Customer Success Qualified Lead (CSQL): The №1 Metric for 2024 for Integrated Journeys

Arvind Mehrotra
9 min readApr 10, 2024


Data-driven sales and marketing is nothing new; however, we need to pay attention to customer success, which is a puzzle since customer success leads to long-term renewals and customer reference ability. It is a mistake because CS leads like CSQL can dramatically elevate your customer acquisition and retention efforts.

Defining CSQL

Customer Success Qualified Lead (CSQL) is a pivotal metric within your integrated customer journey strategy, serving as the primary indicator of a lead’s readiness for success within your product or service ecosystem. Essentially, a CSQL is a lead that demonstrates strong indicators of being poised for success with your offerings.

Unlike traditional lead qualification methods that solely focus on the likelihood of purchase, CSQL considers the prospect’s compatibility with your product’s value proposition, readiness to engage with your platform, and potential for long-term satisfaction and retention.

Which Factors Contribute to CSQL?

A lead’s CSQL score measurement considers several vital factors that you need to consider:

1. Engagement level

CSQL considers the depth and breadth of a prospect’s interactions with your brand across various touchpoints. It includes website visits, social media engagement, email responses, and other forms of interaction relevant to your business. High levels of engagement indicate genuine interest and active participation in your ecosystem. CSQL can positively impact engagement in several ways:

  • Improved Communication: CSQL emphasises clear, concise, and empathetic communication, fostering better customer relationships and increasing user satisfaction.
  • Proactive Support: CSQL principles encourage anticipating customer needs and proactively addressing potential issues. It can prevent frustration and keep users engaged.
  • Value Focus: CSQL emphasises understanding and communicating a product or service’s value proposition. It can help users see the benefits of continued engagement.
  • Personalised Interactions: CSQL promotes tailoring communication and support to individual customer needs, leading to a more engaging experience.

However, there are also some potential contradictory positions to consider; while it can significantly improve interactions, it might not directly address all factors affecting engagement (e.g., product features, user interface). Consistent applications can create a disconnect and positively impact engagement in the customer journey.

CSQL is a valuable tool that can significantly drive user engagement in the short term. For long-term engagement, combining CSQL with continuous efforts to improve the product or service is the direction to take.

2. Fit with a value proposition

A CSQL aligns closely with your product or service’s core value proposition. This alignment indicates that the prospect’s needs, challenges, and objectives resonate with your offering, increasing the likelihood of a successful customer journey.

Effective CSQL communication revolves around clearly articulating a product or service’s value proposition. It ensures customers understand the benefits they can achieve by using your offering. CSQL emphasises using customer-centric language that highlights the product’s value proposition in a way that resonates with users. This can increase adoption and engagement, increasing customer satisfaction and retention.

3. Behavioural indicators

Beyond static demographic data, CSQL analysis incorporates dynamic behavioural indicators. These may include specific actions taken within your platform, such as feature adoption, content consumption patterns, or participation in onboarding activities. Positive behavioural signals suggest a genuine intent to derive value from your product.

Effective CSQL communication can motivate users to spend more time using the product’s core functionalities, leading to a rise in usage metrics. Repetitive actions help establish positive user habits by encouraging users to take repeated actions that contribute to product adoption and growth (e.g., completing tasks, setting up reminders, and subscribing to premium features). By addressing user concerns and proactively preventing issues, CSQL can lower churn rates and indicate a higher user intent to continue using the product.

The effectiveness of CSQL in influencing behavioural indicators relies heavily on the quality of customer interactions and translating insights into actionable steps. CSQL and user behaviour analytics provide a more holistic view of user intent and product adoption patterns. A/B testing different communication strategies based on CSQL principles can help identify the most effective messaging for driving desired user behaviours.

4. Intent to adopt and grow

CSQL evaluates your prospect’s propensity to adopt your product and grow and expand its usage over time. It involves assessing their willingness to explore advanced features, integrate your solution into existing workflows, and advocate for your brand within their organisation.

Improved user onboarding and activation requires clear and concise communication, ensuring users understand the product’s value proposition and core functionalities. It can lead to a smoother onboarding experience, encouraging users to take the initial steps towards product adoption. Using customer-centric language and addressing potential pain points upfront, CSQL can help users overcome initial hurdles and activate key features more quickly.

Increasing feature adoption and engagement by highlighting value focuses on communicating the benefits of using different product features. It can motivate users to explore more functionalities and deeply engage with the product. CSQL principles encourage tailoring communication to various user segments based on their needs and usage patterns. A personalised approach can address specific user roadblocks and encourage them to adopt the most relevant features. Active listening to customer feedback and concerns is essential. Analysing this feedback can reveal user behaviour patterns and intent towards continued product use.

5. Long-term value potential

Central to the concept of CSQL is the focus on long-term customer value. Rather than prioritising short-term gains, you prioritise leads with the potential for sustained success, recurring revenue, and positive lifetime value. This perspective shifts the emphasis from immediate transactions to enduring partnerships. Explore ways to integrate call data with customer interaction data to gain a more comprehensive view of customer sentiment and optimise your overall support strategy.

Complex problems or concerns are often better addressed through calls, which allow for detailed explanations, troubleshooting steps, and personalised solutions. This can improve customer satisfaction and brand perception in the long run. Calls with high-value customers or partners are helpful for strategic discussions and planning initiatives that might have long-term benefits for both parties.

