Understanding Product Qualified Leads (PQL): How to Convert Them into Customers

Learn what a product qualified lead is and discover effective strategies to turn these PQLs into loyal customers.

Rory Sadler
August 14, 2023
February 24, 2024
Try for free
Learn what a product qualified lead is and discover effective strategies to turn these PQLs into loyal customers.

See trumpet in action

Get under the hood of G2's leading Digital Sales Room and explore some of our features without having to speak to any salesperson!

Start your tour
On this page

In today's rapidly shifting marketplace, businesses are continually seeking innovative strategies to convert potential users into loyal customers.

One unique approach gaining momentum is the concept of Product-Qualified Leads (PQLs). Let's dive deep into this dynamic strategy and explore how it can revolutionize your customer acquisition and retention efforts.

PQLs Deciphered

Product-Qualified Leads (PQLs) are prospective customers who have experienced your product's value, align with your ideal customer profile, and demonstrate buying intent. The crucial distinction of PQLs in the Product-Led Growth (PLG) approach is the emphasis on actual product analytics and user behavior, surpassing traditional methods such as form fills and intent scores.

PQLs: A Strategic Advantage

PQLs vs. MQLs (Marketing-Qualified Leads)

PQLs are prospects who have experienced your product's value firsthand, while MQLs are individuals who have merely interacted with your marketing endeavors. MQLs are generated through marketing campaigns, website visits, events, and gated content, appealing to a curious audience of free users, but not necessarily future customers.

PQLs vs. SQLs (Sales-Qualified Leads)

PQLs can be automatically and objectively generated through product usage and CRM data, unlike SQLs. An SQL is a prospect vetted by your marketing and sales team, deemed ready for a sales rep conversation. SQLs are subjective and often require manual work to identify.

PQLs vs. PQAs (Product-Qualified Accounts)

While PQLs represent individual leads, PQAs represent companies or groups of people that have met specific product usage criteria. Identifying PQLs and PQAs enables you to convert them into loyal, paying customers.

Real-World Examples of Successful PQL Strategies

A plethora of successful SaaS companies have leveraged the PQL model, reaping significant benefits. Here are some real-world examples:


Figma, a leading graphics editor and prototyping tool, identifies PQLs based on:

  1. Activation events
  2. Propensity-to-pay events
  3. Demographic signals
  4. Technographic signals


Hopin, a hybrid events platform, identifies PQLs based on:

  • The number of meetings created
  • The number of meeting attendees
  • The number of integrations used
  • The number of features used
  • The number of referrals sent


trumpet identifies PQLs based on factors such as:

  • The number of Pods
  • The number of users within a team
  • User who connected their CRM
  • Company size
  • Industry

The Perks of Using PQLs

Enhancing Customer Experience

PQLs align your success with your customer's success, shifting the customer lifecycle from Lead > Buyer > User, to User > Lead > Buyer. This approach caters to the way people prefer to make purchase decisions.

Lower Acquisition Costs & Higher Conversion Rates

PQLs lead to higher conversion rates and lower acquisition costs. A focus on providing value to prospects rather than merely filling the pipeline sets the stage for a more cost-effective and successful conversion strategy.

Guiding Product Development

PQLs provide insight into user behavior, guiding future product development. Instead of relying solely on feedback from reps, product teams can utilize specific user behavior and quantitative metrics.

Improving Marketing and Sales Alignment

PQLs can help bridge the gap between marketing and sales teams. Clear and agreed-upon qualification criteria for good leads can lead to improved alignment, eliminating missed opportunities.

Decreasing Churn

Prospects and customers who get a chance to explore the product upfront are less likely to churn. PQLs allow for a smoother transition and less change management required down the road.

Creating a Flywheel Effect

PQLs create a flywheel effect as your leads become product evangelists, happy to share their experiences with potential customers. This strategy can help differentiate your business in a competitive marketplace.

Identifying PQLs: A Step-by-step Guide

Identifying PQLs involves a systematic approach, beginning with developing a PQL hypothesis. Subsequent steps include scoring and segmenting PQLs, and testing ways to nurture and learn from them.

Converting PQLs into Paying Customers

The ultimate goal is to convert PQLs into paying customers. The strategies to achieve this include removing friction from the deal cycle, facilitating a multithreaded conversation with the full buying committee, and making a good first impression with onboarding and mutual action plans.


PQLs offer a unique and effective approach to converting prospects into customers. By understanding user behavior and aligning it with your product's value proposition, you can successfully convert these high-potential leads into loyal, paying customers.

Start leveraging the power of PQLs today to transform your sales and marketing efforts!

Related Articles

More posts