Back then, as is the case now, leads are what drives the pipeline, and ultimately revenue. Fast forward to 2021, and leads are still just as important, but now they are digital, created through self-service mechanisms. Let’s look at how and why that has changed. Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) historically have been a great way to measure the effectiveness of the marketing spend, as well as forecast and generate sales pipeline. This has been tracked for so long, and by so many firms, that the conversion of marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads have resulted in its own KPI: “MQL:SQL.” Depending on the industry, and the definition of “qualified”, the conversion rate can be in the 9%-15% range – not a great ROI, but certainly much better than a passive return on, say, direct communication blasts (1-2%).