Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is a potential customer who is considered ready to be contacted by a sales representative.

SQLs are considered high-priority leads because they have shown a strong interest in a company’s product or service and are more likely to convert into paying customers.1

Visual Representation

sales qualified lead visual representation


The primary purpose of a sales-qualified lead is to identify potential customers who are most likely to convert into paying customers.

SQLs represent a later stage in the sales funnel than other leads, meaning they are closer to purchasing.2


Sales-qualified leads are used in a company’s sales process, specifically after they’ve been identified as more likely to become customers than other leads.3

This happens in several places:

  1. Sales Team’s Main Focus: Salespeople pay more attention to SQLs since they will likely buy soon.
  2. Lead Nurturing: Even though marketing might still send them info, the sales team has more direct talks with SQLs to answer their questions.
  3. Planning Sales: Knowing how many SQLs there are helps sales teams guess how many sales they might make.
  4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: Sales teams use special software to keep track of SQLs, see what’s been discussed, and move them towards making a purchase.
  5. Checking Success: How well SQLs turn into actual customers helps judge if the sales and marketing efforts are working.


Imagine a company that sells software to other businesses.

They determine which leads might buy their software by looking at each lead’s interest (lead scoring) and talking to them directly.

Leads who want to see a demo, have money to spend, and can decide to buy are marked for the sales team to contact.

The sales team then talks more with these leads to really understand if they’re ready to buy and how the software can specifically help their business.

This way, they help guide the lead through the steps of buying, aiming to close a sale.

Related Terms


1. Rothman, D. (2014). Lead Generation For Dummies. United Kingdom: Wiley.

2. Schüssling, A. Effective lead management: Challenges and solutions for marketing and sales departments (Doctoral dissertation, FH Vorarlberg (Fachhochschule Vorarlberg)).

3. What is sales qualified lead (SQL)?. Klipfolio. (n.d.).

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