Lead Nurturing: MQL to SAL

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Lead nurturing MQL to SAL: What we deliver for clients

What follows is a brief introduction to the most common use case scenarios we encounter when converting MQL to SAL. The list is by no means exhaustive, so if you don’t see your requirements represented here, do get in touch to discuss how we might be able to help.


“Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower costs” – Forrester Research

In the Channel, vendors traditionally maximise opportunities by leveraging the power of their brand and deploying market development funds (MDF). Partners capitalise on high quality leads to drive revenues forward.

Everyone wins.

But this indirect sales model can misfire. MQLs handed over to partners can be underqualified. Partners sometimes lack the bandwidth to exploit them. Leads get lost, dropped, or go cold.

Our team has substantial experience in the Channel. We know how to accelerate your indirect sales to the next level.


55% of B2B SaaS companies take more than 5 days to respond to inbound sales enquiries or fail entirely to respond

Our working definition of an inbound lead is simple: these are self-directed buyers giving you something important: their attention.

Whether they have requested a demo, a call-back, or additional information, the message is simple: ‘I’m ready to engage with you’. And yet a surprisingly large number of vendors struggle to convert inbound leads into sales accepted leads (SALs)

Experience tells us that when in-house inbound conversions falter, the causes can vary. Sometimes speed of response on the vendor side is too slow. Sometimes, the quality of the response is pitched too low. Just as often, sales moves too quickly to discard a lead when it becomes apparent that the lead isn’t immediately ready to covert.

In all of these situations, our lead nurturing services will deliver a significant uplift in inbound conversions.


Software companies invest significantly in acquiring new customers. But too often, once the licenses are sold, attention wanes and customer renewals are taken for granted. . . Investment in renewal management programs can lift renewal rates, dramatically improving profitability.” – Bain & Company

Renewal revenues come in three main varieties: support contracts attached to hardware, on-premise software licensing and cloud-based as-a-service subscriptions.

For many vendors, all three are becoming more significant revenue sources. Within mature software categories in developed markets, renewal sales can represent as much as 50% of overall revenues and up to 80% of profits.

Achieving results like these requires sophisticated lead nurturing. But renewals revenue can stall for a wide variety of reasons, including fragmented data on known customers, price competition and clients who were initially undersold on the value of their licence and therefore resist the prospect of renewal.

SDS specialises in addressing these challenges. Our business development teams have the ability to transform renewals into a reliable and persistent revenue stream for your organisation.

Cross-selling and upselling

Only 28% of sales leaders report that account management channels regularly meet their cross-selling and account growth targets” – Gartner

Cross-selling is a compelling route to incremental revenue growth for most technology companies. This is because businesses typically have a 60%-70% chance of selling successfully to existing customers, compared with anything between a 5% and 20% chance of selling to new customers.

Both sources of revenue – from new and existing customers – are important. But cross-selling, in particular, involves specific challenges. In particular, the strength of the client relationship is often key. When relationships are strong, trust is high and cross-selling is easier.

Upselling involves generating more value from a single-product purchase, most frequently by selling an upgrade. Here, again, there are challenges, including the need to target customers who will benefit most from additional performance and the need to accurately explain the relevance of the upgrade.  

SDS has extensive experience with cross-selling and upselling in a wide variety of contexts. We understand how to generate more of these incremental revenues on your behalf in a cost-efficient manner.


[The lack of] a sales strategy with defined goals around who will receive and act on captured leads, and how they will do it. . . is the biggest and most common shortcoming I see in event lead generation.” – Jason Michaels, Managing director interactive, Accenture

In-house business development teams often struggle to manage periodic spikes in activity triggered by events.

You need to recruit event attendees and follow up leads afterwards. But resources within the business development team are typically fixed, and in many cases, the core sales team does not have the bandwidth required to nurture post-event leads.

We can do more with your event leads. We already work as a trusted outsourced partner with many of the technology industry’s largest event organisers. Our contact centre teams can help you to exploit opportunities to the maximum – without the need to argue for additional headcount within your in-house sales teams.

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