PQL, Product Qualified Lead, are leads that have already tried your product or service, understood the value and benefit and are now ready and willing to buy. They had a positive experience and your sales team needs to contact them to become a customer. However, some strategies are needed at this time.
Convincing someone who has already tested and approved your product or service to buy it seems easier than convincing someone with just words, doesn’t it?
The so-called PQL is the lead that has had its own experience with the solution that the company sells. Had time to understand, use and absorb functioning and benefits.
He is, therefore, more knowledgeable and able to, in fact, become a customer. Provided, of course, that your sales team does their “homework” and gets the sale closed.
This is an approach that has what it takes to convert your leads into customers. But to get to this reality, some strategies are needed.
Today’s article, in addition to covering the concept of PQL, will talk about the differences for other qualified leads.
And also, of course, how to turn Product Qualified Lead into your customer.
Let’s check it out?
What is PQL (Product Qualified Lead)?
PQL, Product Qualified Lead, is the lead that has had direct interaction with the product or service your company sells.
It is a lead that could have been generated in different ways. But what differentiates it from the others is that it can use the solution sold through a freemium version or a trial.
It is, therefore, a potential customer different from a simple QL, MQL or SQL (we’ll see the difference between them all later on).
This is because the PQL has information and experience that none of them has ever had to make the decision to buy – or give up.
Something that, by the way, makes the sales conversion rate of this type of lead to be 5 to 10 times higher than that of a lead that was qualified by sales or marketing.
That’s what the Open View study points out analyzing that this is a strategy that works and a lot in Saabs sales.
Software-as-a-service companies are able to understand customer interactions with the tool.
And find out if he’s ready to move forward on his buying journey.
Reporting on usage, engagement, interest… all these are weapons for the sales team to be able to make a demonstration focused on what really makes sense to the prospect .
And, well… from then on you start to understand how to convert a PQL into a client, right? But, calm down, one thing at a time.
Difference between PQL, QL, MQL and SQL
There is a difference between qualified leads – which shows that there are many possibilities for companies.
Even for that, it doesn’t mean that only PQL makes sense. It obviously depends on what your company sells.
There are products or services that cannot be tested – and that’s all right.
The important thing is to deliver value to the customer so that he understands and trusts the solution offered.
That said, let’s differentiate each of the leads, even for you to have a clearer picture of the context your business is in today.
QL – Qualified Lead
It is when the lead enters a stage that matches what was designed for the persona and as the ideal customer profile (ICP).
It can – and usually will – transform into an MQL or SQL as it progresses along its journey and interacts with the actions the company takes.
It’s a lead that is at the very beginning of its journey. Far, therefore, from becoming a real customer and buying.
MQL – Qualified Marketing Lead
After the persona “hits”, the lead needs to be attracted and educated in some way. One is with marketing strategies.
One interaction, of course, is not enough for him to be qualified. He needs to carry out, for example, a series of conversions into rich materials.
That it also opens the emails it receives within an email nutrition stream within the marketing automation platform.
If this happens then the lead becomes an MQL. And it’s time, then, to pass the baton and send him to the care of the sales team or pre-sales.
SQL – Sales Qualified Lead
SQL is the lead qualified by the sales team. For it to be, it must have been converted into some funnel bottom material.
Or, request a quote or price consultation via website, chat, What Sapp. It will depend on the ways he has to approach the company.
It is possible for the lead to become MQL, SQL and PQL shortly thereafter. All 3.
It can download a range of content within a stream email. At last, he responds to the CTA by inviting him to a trial.
- he is a marketing-qualified lead because he responded to the flow;
- a qualified lead for sales because it will now be under the care of the commercial team and there was a passing of the baton after the sequence of downloads;
- And it will be a PQL as soon as the trial period starts and you enjoy the experience you had.
How to transform the Product Qualified Lead into a customer?
The first step in answering this question is to understand if your product or service can be tried for a while for free. In other words, trial.
Or if there’s a version of it where some things are restricted for those who haven’t paid yet. In other words: freemium.
Read: is it possible to experiment in any way before buying? If yes, well then it is possible to structure a PQL process in the company.
Then, you need to check his experience with the service.
A good indicator can be the opening of tickets with doubt: it is a sign that he is moving the platform.
And the deeper the questions, the more knowledge he will have and the more mature he will be to be a customer.
At the same time, the inquiries are superficial and in large volume, perhaps he is not ready yet.
And then, it’s important to deliver some more in-depth content – and make sure it’s been consumed – before making an appointment with the seller, for example.
It’s not just the salesperson who needs to do their “homework” before the demo: the customer does too.
It is essential for the moment to demonstrate the product or service to be focused on business. How it will benefit the customer.
You can’t waste time with questions that a simple article or video of seconds will answer, right?
The PQL experience is the focus of the speech
We’re talking about homework, so it’s time for the seller to do their part. He has access to how PQL was used during the trial period.
Just check with the support team if any information is missing. This will give you a head start on what the demo will need to focus on.
As soon as a presentation is personalized, focused on the pains, needs and also doubts that the PQL has about the service or product.
While clarifying the doubt about how something works, the salesperson addresses the benefit it brings to the customer.
Realize? There are 2 in 1. Clarify the technical part and add the benefit. This is selling value. It’s making a consultative sale. Technical aspects with the customer’s business.
You need to trigger some triggers
Another important point that can be used in favor is scarcity. This mental trigger is important. And here, it manifests itself in two ways:
- shortage of time;
- Scarcity of resources.
Time since the free trial period may be ending. And if the user is working on the platform and is understanding it, then he is a client with potential for closing.
Time to negotiate, awaken urgency to buy and let him make the decision. Of course there are cases and cases.
Especially if your team isn’t negotiating with the influencer, stretching the testing period won’t hurt anyone.
Quite the opposite. It will let your point of contact influence the decision maker to see value and choose to buy.
The same works for freemium versions. There is a limit of functionality or even “repeats” of something that can be done.
If the PQL starts using a feature a lot and runs out of repetitions, it is also a focal point for the sales team to awaken the urgency of the purchase.
The process doesn’t need to change
So, look at it. As important as structuring a Product Qualified Leads process is understanding that the traditional sales process does not necessarily need to change.
Neither is the need to deliver value to every contact and make a true Sales Engagement.
The logic will follow the same. However, with an important detail: it won’t take so many emails, calls and messages to convince the lead that the product or service is good.
He will have seen it with his own eyes. You will have already experienced it. The product is about qualifying you and making you aware of the benefits.
The role of the salesperson and the company in general is to ensure the customer’s success and give him all the conditions to achieve his goals and objectives and become a true evangelizer of the brand.
So, how can we help you?
Take the opportunity and read two articles that will help your team to have a speech increasingly focused on the customer.
The first addresses the importance of having the phases of the sales funnel well defined and targeted to the consumer.
The second talks about open questions to ask the lead to better understand their pain.