Yes, Salesforce is a fantastic CRM. Yes, MEDDIC is a fantastic sales methodology. But revenue teams often fail to make the most of both. Turns out, when philosophies and processes aren't optimized to their fullest potential, revenue isn't optimized either. And that's no good. In this piece, we'll give you a little of why, and one how to solve it.
Time is money, and nobody knows that better than SDRs.
Sales reps want to quickly know whether or not they should expend the most valuable resource of all — time — prospecting a potential piece of new business.
MEDDIC, a popular sales pipeline qualification methodology, is, simply put, a tried-and-true way for sales teams to do just that: qualify potential customers. It enables sales professionals the ability to work more effectively, by providing a road map for the sales process.
The MEDDIC sales methodology is often deployed to do more than qualify an opportunity, too. It helps to determine an opportunity's interest level in your product or service, and set the stage for follow-up interactions (such as phone calls and demos).
And while MEDDIC is just one qualification methodology in a vast sea of them, it is also commonly regarded as one of the most successful ways to turn a prospect or lead into a won business. It’s kinda what they used to call in the 90s “All that and a bag of chips.”
Proper MEDDIC sales methodology use can shorten sales cycles and lead to far more predictable revenue. Its iterative, step-by-step nature allows for sales teams to learn better, faster. (And the inherent visibility of it, when done correctly, makes it highly conducive to sales coaching, too.)
In The Qualified Sales Leader, a book by John McMahon, he dubs MEDDIC “the GPS for your Sales Cycle" and calls out three things that it does super-well...
1. It establishes a common language for revenue teams.
2. It highlights gaps, particularly in data capture.
3. It’s self-assessing.
Ultimately, MEDDIC helps push sales reps to more effectively use their time generating revenue, not chasing deadend leads and prospects.
So now, you probably why your sales teams — and sales leaders particularly — might like it.
Let’s take a step deeper into what it actually asks for.
What's MEDDIC stand for?
You may have noted by the capitalization that MEDDIC is an acronym (we’re not yelling at you) (not yet anyway). This acronym could be best thought of as an internal checklist for sales reps that covers the necessary information that should be obtained as soon as possible during the sales qualification process.
MEDDIC (again, not shouting) stands for:
- Economic buyer
- Decision criteria
- Decision process
- Identify pain
Let's take a quick look at what each of these means, in light of the information sales reps are instructed to collect:
Establish the specific metrics or KPIs your prospect is looking to meet with your solution. Sales reps are usually encouraged to get hard numbers here.
Identify the person who is authorized to approve to buy and or. who controls funding. Reps should meet with this individual as soon as possible.
Understand the process a client will be using to make their purchasing decisions.
Understand what a potential client values in order to make purchase decisions.
Identify and analyze the pain points of your prospect, then develop solutions to their problems that your solution solves.
Connect with your champion, or find another internal ally to promote the idea. Start by qualifying the relationship (is it a good fit?), developing rapport, and testing how well you both can communicate your company's value inside their business, in an authentic and compelling way.
(The fussy editor in me wants to note that this acronym should be MEBDPDCIPC, but for now let’s just stick with MEDDIC)
It should be noted, too, that MEDDIC has also evolved in some orgs to MEDDPICC — with an extra P and C for…
Understand the process to budget, releasing funds, obtaining approvals (whether by committee, board, or legal entities) as well as signatures and the link
Know the competition’s strength, weakness & differentiators, including their relative power and influence on your champion.
Now that you know what MEDDIC means, how does it get operationalized?
Salesforce, more affectionately dubbed its own yelling “SFDC,” is the CRM tool best known for its power, size, and adaptability to meet a vast number of customer and sales team needs.
Of course, that also means Salesforce doesn't promote one sales process or qualification methodology and instead is able to meet the needs of those who consider BANT or or other (cough lesser) sales methodologies as gospel.
However, that multi-use pliability, the one that lead to SFDC’s near-universality among sales teams as the world’s CRM-of-choice, means it has a great ability to help those sales leaders who are MEDDIC-minded to bear that out in their process.
In an ideal world (more on that soon), sales reps would follow the MEDDIC process to the (tall, screaming) letter.
They’d collect the relevant data points on their potential customer in the proper Salesforce fields, and no matter if any given deal is actually landed, the sales pipeline accuracy — as well as sales forecasts — would improve. After all, with clean data, incremental learnings can be made, and opportunities can be better qualified in the future.
(Really, another great thing about the MEDDIC philosophy is that it is self-reinforcing: The data collected sharpens the sales process and helps reps better qualify other prospects and it’s a virtuous cycle, all the way to the top of the revenue pyramid.)
