Sales glossaryEQL (Expansion Qualified Lead)

What does EQL mean in sales?

Busy? Here's the short answer:

EQL or "Expansion Qualified Lead" is the less common cousin term of MQL & SQL. An EQL is an existing customer that through product usage data or a recent company news update has shown the potential to be upsold to a higher tier or larger contract.

What is an EQL (Expansion Qualified Lead)?

An EQL, short for "Expansion Qualified Lead," is a term used in sales and marketing to identify existing customers who have demonstrated the potential to upgrade to a higher tier or larger contract. It is a less common cousin term of MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) and SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). EQLs are valuable opportunities for businesses to drive revenue growth and maximize the value of their customer base.

Key Takeaways:

  • An EQL is an existing customer with the potential for upselling or expanding their contract.
  • EQLs are identified through product usage data or recent company news updates.
  • Businesses use EQLs to drive revenue growth and increase customer value.

Identifying EQLs

Identifying EQLs involves analyzing customer data and behavior to pinpoint opportunities for expansion. Here are some common ways businesses identify EQLs:

1. Product Usage Data

Product usage data is a powerful tool in identifying potential EQLs. By tracking how customers interact with the product or service, businesses can identify patterns that suggest a customer is ready for an upgrade. For example, if a customer consistently uses certain advanced features or reaches specific usage thresholds, they may be a prime EQL candidate.

2. Recent Company News Updates

Monitoring recent company news updates is another method to identify EQLs. Changes within the customer's organization, such as funding rounds, new leadership, or expansion plans, may indicate an increased need for additional products or services. Sales teams can use this information to approach the customer with tailored expansion offers.

3. Customer Feedback and Engagement

Listening to customer feedback and tracking their engagement can provide valuable insights into potential EQLs. Satisfied customers who express interest in additional features or capabilities are excellent candidates for upselling. Engaging with customers through personalized communication can help determine their willingness to explore expansion opportunities.

Nurturing EQLs

Once EQLs are identified, it's essential to nurture them effectively to maximize the chances of conversion. Here are some strategies for nurturing EQLs:

1. Personalized Outreach

Personalization is key when reaching out to EQLs. Tailor communications based on their specific needs and interests. Show them how the expansion can benefit their business and help them achieve their goals.

2. Educational Content

Provide educational content that highlights the value of the proposed expansion. Use case studies, success stories, and data to demonstrate how other customers have benefited from similar upgrades.

3. Exclusive Offers and Incentives

Offer exclusive incentives and discounts to encourage EQLs to take the next step. Limited-time offers or special pricing can create a sense of urgency and motivate them to make a decision.

Real-Life Example of EQL

Let's consider a real-life example to illustrate EQL in action:

Company: ABC Software Solutions Product: Cloud-Based Project Management Software

ABC Software Solutions offers cloud-based project management software to businesses of all sizes. One of their customers, XYZ Enterprises, has been using their software for a year and has consistently increased the number of projects managed on the platform. The data shows that XYZ Enterprises has reached the usage threshold that indicates they may benefit from an upgraded plan with advanced features and increased project capacity.

The sales team at ABC Software Solutions identifies XYZ Enterprises as an EQL. They reach out to the customer, providing personalized insights into how the upgrade will enhance their project management capabilities and improve team collaboration. Additionally, the sales team offers a limited-time discount for the upgraded plan.

As a result of the personalized approach and exclusive offer, XYZ Enterprises decides to expand their contract and upgrade to the higher-tier plan. This expansion not only increases revenue for ABC Software Solutions but also strengthens their relationship with XYZ Enterprises, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Q: Are EQLs exclusive to existing customers?

A: Yes, EQLs specifically refer to existing customers who have the potential for expansion. They are different from MQLs and SQLs, which focus on identifying potential new customers.

Q: How can businesses track EQL performance?

A: Businesses can track EQL performance by monitoring conversion rates, expansion revenue generated, and customer satisfaction metrics for those who have upgraded. These insights help refine EQL strategies and improve overall sales effectiveness.

Q: What if an EQL is not ready for expansion?

A: Not all EQLs will convert immediately. Some customers may need more time or additional nurturing before they are ready to make an expansion decision. In such cases, businesses should continue to provide value, nurture the relationship, and offer periodic updates on expansion opportunities.

In conclusion, EQLs are existing customers who have shown the potential for upselling or expanding their contracts. Identifying and nurturing EQLs can significantly contribute to revenue growth and customer satisfaction. By leveraging data, personalized outreach, and exclusive incentives, businesses can capitalize on EQL opportunities and drive long-term success.

Related terms...

MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)

MQL stands for "Marketing Qualified Lead." It's a potential customer who the marketing team thinks is likely interested in the company's product or service and could convert with proper nurturing.

Learn more

SQL (sales qualified lead)

An SQL (Sales qualified lead) is a potential customer that has shown buying intent & interest and has been identified as qualified to convert into a paying customer. The marketing will hand off an SQL to the sales team to close the deal.

Learn more


Upselling is a sales approach to try to encourage an existing customer to buy extra or upgraded items. The goal is to increase the customer's NRR and overall LTV

Learn more

All terms

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