CSQL and Lead Alignment Criteria (LAC): An Important Correlation

As you aim for business growth, LAC is one of those critical aspects to emphasise for sustained product success. The Customer Success Qualified Lead metrics are your secret to LAC, owing to these factors:

1. Precision targeting

With CSQL, you’re not just casting a wide net and hoping for the best. Instead, you’re honing in on leads that meet specific criteria aligned with your ideal customer profile, as defined by your LAC. Its precision targeting ensures that your sales and marketing efforts focus on prospects likely to convert and succeed with your product or service offering.

2. Resource optimisation

By prioritising CSQLs, you’re making efficient use of your resources. Instead of spreading yourself thin and trying to chase down every lead, you’re directing your time, energy, and budget towards those with the highest potential for success. This optimisation leads to a more effective use of your resources and a higher ROI.

3. Enhanced customer experience

CSQL isn’t just about your bottom line; it’s also about delivering value to your customers. By identifying leads that are a good fit for your product or service, you’re setting them up for success from the get-go. It leads to a more positive customer experience, increased satisfaction, and higher retention rates.

4. Data-driven insights

CSQL provides valuable data-driven insights into your lead generation and conversion process. By analysing the characteristics and behaviours of CSQLs, you gain a more profound knowledge of what drives success in your business. This insight allows you to refine your LAC, optimise your sales funnel, and continuously improve your overall strategy.

5. Alignment across teams

CSQL is a common language that aligns your sales, marketing, and customer success teams. By defining clear criteria for what constitutes a CSQL based on your LAC, you ensure everyone is on the same page regarding lead qualification. This alignment fosters collaboration, streamlines communication, and ultimately leads to better outcomes for your business.

How to Measure CSQL?

The formula for measuring Customer Success Qualified Leads is:

CSQL Score = (Engagement Score x W1) + (Fit Score x W2) + (Intent Score x W3)


· Engagement score: A numerical value representing the level of interaction and engagement the lead has with your brand, such as website visits, email opens, and social media interactions.

· Fit score: A numerical value indicating how closely the lead aligns with your ICP (ideal customer profile), considering factors like demographics, firmographics, and behavioural attributes.

· Intent score: A numerical value reflecting the lead’s intent to purchase or adopt your product/service based on actions such as requesting a demo, downloading resources, or attending webinars.

· W1, W2, W3: Weighting factors assigned to each score to reflect their relative importance in determining CSQL status. These weights are determined based on your business priorities and objectives, with higher weights assigned to criteria deemed more critical for success.

By plugging in the appropriate scores and weighting factors into this formula, you can calculate the overall CSQL score for each lead. Leads surpassing a predefined threshold score are then classified as CSQLs and prioritised for further engagement and conversion efforts.

Why CSQL the Secret Sauce for Integrated Customer Journeys

In integrated customer journeys, CSQL (Customer Success Qualified Lead) is your compass, guiding you towards seamless and personalised experiences for every customer touchpoint. By prioritising leads based on their alignment with your product or service, engagement level, and potential for long-term success, you ensure that each interaction adds value and drives towards mutual growth.

CSQL helps you optimise resource allocation, tailor messaging, and streamline workflows across marketing, sales, and customer success teams. Ultimately, by focusing on CSQLs, you’re not just acquiring customers — you’re nurturing relationships that fuel continuous engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty throughout the customer journey.

CSQL and integrated customer journey help to understand customer needs. It allows you to tailor your communication and product offerings to their specific requirements at each stage. Using consistent messaging and focusing on value realisation, CSQL can ensure smooth customer transitions between different journey stages (e.g., onboarding, activation, feature adoption). CSQL principles encourage anticipating customer needs and proactively addressing potential challenges. It can prevent frustration and keep customers engaged throughout their journey.

CSQL and Upselling are critical, and they should be value-focused. CSQL emphasises communicating the value proposition of your product or service. It can help customers recognise the limitations of their current plan and the additional benefits offered by upgraded options. Strong customer relationships fostered through effective CSQL communication can establish greater trust. Customers are more receptive to upsell offers when presented as solutions to their shared needs. CSQL promotes strategies to increase customer retention. Upselling existing customers can be more cost-effective than acquiring new ones, and CSQL helps build the foundation for a long-term, upsell-friendly relationship.

In summary, there are some key points to remember:

  • Customer-Centric Approach: Upselling should always be based on the customer’s needs and best interests, not just pushing a higher-priced plan. CSQL principles should guide your approach to ensure upselling is valuable and relevant.
  • Timing is Key: Don’t pressure customers to upgrade. Use CSQL to identify the optimal time and discuss the upsell options based on their usage patterns and progress within the customer journey.
  • Transparency and Education: Communicate the upgraded plan’s benefits and functionalities. CSQL principles encourage clear and concise communication to ensure customers understand the upsell’s value proposition.

CSQL plays a vital role in creating an integrated customer journey and setting the stage for successful upselling efforts. However, implementation with a customer-centric approach focuses on value delivery and building long-term customer relationships.

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Arvind Mehrotra

Board Advisor, Strategy, Culture Alignment and Technology Advisor