In a lot of ways, Salesforce was made for this very purpose.
So what's the problem?
Well as anybody in Revenue Operations can tell you: it's not all lovey-dovey in a Salesforce MEDDIC marriage.
There is definitely… room for improvement… and that’s where Rattle and RevOps work together.
Enter Revenue Operations
Remember when we said "in an ideal world"?
Probably already seems at-odds with operationalizing a sales methodology, doesn’t it?
Well, as RevOps teams focus on improving each step of the sales process, the MEDDIC sales methodology is often the framework behind the teams they’re supporting.
You probably find yourself here.
Or put another way, you’re wondering: “How do I get all these reps to fill out these damn fields?”
In a truly ideal world, this methodology should lead to near-perfect harmony: MEDDIC is a rule-bearing framework that encourages sales teams to optimize their workflows and forecasting. RevOps helps sales teams optimize their operations to better fit into and follow the MEDDIC methodology.
But the issue is that any given sales team is human. And, as the saying goes, to err is human.
Busy sales reps forget to fill out their Salesforce fields. Data hygiene suffers. Five hours are wasted on one economic buyer when it was actually another stakeholder. We were stuck feature selling instead of mapping solutions to real, quantifiable pain. Handoffs are bungled. Decision criteria that's addressed in an important slide deck is categorically wrong. Exit criteria is way off. Sales managers can't make heads or tails of deals. Revenue leak happens. We never got to answer to Why now? Or even “Why anything?”
Suddenly, quaint references to 90s lingo in sales meetings isn’t NEARLY as welcome.
All this, from one ideal sales philosophy meeting one bulky but all-powerful CRM. And yet, it nets a cascading downstream effect of badness, all with two very well-proven tools at a sales team's disposal.
It just doesn't make sense.
Or does it make complete sense?
The ideal state of the sales process — the aforementioned MEDDIC Salesforce marriage — often doesn't align with what it's like to work with actual sales professionals, who would rather be selling and not necessarily honing the sales qualification process.
And that (among many other facts) is what makes RevOps jobs particularly difficult.
As you're feeling now, glue that holds together Salesforce process and MEDDIC philosophy is process adherence.
There's almost always a gap in adherence, and it's one that typically RevOps professionals see day-to-day.
“Can’t we just make a new rule to make reps stop breaking old ones?” outsiders ask.
And the simple truth is no: you can’t adherence your way out of adherence problems.
And here is where it often feels like something should and should be done. But what?
No, thefirst step is a bit of a reframing: acknowledging there are indeed usability gaps in SFDC (and other CRMs) that prevent companies from using MEDDIC as effectively as they could.
It's not helpful to blame the reps for missing sales process fields. Instead: turn all the "over theres" to "right here. Remind them of their missing MEDDIC fields where they're already working: Slack or Microsoft teams.
With Rattle, you can set up automatic alerts that remind your entire sales team that they’re missing MEDDIC fields in Salesforce. But instead of making them go somewhere else, reps can simply clean up their data in mere seconds! No more remembering to fill out forms (or even, remembering to remember).
Have a particularly busy SDR or two? You can start looping in yourself, managers or sales leaders to reminders to help coach and encourage them, as well! This helps not just data capture but also..
While the MEDDIC methodology streamlines sales in many ways, the sales process can often be very complex, involving large-ticket items, many inputs, many stakeholders, many economic buyers, many pain points, and many hand-offs.
In that way, revenue teams aren't just asking for a smattering of adherence to process from one or two wiley sales reps: they’re asking for military-style marching-in-lockstep from everyone involved in those sales conversations.
And that’s a lot to ask.
But with small changes to process, the idea of MEDDIC-Salesforce adherence for even large sales teams becomes both approachable and easy in a way that’s really never been done before. And our own M (metrics) prove that out.
For many of our clients, Rattle has demonstrated data capture improvements of 50% or more almost immediately. And the best part? The time for installation is about 10 minutes. Not a full day or week's worth of work. It’s like an adherence sea change overnight.
Even with both Salesforce and MEDDIC at your sales team's back, adherence is one of the toughest parts of the job for RevOps. It can often feel never-ending: “Did you input the new info after your last conversation? Did you input the new information after your last conversation?” And so on, forever.
But with the right tool, it can also be one of the most rewarding accomplishments: to amplify the speed and power of both MEDDIC and SFDC, and take your revenue team to new and impressive heights.
Wanna give Rattle a try? Your first three workflows — including the MEDDIC one above — are free, forever. Start here!