The Crawl Walk Run Approach To Transitioning From Outdated Mqls To Superior Mqas

Published on November 29, 2023 by David Zhang

The Crawl Walk Run Approach To Transitioning From Outdated Mqls To Superior Mqas

In the dynamic sphere of B2B marketing, we have witnessed a monumental shift in how companies qualify leads. The traditional MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) framework, often characterized by volume-based metrics, no longer suffices in today's landscape where the quality and intent of leads trump their quantity. Enter the era of the MQA (Marketing Qualified Account) — a paradigm that emphasizes holistic account engagement over individual leads. Embracing this progressive model requires a structured approach, akin to learning to move all over again. And what better analogy is there for this progression than the natural human learning sequence of crawl, walk, run?

Transcending MQLs: Why Change is Inevitable

MQLs have long been a cornerstone of lead generation strategies, yet their limitations are increasingly glaring. They focus on individual prospect actions (like downloading a whitepaper or attending a webinar), which often do not correlate with genuine purchase interest. Sales teams frequently find themselves sifting through a deluge of these so-called 'qualified' leads, searching for the actual golden opportunities.

The MQA methodology, by contrast, assesses collective account behaviors. It recognizes that B2B buying decisions are seldom made by an individual; they are the result of a collective consensus within the buying team of an organization. A single enthusiastic lead does not equate to an account primed for conversion. The MQA method is more aligned with the complex, multi-stakeholder nature of B2B purchasing, offering a more refined and actionable assessment of potential deals.

The Crawl, Walk, Run Framework for MQA Implementation

The 'Crawl' Phase: Foundational Assessment and Alignment

In the initiation phase, 'crawling' is all about laying the groundwork for a successful MQA strategy. Begin by taking a meticulous inventory of current processes and clearly identifying the shortcomings of your MQL model. This introspection will often reveal a disconnect between marketing and sales, fuzzy lead qualification criteria, or a simple lack of communication. Addressing these issues is paramount.

It is imperative during the 'crawl' phase to secure executive buy-in across the organization. MQA adoption is not merely a marketing evolution; it is an organization-wide strategic shift. Moreover, you must align your sales and marketing teams around a common definition of MQAs and a shared set of goals.

Considering the data-heavy nature of this paradigm shift, it is also essential to evaluate your data infrastructure. Can your systems handle account-based analysis? What integrations will be necessary? Shall the current technology stack suffice, or are new investments needed? Questions such as these set the trajectory for the subsequent phases.

The 'Walk' Phase: Strategic Development and Initial Implementation

Having solidified your foundation, it’s time to 'walk'. During this intermediate stage, you should craft a detailed implementation strategy for the MQA approach. Define key account signals such as consistent engagement, depth of interaction, and quality of engagement that indicate an account's maturity and readiness for sales outreach.

Start segmenting accounts, refining personas, and mapping customer journeys. The goal is multifaceted: understand the collective behaviors that signal purchase intent, determine the most valuable content and touchpoints, and begin nurturing accounts with targeted, personalized marketing campaigns.

This phase is also the perfect time to conduct pilot programs. Select a small number of accounts and apply your MQA criteria to them, nurturing and monitoring their progression closely. Use these pilot programs to tweak your scoring models, communication strategies, and internal handover processes for MQA-identified accounts to the sales team.

The 'Run' Phase: Scaling and Optimizing

Once you've gained confidence from your walking trials, accelerate into the 'run' phase. With proven strategies in hand and initial success stories, scale your MQA approach across all target accounts. This phase involves meticulous tracking, analysis, and refinement of your MQA strategy.

Use analytics to optimize your account scoring and segmentation further. Develop a feedback loop with your sales teams to ensure they’re receiving high-quality accounts, and fine-tune handoff processes to maximize conversion rates.

During the 'run' phase, you ought to leverage automation tools, predictive analytics, and AI-powered platforms like Aomni. These technologies will help in deciphering complex account signals and automating time-consuming tasks, allowing you to focus on strategy and relationship building.

Embedding a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Transitioning from MQLs to MQAs is not a one-off project but an ongoing journey of perpetual refinement and learning. Encourage a culture of continuous improvement, experimentation, and learning within your organization. The digital marketplace is relentlessly evolving, and so, too, should your MQA strategy.

Final Thoughts

MQLs have their roots in the past, a time of simpler sales cycles, fewer decision-makers, and less sophisticated buyers. As we pivot towards a customer-centric future, led by educated and collaborative buying teams, MQAs offer a nuanced and potent alternative.

By following the crawl, walk, run approach to MQA implementation, your organization can smoothly transition into a more strategic, account-focused marketing paradigm. Embracing MQAs will not only streamline your sales funnel but will also engender deeper, more meaningful engagements with your prospects. In this era of heightened competition and informed buyers, partnering with platforms like Aomni can significantly enhance your ability to capitalize on the superior insights of the MQA methodology, ensuring your sales strategies resonate with the rhythms of modern B2B commerce.

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