We’ll go ahead and answer our own question with a question: do you want to spend less time qualifying leads and more time closing deals? I can’t hear you through the screen, so I’m going to go ahead and assume that you answered “Yes,” because why else would you be researching a process that many have hailed as the best way to qualify prospects and potential buyers. Or something like that.
The MEDDIC process remains at the forefront of sales methodology because, put simply, it works. Utilizing the MEDDIC sales methodology in your sales qualification process encourages thorough buyer qualification, so you waste less time on weak prospects and more time on those likely to close.
What Does MEDDIC Stand For?
MEDDIC is a sales qualification methodology that stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and Champion. Let’s further understand each of the different components that go into the MEDDIC acronym:
The first step of the MEDDIC sales process is to use analytics to generate metrics that demonstrate the value of your solution. These metrics should be able to be easily understood by any stakeholder.
- Economic Buyer
The Economic Buyer is the overall authority in the deal (i.e. the person who makes purchase decisions). This person has the power to veto any decision and is often the person who approves the overall budget for a department.
- Decision Criteria
These are the criteria on which a purchase is made and used to compare the offerings from different vendors. Understanding the decision criteria for a company you’re pitching can help you tailor your messaging to fit the boxes they’re trying to check off.
- Decision Process
The decision process is simple; it’s the process used to select and purchase a vendor’s offering. Understanding the what and how of the decision process can significantly expedite the sales pipeline because it allows you to identify where in the process they may be getting hung up.
- Identify Pain
This is in line with most other sales methodologies, but it remains an integral part of the MEDDIC process. You need to identify the specific pain point for your customer in as detailed terms as possible and demonstrate the value of your solution and the potential cost of doing nothing.
This is the person that will ultimately go to bat for your product at the company. They’re likely the person your product or service solves the most immediate pain point for, and they’ll be the ones evangelizing the hardest for you if you show your value to them.
We’ll dig into how you can utilize each of these in our next segment.
The Principles Behind MEDDIC
The overall purpose of the MEDDIC sales qualification framework is to help you identify whether or not there is a true opportunity for a sale in any given lead to help you find better-qualified customers. And to help your salespeople identify hidden areas of influence that may help them win the deal.
MEDDIC helps you hone in on which individuals in an organization will provide the biggest barriers or opportunities in winning a deal so you can skillfully navigate through them.
Prior to MEDDIC being implemented in the 1990s, salespeople typically struggled with understanding why they weren’t closing deals, often isolating a low, close rate to the product, the relationships, or the price. So, for example, if they won a deal, they might attribute it to their product being great, but if they lost a deal, the same logic would apply in reverse: it was a product issue.
But like everything in life, it’s just not that simple. Because of the different levels of stakeholders at an organization (fun fact: the number of stakeholders involved in a B2B purchase has doubled in the last 7 years, requiring 11 stakeholders on average) and the complexity of their different priorities, you could be losing a deal for a whole number of reasons that have nothing to do with pricing or product. This could be things like simply failing to demonstrate the specific vendor criteria defined by the company or failing to “win over” a champion that will help push your product through internally during the sales cycle.
So that’s the basics, but what exactly makes MEDICC a preferred methodology for modern sales teams to achieve a higher closing rate? Well, like many things in sales, it comes down to time savings. Prospecting and qualifying leads are some of the most time-consuming parts of the sales funnel for an average salesperson, so efficiently identifying whether a lead is worth pursuing or continuing to press for a win is critical to closing more deals.
MEDDIC helps you cut down on time wasted with unqualified leads and dedicate more time and energy to the ones that have the greatest likelihood of closing.
MEDDIC Qualification Questions
To qualify a lead with MEDDIC, you’ll need the right questions. These questions are designed to help you cut right to the chase and determine whether a lead fits your ideal customer profile and is worth pursuing.
Let’s break down the qualification questions based on each step in the MEDDIC process:
The first questions you should ask your lead should help you qualify what kind of metrics they’re looking to achieve and see if they align with your product or service’s capabilities. These include:
- How do you currently measure your success?
- What goals are you looking to achieve?
- What does a successful outcome of these goals look like to you?
Once you’ve defined the metrics and whether or not you can align with them, it’s time to determine if you’re talking to the economic buyer for this decision. The final authority on the “Yes” or “No” for project spending will be this. If your contact isn’t the economic buyer, see if they can help you get a meeting with their colleague who is. If they can’t do that either, see if your contact can give you an answer as to their mindset for the following questions:
- What do you need to see to sign off on a product?
