PQL: What is a Product Qualified Lead?

The more time you spend in the sales and marketing world, the more you’ll learn about different types of sales leads, and how they influence your bottom line. A PQL or product qualified lead is just one form of lead tracked by many leading sales brands. Common for technology and SaaS companies, product qualified leads have already experienced the value of your product for themselves, and may be in a better position to buy as a result.

Today, we’re going to explore the definition of product qualified leads, and why they’re so important to growing technology brands.

PQL Meaning: What is a Product Qualified Lead?

PQL, or product qualified lead prospects are more likely to become customers than many other leads in the technology landscape. These are individuals or companies who have already experienced meaningful value as a result of interacting with your product.

For instance, of a company signs up for a free trial of email marketing software, and achieves excellent results from that trial, they’re a product qualified lead.

While there are many different types of sales leads in the technology landscape, product qualified leads are some of the most sought-after, because they already have the foundations of a relationship with the SaaS or tech brand.

What is PQL Prospecting Good For?

Any kind of qualified lead will always be a valuable investment for any company, but a product qualified lead can offer particular benefits to technology brands. Often, technology and software companies have a difficult time convincing B2B companies to sign up for long-term subscriptions to their software, or purchase expensive tools.

In the Business to Business landscape, offering a free demo or trial of a piece of technology can serve a range of purposes. It helps customers to see the value of the product for themselves, but it also builds a sense of familiarity with the product, which makes it harder to give up in the future.

PQLs are not the same as marketing qualified leads, whose value are based on arbitrary factors such as whitepaper downloads, email opens, and website visits. PQLs are specifically people or companies who have already used your product in some way, and have experienced a beneficial result.

Defining your PQLs and learning more about them can help you to develop a deeper understanding of your target audience, and what it takes to convert customers.

How to Count Product Qualified Leads

The main issue many companies have with product qualified leads, is it can be difficult to define what counts as a “PQL” customer. No business has the exact same PQL definition as another because what it means for a customer to “use” your product and see value from it can differ for each brand.

For instance, for Facebook, a PQL could be anyone who adds 7 friends to their Facebook profile, while for Slack, a PQL is when an account reaches its limit for sending 2,000 messages. As companies evolve, definitions of PQLs can differ too.

As your business gets bigger and you introduce new features or capabilities for your technology, you may need your customers to complete a wider range of tasks to be identified as a PQL.

How to Use Product Qualified Leads

To leverage the benefits of Product Qualified leads, you’ll need to define what PQL means to you. Defining your PQL correctly will help you to close more deals, align your sales and marketing teams, and understand what prevents customers from converting.

In most cases, when prospects utilize the services or products of a technology company, they demonstrate their purchasing intent through things like:

  • Usage patterns
  • Spending patterns
  • Features used
  • Number of users added
  • Adoption speed

If you have access to product usage data already, you’ll be able to look through this information for insights into behaviors that correlate closely with users making the transition to paid packages with your brand. If you don’t have product data at your disposal, you’ll need to instal some analytics tools to better understand how your customers use your technology.

Once you have your PQL definition, you can begin to implement PQL strategies throughout various parts of your business. For instance, to keep marketing aligned on driving good signup opportunities, you’ll need to use visitor to sign up, and sign up to PQL metrics to track conversion opportunities.

In the sales landscape, you’ll need to track the PQL to customer rate. In other words, how many product qualified leads become full-time customers? Aligning marketing and sales can help you to determine what convinces a customer to try a product, and what eventually convinces them to convert into a paying customer after testing the product.

Making the Most of Product Qualified Leads

Unlike standard marketing qualified leads, usually determined between the marketing and sales teams, the product qualified lead often requires various parts of a team to work together. One of the best parts of PQLs is that it aligns teams to focus on helping to ensure the customer is successful in their adoption of a product.

Embracing the PQL model improves your chances of generating more successful users, happier customers, and even more upgrades as a result.

Read also:

SMB Sales Guide: An Introduction to SMB Sales Strategy

Sales Potential: Everything You Need to Know