stage. Sales Qualified Leads are closely observed so that they can later be converted to paying customers.
- They are more likely to try to interact with your product in any kind of way and purchase the product, but still, your sales team plays a huge role here in order to have the purchase realized.
Is There a Consensus on the Definition Of Product Qualified Leads?
Product Qualified Leads (PQL) is a new term in the marketing and sales business, compared to MQL, and SQL. PQL is replacing the traditional approaches that MQL and SQL when the goal is purchasing potential customers, and finding new marketing approaches for different user segmentations. The definition of a PQL can vary from company to company or a project. You need to define your own PQL as a company, considering certain features to make easier data collection and analysis. However, making a general definition is possible.
PQL - Product Qualified Lead: These are leads that tried your product through a free trial or freemium models. PQL and MQL are not the same; it is more likely that PQL will convert to sales more than MQL as long as you trust your product. The essential indicator here is the customer belongs under the PQL's if they have recognized the value of your product. You can tell this if they tried a free trial or freemium model. The keyword here is “value”.
- Your team doesn’t explain the product value to this kind of leads, PQLs understand the product value themselves. That point increases the possibility of their becoming long-term paying customers.
Why Choose Product Qualified Leads?
Discovering the potential customers already interested in your product saves your time and money rather than trying to convince totally new customers. Additionally, the revenue of a company will continue to grow through repetition by product qualified leads.
Alex Kulitski, Founder and CEO at Smart IT, indicates in Forbes (https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/09/23/how-saas-companies-benefit-from-value-based-pricing/?sh=2cc681621ebe) that differentiating digital product or service in a way that your customer target finds meaningful is essential to create value for your lead, while he also mentioned SaaS start-ups and companies should adopt value-based pricing for being dynamic, and gaining more profit in the modern business world.
PQLs are the most efficient for both your customer management and company growth when they are chosen to focus on a product-led growth strategy.
Product-led growth basically defines the models where a product is a primary driver to provide user acquisition, retention, and expansion. Through PQL, you will have a chance to manage drive sales with your product, ensure that where your customer stands in the sales funnel, improve and update your product by analyzing the collected data.
Contribution of Product Qualified Leads for SaaS
While the sales funnel is still a marketing-driven process, if you have a product-led growth plan, every SaaS project is giving free trial or freemium model opportunity to users. Therefore, the customers who consider buying the Premium version before trying the product would want to learn what your product value is, and how it can meet needs. Still, keep in mind that just some of these customers will be interested in your product, and all you need is to focus on them through relevant and accurate data.
Product Qualified Leads contributes to SaaS Projects, vice versa, SaaS creates a space for PQL.
- Thanks to SaaS projects give free trial or freemium usage, product usage data can be collected which shows the real buying intent.
- Launching your SaaS project requires creating buyer personas. PQL helps create new buyer personas accurately. Meanwhile, you can observe buying behaviors to know who you really should target next.
- Your team will communicate with potential customers to convert them. It will be a time and money-saving action by defining customers who don’t have any intent to buy your product.
- If the data you gained through SaaS will be interpreted through PQL, the company gains insight into how to act in the future. PQL and SaaS cooperation will bring long-term growth and success.
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You can read our previous post on https://announcekit.app/blog/user-friendly-ux-strategies/