How Many MQLs Per Month Should You Be Generating?

Written by Alastair Kane

Jul 4 2016

how many mql per month

How many MQLs does your business need to generate per month to achieve overall customer and revenue goals?

What Number of MQLs Per Month Should I Be Generating?

How many Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) do different sized businesses generate per month? We reviewed industry benchmarks from HubSpot’s Demand Generation Benchmark Report to find out.

Defining an MQL

To know how how many MQLs you need, you must first be certain of what MQLs are.


Essentially, an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) is a lead who is a good-fit opportunity, aligns with buyer persona parameters, and is worth pursuing further.


In an aligned Inbound marketing and sales process, sales teams will have access to marketing-enabled historical lead data (such as a lead’s interactions history with your site and content). This will help to establish if a lead is a good fit to qualify and pursue. If the lead is a definite good fit MQL, sales can then begin conversations to further qualify and nurture the MQL, by gaining a deeper understanding of their challenges.


As an example of where MQLs fit in a sales and nurture process, lead lifecycle stages  typically follow the below:


Initial website traffic/ visitors > leads (unqualified) > MQLs > SQLs > customers.

Essentially, an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) is a lead who is a good-fit opportunity, aligns with buyer persona parameters, and is worth pursuing further.

MQL Industry Benchmarks: How Many MQLs Should You Receive Per Month?

MQLs_per_month_by_company_size.png

This HubSpot data indicates the number of MQLs that organisations of different sizes require. 900 marketers from North America and Europe were surveyed in this example.

Companies with 1-200 employees:

  • Of the companies surveyed, a significant number (80%) generated 1-100 MQLs per month
  • The percentage of organisations of this size securing greater than 100+ MQLs gradually declines, with only 1% achieving 10,000+ MQLs per month

Companies with 201-500 employees:

  • 33% of organisations of this size generate between 101-500 MQLs per month
  • Companies in this size range generally aren’t generating higher numbers of MQLs than this, though there is a slight increase in the 2501-5000 MQL range - 13% of organisations achieve this

Companies with 501 - 1000 employees:

  • 29% of organisations of this size generate 101-500 MQLs per month. Only 1% of companies with 501-1000 employees are generating 10,000+ MQLs

Companies with 1001 - 5000 employees:

  • 23% of companies of this size generate 1-100 MQLs per month. 19% of companies generate 1001 - 2500 MQLs per month
  • Only 2% of organisations of this size generate 10,000+ MQLs

Companies with 5001+ employees typically:

  • In the largest company segment, 27% of companies generate 1-100 MQLs per month, and 15% gain 10,000+ MQLs per month - a greater percentage than any other company size. This aligns with the logic that larger businesses tend to have greater customer, sales and revenue targets to achieve

It is important to remember that the number of MQLs generated will also differ between industries (not shown here), and that unique results will depend on the effectiveness of each organisation’s marketing activity.

Calculating How Many MQLs Your Business Needs

Regardless of business size, factors that influence how many MQLs your business needs to generate per month will include:

Annual Revenue Target & MQL Conversion Rates

How many customers do you need to close in order to achieve your revenue targets - and how many MQLs do you need in the first place to achieve that customer goal? It’s important to review your conversion rates (of MQL to SQL, and SQL to customer) to assess that number, and set realistic targets.

The Nature & Cost Of Your Product, & Your Sales Cycle Length

Obviously product value will impact on revenue and lead targets - as will the length of your sales cycle. For example, you might only need to close 5 customers a year to achieve your goals. But it may take 18 months to generate enough leads, and nurture them through to MQL, SQL and close. Be sure to factor in the length of your sales cycle, as well as your conversion rates when assessing how many MQLs you need.

 

Basing financial and lead goals on real data is essential, as if goals and lead generation targets are unclear, campaigns will not deliver.

 

When calculating lead and financial goals:

  • Determine how much revenue your marketing campaign must produce and the number of customers you require. ROI Calculators can help to identify how much traffic, how many leads, how many MQLs and SQLs you need to generate to achieve that end financial goal.
  • Review your conversion ratios at each lead stage to define the total number of lead opportunities you need have at the top of the sales funnel, to convert enough customers at the end.
  • Use industry data (such as the above chart) to compare your findings and gain an indication if you are on the right track.
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