- What metrics do you use to measure success?
- Would there be any other stakeholders involved in the final decision?
It is critical that you understand how the company you’ll be working with makes decisions on products or services similar to yours. They are likely to vet multiple vendors for a service and use criteria to determine which one best fits their needs. Knowing these specific criteria makes it much easier for you to identify if your product or service can meet these criteria and help you design your pitch to show these distinct value points. Ask questions like these to determine what they are:
- What would you need to see to make a decision?
- Why are these criteria important?
- What are the most important criteria to meet?
- Who will be evaluating our services to see if they meet the criteria?
The process and criteria are heavily intertwined, but you need to understand both to fully qualify the lead. Asking questions like these will help you understand the decision process and identify areas where your sale may get “stuck” down the line:
- What is the process you will follow before deal authorization?
- How much time does a typical decision-making process take?
- When can we expect to sign the deal if approved?
- What type of paperwork will you need?
- Who will finalize the decision?
The pain points are your diagnostic process for the exact issues your lead is trying to solve. Understanding precisely what these are will equip you to give the best possible value demonstration and give you more insight into how many ways you can help them solve their most pressing problems. To identify what their pain points are and where they are in solving them, ask questions like these:
- What is currently holding you back from your goals?
- Who benefits the most if you remove these problems?
- What are the current impacts of these roadblocks?
- Have you tried other solutions to address these? What were they?
- If money were no object, what problems would you solve first?
This is one of the most overlooked golden keys to success that older sales processes ignored. If you can identify a “champion” for your product within the company that will sing your praises to the key decision-makers, you significantly increase your chances of closing the deal. They can be hard to find, but asking these questions may help you identify one:
- Who will benefit the most from this solution?
- Are they connected to the key decision-makers within the organization?
- Are they willing to discuss a strategy for getting the deal through?
- Can they offer you “inside” information on how key stakeholders feel about the deal?
It may seem like a lengthy process, but moving through this series of questions with your contacts can help you qualify leads faster and increase your chances of closing on leads that look sound.
MEDDIC and MEDDPIC: What’s the Difference?
You may have also heard about MEDDPIC, a similar sales methodology to MEDDIC, floating around the sales circles. These processes are very similar, except that MEDDPIC includes one extra step: the paper process. This accounts for the paperwork flow of an organization and takes additional steps to understand the specific paperwork requirements that an organization has in place to ensure that deals aren’t lost due to late or improper submission of paperwork.
Tips on Enforcing MEDDIC With Your Team
Ok, so we’ve sufficiently won you over on why you should utilize MEDDIC within your sales organization, but how do you enforce its best practices?
Here are some tips to ensure that your team feels supported and empowered to utilize the MEDDIC process when qualifying leads and closing deals:
#1: Provide all sales reps with a MEDDIC checklist
When you first implement MEDDIC, it’s helpful to provide your reps with a list of questions to ask their leads that they can work through in their communication. This will help with personal accountability and make the transition easier.
#2: Utilize automation to alert reps and managers when a MEDDIC field is missing on a deal
Tools like Rattle can help you here. Rattle is a Slack/Salesforce integration tool that can automatically alert sales reps and managers inside of Slack when MEDDIC fields are missing on a deal in the pipeline. This helps ensure that you’re following the same processes every time and improves accountability.
Learn more about how sales leaders easily enforce MEDDIC with Rattle here.
#3: Organize 1:1 and team training sessions to identify process pain points and refresh knowledge
Any new process implementation takes time, so scheduling time to talk with your reps and equip them with additional support and tools can help improve overall implementation.
So, Will You Be Trying MEDDIC?
I know, I know; I said at the beginning that I was going to fully convince you that MEDDIC is one of the best lead qualifying processes to implement into your sales strategy this year. Still, ultimately, the decision for what’s best for your team lies with you.
MEDDIC is a great way to help you cut through the “fat” in lead collection and really hone in on which deals are most likely to close. This is why we think that MEDDIC is one of the best lead qualifying methods for sales teams that want to conserve sales resources for the best possible fit and not see hours go down the drain on “tire kickers” or simply misaligned organizations.
So, will you be implementing MEDDIC with your sales team this year? We highly encourage you to use tools like Rattle to support your sales team through the transition and beyond.