How To Set an MQL Target

OTime to complete: 2 hours

Please note, this HubSpot Project requires the HubSpot Reporting Add-on. Click here to activate your free trial.

This project will walk you through how to create a marketing qualified lead goal for your company and configure the reports you’ll need to track your progress towards it over time.

Suggested Prerequisite: Lifecycle Stages

Completing these steps will allow you to:

  • Set a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) goal for your organization
  • Break down your MQL's by source, persona, recent conversion, and other critical properties
Step 1: Set an MQL Target
Learn how

To-do

  1. Identify your company's revenue goals. This could be based on any time period --- calendar year, fiscal year, month, etc.
  2. Understand marketing's expected contribution. For example, suppose your organization's revenue goal is $200 million. If marketing’s expected contribution is 25%, your team's leads will be expected to produce $50 million in revenue.
  3. Divide marketing's expected dollar amount contribution by the average deal size. For example, using the above example, if your average deal size is $500,000, marketing leads will need to close 100 deals --- $50 million / ($500,000/deal)
  4. Talk to your sales team and figure out their average win rate. Divide the number of deals in step three by your average win rate (as a fraction) to understand the number of opportunities needed to reach your goal. For example, if your sales team wins one out of every five deals, divide the 100 deals above by 20% (or .2) --- you would need 500 opportunities to close 100 deals.
  5. Calculate your SQL-to-Opportunity conversion rate. Divide the number of opportunities needed above by this rate to determine how many SQL's you'll need to reach your company's revenue goal. Using the above example, if you have a 25% SQL-to-opportunity conversion rate, divide 500 by .25 --- you would need 2000 SQL's to generate 500 opportunities.
  6. Finally, establish your MQL-to-SQL conversion rate and divide it into the number of SQL's calculated above. Using the example above with a 50% MQL-to-SQL conversion rate, you would need 2000 / .5 = 4000 MQL's to meet your company's revenue goal.

Pro Tip

Use this helpful template from New Breed Marketing to track your calculations.

Step 2: Create a dashboard for your MQL Tracking
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to HubSpot's Reporting Add-on by clicking on the Reports Dashboard link from your Dashboard or Reports Home. If you don't yet have access to it, you can begin a new trial by clicking the avatar in the upper right, then Settings > Products & Add-ons > Reporting Add-on.
  2. Once in the Add-on, click Create > Dashboard.
  3. Give your dashboard a name that clearly indicates to you and your team what's inside --- something like "MQL Dashboard."
  4. In the dropdown for Permissions, choose who should be able to view and edit your new dashboard. Then, click Create Dashboard.
  5. In this case, we'll start our dashboard from scratch. Delete the default reports by clicking the gear in the upper-right of each and selecting "Remove From Dashboard"

Example

Not yet familiar with the Reporting Add-on?
Find Out More Here
Step 3: Report on your MQL production so far this year.
Learn how

To-do

  1. Click Create > Report.
  2. Note that there are over two dozen pre-baked templates --- when building dashboards, you can add any of these to your Dashboard by clicking "Add to Dashboard." For this report, rather than choosing a pre-baked template, select "Build from Scratch" in the upper-right.
  3. Select the date range at which you'll be tracking your MQL growth. If you're not sure, start with year-to-date data by choosing "Yearly," "Current Year So Far," and "Became a Marketing Qualified Lead Date" in the three drop-downs at the top of the screen.
  4. In the left-hand column header, choose "Became a Marketing Qualified Lead Date".
  5. In the right-hand column header, ensure that "Count of Contacts" is selected.
  6. In the upper-right, click "Add Visualization" and choose the type of graph you'd like to add --- we'd suggest the over-time view.
  7. Add the report to your dashboard by clicking "Add to Dashboard."

