The sooner you can qualify your leads as sales-ready, the better. However, doing so is easier said than done, even with all the tools at our fingertips. Enter the MEDDIC sales Methodology.
MEDDIC stands for:
It’s a process for sales qualification; in other words, it helps your sales team decide whether or not it’s worth it to get a specific customer in your funnel from the start.
Qualifying leads and selling to the right customers is the foundation of a successful sales strategy. If you’re not using some sort of methodology, like MEDDIC, to qualify your leads, your sales pitch, relationship management, or anything beyond the initial impression won’t matter.
Based on recent data from Pipedrive’s State of Sales Report 2019-2020, prospecting and qualifying leads are still among the most time-consuming tasks for the average salesperson. When reps spend time with unqualified leads and tire kickers, they lose out on opportunities to build relationships with hot prospects and actually close deals.
A poor qualification process is inefficient, and reps that continuously struggle to qualify leads will not only hurt their own performance but put themselves on the road to burnout. Ideally, sales reps should be able to identify prospects that tick all their business’ boxes ASAP.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the MEDDIC approach and how to implement it.
The MEDDIC sales methodology advocates that pitching to leads and prospects who are highly qualified will result in a higher closing rate. It’s a step-by-step process that outlines proper lead qualification to ensure that you’re building the right foundation to meet your team’s sales goals.
MEDDIC rose to fame during the 1990s and is credited with fueling software company PTC (Parametric Technology Corporation)’s rapid sales growth from $300 million to $1 billion. Today, it’s still a staple of modern B2B sales.
Once again, MEDDIC stands for:
Let’s briefly dig into what each letter means for salespeople:
Metrics: Provide prospects with proof (hard numbers and data) of the economic benefit of investing in your solution versus a competitor.
Economic buyer: Determine who the decision-maker is, specifically the person with purchasing power to close the deal.
Decision criteria: Understand which factors prospects use to make their purchase decisions (such as price point, essential features and/or consideration of competitors).
Decision process: Determine and influence the steps that eventually lead to the approval of purchase for your product.
Identify pain: Understand which pain points and problems that your product can help prospects relieve.
Champion: Determine if there is someone associated with your prospect that can act as an advocate on your behalf (i.e. a “champion”).
The MEDDIC sales methodology provides a blueprint for qualifying leads at the beginning of a sales cycle and asking the most important questions to move deals forward. Focusing on the elements above makes it easier to identify sales-ready leads versus tire kickers. If nothing else, the methodology spells out six crucial elements of closing just about any deal.
Like any sales methodology, MEDDIC represents a set of principles that sales teams can follow. This creates a much-needed sense of strategy and consistency, ensuring that reps follow a process for qualifying leads rather than trying to guess at what activities and behaviors will help them move a deal through the pipeline and ultimately to close.
Terms such as MEDDICC and MEDDPICC are also sometimes used to refer to MEDDIC—why is that?
To answer this question, we asked Andy Whyte, the author of the best-selling book on the subject MEDDICC, the book. Andy said:
“MEDDIC is the term most widely used to refer to the framework invented by Dick Dunkel at PTC back in the nineties. Since then, it has evolved and commonly features an additional C for ‘Competition’ and a P that stands for ‘Paper Process’.”
MEDDIC purists state that both of these elements can live inside of the original MEDDIC framework, which is true, but, more commonly now, these elements are being called out separately as the buying landscape has evolved so much.
For instance, thousands of companies are competing for the same budgets and resources you are, and when you are lucky enough to win, the Paper Process itself is vastly more complicated due to increased security and privacy standards and regulations, as well as the agreements themselves being more complicated.
Let’s take a look at what a sales process implementing the MEDDIC template looks like.
The first piece of making the MEDDIC sales process work is applying the principle of “show, don’t tell.”
Sales professionals are trained to make your product or service sound like an ideal solution, but it’s crucial to provide prospects with concrete proof when it comes to what your product can specifically do for them.
That’s where your metrics come into play. Here are some examples of statements and scenarios which highlight data points to prospects:
The takeaway is that you should present specific, numeric outcomes over vague promises.
If you’re in SaaS, you can use your own internal customer metrics and data to back up your claims. These are perfect to bring up during initial conversations and sales presentations alike.
Regardless of your industry, customer success stories and case studies can serve as your proof. For example, in the Pipedrive marketplace we have several case studies across a variety of industries that showcase specific outcomes for our customers. Real customer success stories and metrics can go a long way in helping your reps back up their claims and build trust with prospects.
Getting past gatekeepers is always a challenge. Meanwhile, bouncing between multiple contacts trying to find the person who can actually put the proverbial stamp on your purchase can be a time-sink.
The MEDDIC sales methodology prioritizes talking to decision-makers first and foremost. Sometimes doing so requires a direct approach, asking qualifying questions such as:
Variations of the questions above can help determine if you’re talking to the right person. Beyond that, sales managers should ensure their reps are familiar with the typical titles and roles of prospects who make product-related decisions. For example, a software company salesperson will likely get further talking to a CTO versus an account manager.
By understanding the roles and responsibilities of the decision-maker, it’s easier to spot them. Additional tools such as LinkedIn can help you confirm and nurture prospects based on their titles, for example.
