We use a lot of acronyms in B2B marketing.

Sometimes these acronyms have different meanings for marketers, even if the letters stand for the same words. A Marketing Accepted Lead (MAL) for one marketing system may be similar to a Sales Accepted Lead (SAL) for another.

So, how does one explain the journey a lead takes through the marketing and sales system? How can you tell the difference between a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) versus a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)? I really don’t think it matters.

That is, if you have a marketing and sales system for growth of leads that works. I like to use the following example.

Similar to a plant or tree, a lead should move through stages of growth, or die. “Time kills deals” we were taught early on in our careers. That is true, but some deals do take longer to grow than others.

Leads need to be nurtured in the same say plants are nurtured. Feeding prospects information that is pertinent can help with growth. Drip campaigns can also act like water for the tree, strengthening the lead and keeping the climate just right for life.

Ultimately, the goal of any marketing and sales program is the almighty Return on Investment (ROI)! This is like the tasty fruit a plant bears when it is mature and full of life. Hungry anyone? I know I am.


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