Example

Not sure which type of visual to include?
Check out this blog post!
Step 4: Zoom in on the Original Source of your MQL's over time
Learn how

To-do

  1. Click Create > Report
  2. Once again, rather than choosing a Template, select "Build from Scratch."
  3. Once back in the report builder, keep your date range the same at the top of the screen to "Yearly," "Current Year So Far," and "Became a Marketing Qualified Lead Date."
  4. Below, change your table columns to, from left-to-right, "Became a Marketing Qualified Lead Date" and "Count of Contacts" by "Original Source Type."
  5. Click "Add Visualization" and choose an area graph.
  6. On the right-hand side, select the checkbox that says "Stacked" to aggregate your visual data.
  7. Identify and document trends, takeaways, and action items. Which sources have been most fruitful in bringing in MQL's? These are the sources you'll want to double down on. Which are least productive? Identify areas to optimize.
  8. Click "Add to Dashboard."

Example

Pro Tip

If you'd like to zero in on a specific source, click the boxes beneath the chart to remove the other sources from display.

Step 5: Examine your MQL growth by Persona
Learn how

To-do

  1. Click Create > Report
  2. Once again, rather than choosing a Template, select "Build from Scratch."
  3. In the report builder, keep your date range the same at the top of the screen to "Yearly," "Current Year So Far," and "Became a Marketing Qualified Lead Date."
  4. Below, change your table columns to, from left-to-right, "Became a Marketing Qualified Lead Date" and "Count of Contacts."
  5. Click the button with three vertical bars to add a breakdown property, and choose "Persona."
  6. Click "Add Visualization" and choose an area graph.
  7. On the right-hand side, select the checkbox that says "Stacked" to aggregate your visual data.
  8. Identify and document trends, takeaways, and action items. What's been the most common Persona of your MQL's? Is that what you expected? Which personas aren't as strong?
  9. Click "Add to Dashboard."


Pro Tip

Use the data from this chart to dictate your content strategy moving forward. If there's a persona that isn't pulling its weight, build more offers for that persona at each stage of the Buyer's Journey.

Step 6: Understand the conversions contributing to your MQL goal
Learn how

To-do

  1. Click Create > Report
  2. Once again, rather than choosing a Template, select "Build from Scratch."
  3. In the report builder, keep your date range the same at the top of the screen to "Yearly," "Current Year So Far," and "Became a Marketing Qualified Lead Date."
  4. Below, change your table columns to, from left-to-right, "Became a Marketing Qualified Lead Date" and "Count of Contacts."
  5. Click the button with three vertical bars to add a breakdown property, and choose "Recent Conversion."
  6. Click "Add Visualization" and choose an area graph.
  7. On the right-hand side, select the checkbox that says "Stacked" to aggregate your visual data.
  8. Understand the data you're looking at --- the chart displays the most recent form submission for the contacts that became MQL's this year.
  9. Identify and document trends, takeaways, and action items. Which offers have been most fruitful in bringing in MQL's? 
  10. Click "Add to Dashboard."


Pro Tip

These are the conversions that are best at driving contacts down the funnel. Include them on your Thank-you pages as next-step CTA's for your TOFU offers.

Step 7: Add reports on the properties you find most important
Learn how

To-do

  1. Rinse, wash, and repeat the above steps to add reports to your dashboard on any property that your organization would find valuable to segment on. 

Pro Tip

Not sure where to start? Try segmenting based on job title, industry, or country.

Step 8: Customize your dashboard to your team's needs
Learn how

To-do

  1. Decide which of your reports is most important and drag it to the top of the dashboard.
  2. Reorder the remaining reports in order of importance.
  3. Resize any reports that you think should be emphasized. For example, if your team focuses most closely on Personas, grab the bottom-right corner of the report you made in Step 5 and drag it to the right to enlarge the chart.
  4. Customize the date range at the top of the Dashboard. Changes made at the Dashboard level will be global, affecting every associated report.

Pro Tip

You can include a maximum of ten reports on each dashboard. If you find yourself approaching that limit, create another dashboard.