A sales-qualified lead (SQL) is a prospect who has already moved through the sales pipeline and has become a sales-accepted lead. At this point, the lead is in a position where the sales team can work on converting them into an active customer.
To become a sales-qualified lead, sales teams need to be confident that the prospect is in a position where they are willing and ready to talk to them. Typically, this lead will have expressed enough interest in a product or service and indicated that they are ready to move through the sales pipeline. A sales-qualified lead will usually also have been researched and vetted by a marketing department prior to being handed off to sales, just to be sure.
Much like its close relative, the Marketing Qualified Lead, the criteria for an SQL is a hotly debated topic. What constitutes a sales-qualified lead can vary between different companies and even between different marketing and sales teams. Ultimately, however, a sales-qualified lead is determined by a company’s lead management process, which itself is defined by the actions that a prospect takes within the sales pipeline.