product-qualified lead (PQL)

What is a product-qualified lead (PQL)?

A product-qualified lead (PQL) is an individual or business that experienced value from using a product as a result of a free trial, use of a limited feature model or other types of first-hand experience with a product.

How a PQL uses a product takes the lead a step further than a marketing-qualified lead (MQL). A PQL is more likely to purchase a product than other leads because they've already received value from the product. These individuals have bought into the product beyond other leads who have only performed research, received promotions or have been referred to an organization.

The goal of a PQL strategy is to immerse the customer in the product experience so the customer understands the full value of the product.

Examples of a PQL strategy

A PQL strategy is prevalent in cloud software space where organizations let potential customers trial products for an extended period of time. During these trials, companies monitor usage, such as features used and how often users log in. Examples of a PQL strategy beyond software include a scenario when a personal trainer provides an initial training session at a reduced price.

Customer acquisition can be expensive, as organizations can waste time and effort on people that aren't interested in their products. But, if performed correctly, a PQL strategy can lead to significant decreases in acquisition costs because it helps sales teams target the right leads.

Editor's note: This article was written in 2019. TechTarget editors revised it in 2023 to improve the reader experience.

This was last updated in March 2023

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