Your CRM’s feature can also help you and your reps easily locate and store the contact information of decision-makers you’ve identified. With a tool like Prospector, for example, you can find relevant outbound leads from a database of 400 million profiles and 10 million companies based on your ideal customer profile.
Making the most of the sales technology and tools available can significantly help you to more efficiently qualify leads.
Every company is different in terms of their criteria for making a purchase.
If you’re selling on behalf of a SaaS company, chances are your leads aren’t going to spell out exactly what goes into their decision criteria, but here are some key factors to consider:
Keep in mind that 77% of B2B buyers state that their latest purchase was very complex or difficult. Further, the buying journey isn’t linear and customers often complete a set of ‘jobs’, such as solution exploration and validation, before finalizing a purchase. All of the factors above will likewise be compared against your leads’ existing solutions, your competitors, your existing customer reviews and feedback and more before a purchase decision is made.
As part of MEDDIC, salespeople should stress how your product or service fits into their prospect’s decision criteria during their conversations or pitches. Based on their lead qualification efforts, they should already have a good idea of what those factors are and should structure the pitch to align with their prospect’s needs and goals. This will help to simplify the decision-making process and move the deal along quicker.
At this point, your lead is at the very least evaluating your product for purchase. This means that sales reps should do everything in their power to speed up and smooth out the decision-making process, which includes:
Conventional wisdom says that the average B2B sales process can take multiple months. The key is to be proactive and suggest the next steps to keep things moving. A CRM can also help with this effort, as your reps can set up automated follow-ups to ensure they are checking in with their prospects in an appropriate time frame.
Tapping into your customers’ struggles is a surefire way to speak their language. Anything your reps can do to reassure them of your solution’s effectiveness is a huge point in your favor. By predicting pain points and objectives, they can better frame your product as a winner.
Here are some examples of typical pain points which B2B buyers face:
In addition to highlighting these pain points, consider how your reps can also ease their prospects’ minds when it comes to your solution versus a competitor. Some additional talking points for reps include:
The last piece of the MEDDIC sales process involves finding someone at your leads’ company who will advocate on your behalf.
The concept here is simple. By having a “champion” who can sing your business’ praises, it gives your company a sense of credibility while also influencing decision-makers. Note that your champion doesn’t necessarily need to be someone involved in the decision-making process, but rather someone associated with your lead.
Of course, having a champion is a luxury and not always possible. That said, this is a situation where referrals and scouring your mutual connections on LinkedIn can help give you an edge when it comes time to close a deal.
Putting any sales methodology into practice takes efficient training and time, which sales leads should absolutely put the effort into, for payoff in the long run. Below is a quick rundown of how to help your sales team succeed with MEDDIC sales training.
The importance of data is a two-way street when it comes to MEDDIC. For starters, sales reps need to have a pulse on the progress of any given deal. Because each step of the MEDDIC sales process ultimately builds upon the last, keeping track of sales stages encourages reps to move toward the next one.
This is another instance of where a CRM can come in handy. Whether individually or company-wide, a CRM gives you a snapshot of where your deals are in your sales pipeline so that you never have to wonder what step comes next.
As noted earlier, customer data and analytics are essential for the “M” piece of MEDDIC. Although some customer data might be sensitive, make a point during your MEDDIC sales training process to provide reps with resources and talking points from existing clients which include actual performance numbers, if possible.
Use sales enablement to equip your reps with all of the information they need to improve efficiency throughout every stage of the buying journey.
The proactive nature of MEDDIC means that your reps are likely going to be hit with a lot of sales objections during their conversations.
Whether it’s the price tag, a lack of trust, fear of change, or something else, some objections are more daunting and specific than others. During MEDDIC sales training, you should familiarize your reps with talking points to help put their prospects at ease and keep their deals from falling apart.
This is yet again where real-world data can be a huge help. A CRM allows you to log and track the most frequent reasons why deals are lost, allowing you to notice trends such as price objections or a competing product. Based on this data, you can arm your reps with the information they need to better pivot their conversations and rethink how they frame their pitches.
Here’s our video guide on how to deal with a common objection:
Much of finding the right prospects means recognizing what your ideal customer looks like. This includes recognizing the relevant roles and attributes of your target audience.
Personas are perfect for the MEDDIC sales methodology as they make it more likely for your reps to talk to the proper prospects. Reviewing personas during MEDDIC sales training processes is particularly helpful for newer agents who perhaps haven’t had the chance to interact with your customers directly.
If you’re focused on speeding up your lead qualification so you can spend more time selling, MEDDIC can most definitely help.
Like any sales methodology, mastering MEDDIC might take some time. Regardless, ensuring that your sales process covers each letter in the acronym means your reps are taking the right steps toward closing deals.
Having a step-by-step outline for lead qualification can have a huge impact on the success of moving leads through your sales funnel and clean up the workflow for sales managers and sales reps alike.
Proper lead qualification from the get-go makes the later stages of your sales process more effective and successful overall. Encouraging your sales team to use the MEDDIC sales process as they qualify leads is an essential step to any sales strategy.
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