Qualified Leads vs Unqualified Leads

by Ayhan K. Isaacs in February 23rd, 2022
Qualified Leads vs Unqualified Leads

Lead generation is indeed helpful in marketing. However, if your leads do not convert into sales, then lead generation is worthless. In order for you to successfully chase down leads, you need to learn about qualified leads vs unqualified leads.

What Is Qualified Leads?

Qualified leads are prospects with concerns that can be addressed by your solutions. Qualified prospects have control over their budget, as well as their authority to come up with decisions. Qualified leads usually have a lower churn rate as customers since they are able to control the closing terms.

Qualified leads

What Are the Types of Qualified Leads?

Now that you know the qualified lead definition, you have to know about its different types.

It is not enough to simply ask “What is a qualified lead? Or “What is a sales qualified lead?” You also have to know the value in the sales pipeline, as well as ensure that the sales team does its best to close leads that are high in value.

The following are the two main types of qualified leads:

1) Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs):

These are prospects or leads who have expressed interest in a particular service or product offered by your company. They meet the loose criteria that have been set by previous customer data in order to ensure quality. In essence, they qualify as good sales outreach prospects.

 2) Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs):

These are the prospects or leads whom the sales team has spoken to and is verified as sales-ready. They are prepared to buy and are already in the buying process. They are actually the most valuable sales pipeline.

What Is Unqualified Sales?

It is important to keep in mind that inbound marketing does not always go as planned. At times, the content strategy may be off. Buyer personas may also not be used and the company may end up attracting the wrong prospects.

There may also be times when people end up in the sales pipeline solely because they cannot find the information they need, so they simply fill out your form in the hopes of getting the right answer. There are also certain businesses that skip the process of lead qualification.

In essence, you can tell that certain people are unqualified leads if they are missing any of the parameters mentioned previously. It is either you cannot provide a solution to their problems or they cannot afford the solution that you offer. They may also not have any say in the purchase.

Moreover, you may be able to recognize these people since they tend to avoid consultation forms and free demonstrations. Instead, they tend to opt for “contact us” forms.

These people either avoid talking on the phone or end calls quickly. They also tend to resist going to the next step of the sales process. Furthermore, they tend to hesitate to have other decision-makers around.

Qualified versus Unqualified Sales – Differentiation

When it comes to outbound lead generation and digital marketing and sales, you have to know qualified vs unqualified leads well. Knowing their difference will allow you to efficiently segment leads into the right category.

Take note that leads may switch from a certain category to another using nurture campaigns. Nevertheless, it is still very important to be able to distinguish qualified leads from unqualified ones.

Qualified Leads:

  • They are either in the process of completing a nurture campaign cycle or have already completed one.
  • They are in full control of their buying cycle as well as completing their educational research.
  • They have already brainstormed and enumerated everything they need in a solution.
  • They have set a budget and are determined to stick to it.
  • When they convert into customers, they usually have a low churn rate because they tend to close on their terms.

Unqualified Leads:

  • They haven’t been nurtured adequately to close sales cycles.
  • They are usually not sure about what the company offers.
  • They often do not know what they want in a solution.
  • They usually cannot afford the service or product being offered.
  • Even when they convert into customers, they usually have a very high churn rate.

How to Turn Unqualified Leads Into Qualified Leads?

It is possible to turn unqualified leads into qualified ones. If you are in search of a strategy for lead generation because you aim to convert unqualified leads, you have to make sure that your content can nurture the leads through the entire buying process.

Keep in mind that turning unqualified leads into qualified ones is not really that difficult. In fact, all that you may have to do is help them determine what their problem is.

Then again, not all unqualified leads can be qualified leads. Sometimes, converting them is just not possible. When unqualified leads are not in control of their closing terms, there is a high likelihood that they will not be qualified leads.

Take note that it is usually better to follow leads that are high in quality rather than spending time creating and producing content for leads or prospects that might never convert.


In order for you to successfully generate and convert good quality leads, you need a sales funnel that is well defined. You also need a good sales enablement strategy, as well as the right marketing and sales tools. Of course, you also need to define the buyer persona and align your teams to smooth out your lead generation process.

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