A broader, less personalized focus
As MQLs consist of individuals, the focus of campaigns, content, and other engagements, even when well-aligned with the Ideal Client Profile (ICP), will be broader and less personalized than MQAs. This means that the budget will need to stretch further for a more varied approach.
The lack of personalization may also create challenges for the sales department: In Salesforce’s 2020 State of the Connected Customer Report, 70% of consumers reported that a company understanding how they use products and services is very important to winning their business. Therefore without a detailed understanding of clients (such as how they use their products), sales teams will not be able to personalize their approach sufficiently to win their business.
Tracking clients through the funnel
When targeting B2B businesses, it is their buying committee members who will be engaging with your content and ultimately deciding the purchase of your solutions.
With MQLs, this can make tracking your leads accurately more difficult, as multiple members of the same company may be at different points in the sales funnel. This may cause members who are not part of the buying committee to be targeted in addition to inaccurately identifying where the company is in the sales process.
Prioritizing the nurturing of MQLs could also cause the neglect of leads in other parts of the funnel (especially when this may be excluding sales-ready leads through inaccurate criteria).
MQLs often do not have buying intent
Due to the limited scope of qualifying MQLs, many of the identified individuals do not have buying intent. Even in the event that they match a company’s ICP while their intent data shows interest, the depth of that interest is hard to quantify on an individual basis. This is why MQLs on the whole often do not convert well.
A good MQL conversion rate is 13%, while a standard MQA conversion rate is closer to 20%. Additionally, those that do convert may be price sensitive as they were likely doing comparison shopping when your analytics flagged them as sales ready. Due to the lack of personalization and less emphasis on after-sales satisfaction, MQLs will also have a much higher churn rate than MQAs. According to a survey by Marketo, almost 85% of marketers said ABM provided significant benefits to retaining and expanding existing client relationships.
All of these aspects of MQLs have led many marketers to believe that they are an outdated metric within B2B lead scoring.