What are MQAs and Should They Replace MQLs?

These days, marketers live and die by metrics, and one metric on the top of every marketer’s mind is the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). However, when we transition from traditional marketing to Account Based Marketing, we introduce another crucial milestone in the customer journey: the Marketing Qualified Account (MQA). After all, in ABM, we must look at everything through the lens of the account.

The million dollar question is “should MQAs replace MQLs?”

In this vlog, we chat with Grant Grigorian to explore this topic in more detail.

TRANSCRIPT: 

Brandon:
Hey everyone, Brandon Redlinger here, and I’m on the marketing team here at Engagio and I’m with Grant Grigorian, who is on the product team here at Engagio, and today we are addressing MQLs vs MQA. So, we’ve all heard of Marketing Qualified Leads, Grant, tell us what it is a Marketing Qualified Account? What’s an MQA?

Grant:
An MQA is something you shouldn’t be afraid of. It’s the same as MQLs, really, but about accounts. So, let’s think back to why we had MQLs in the first place. It was all about identifying, out of all the leads that we have, which are most likely to be sales ready? From, you know, who are the right people, at the right companies, doing the right things, kinda signaling that maybe they’re ready for a sales conversation. So, an MQA is really the same idea. Except we’re saying, these are probably the best companies for you to start to have conversations with, to get a sale deal going.

Brandon:
And should we be replacing the MQL with an MQA?

Grant:
I don’t think so. I think it really depends on how you sell, and who you sell to. But for most companies, I think that there is room for both because you’ll have broad kind of marketing efforts that attract lots of inbound traffic and interest where people self-identify. Maybe they work at companies you didn’t even know about and you’ll say, “Hey, that’s a qualified person. “We should talk to them.” And then you’ll also have, simultaneously, a set of maybe target accounts, where you’re proactively having all sorts of activities to try to engage with those accounts, and then MQAs will serve as a great signal to indicate which of those accounts might be ready for the conversation with you.

Brandon:
Great. So, how do we actually go from having our MQLs and then layering on top our MQAs?

Grant:
Right. Well, you gotta go through the same homework. Or you know, the work that we did for MQLs apply here, I think. Think of things like, what does make the best customer profile? Which are the best companies for us to be engaged with? What are the activities and behaviors that would signal to us that maybe they’re ready to talk to someone?

Brandon:
Perfect. And I’ll give a quick example about how we think about MQAs at Engagio. So, for Tier 1 target accounts, we have if a key persona, two or more key personas, actually, spend 30 minutes of engagement time with us over the last 30 days, we will consider them a Marketing Qualified Account. And then you can also layer on different things on top of that. So, it can be a different threshold, maybe 45 minutes for your Tier 2 accounts, and then you can also start to weight things differently, too.

Grant:
Yeah. You can really do… You can define it however you like, really. To me, the best MQAs are those that you wouldn’t have discovered the best, you know, signals without them. So an example would be, let’s say that there’s a company where there are multiple people who work there, interacting, kind of on the edges, with maybe your content, or with other marketing materials. So each individual doesn’t set off MQL bells, it’s not quite Marketing Qualified Lead, but in the aggregate, when you look at the whole company, maybe you’ll say, “I think maybe there’s something going on there. “There’s distinct people doing distinct things, “but together, maybe there will be an interest at that company.”

Brandon:
Great. Love it. Alright, if you want to learn more about MQLs and MQAs and how they play together, we have a lot on our resource center at resources.engagio.com and if you want to learn more about Engagio, or talk to an expert, just visit Engagio.com Alright, thanks guys.

Grant:
Bye.

Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger is the Head of Growth at Engagio, the Account-Based Marketing and Sales platform that enables teams to measure account engagement and orchestrate human connections at scale. He is passionate about the intersection between tech and psychology, especially as it applies to growing businesses. You can follow him on twitter @brandon_lee_09 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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