If you’re planning to propose to someone, chances are you’ve invested a significant amount of time and energy into understanding who they are, building a relationship with them, and considering what it will be like to spend every day with them for the rest of your life.
Maybe you’ve even moved in with them, connected with their family members, made important decisions together, and started jotting down their name when asked for your in-case-of-emergency contact.
You’ve likely bought them an engagement ring or gift you think they’ll like and orchestrated a proposal you’re confident they’ll appreciate.
In short, you know them –– or, at least you think you do.
To put it in slightly less romantic terms, you’ve qualified them: You’ve determined, based on the information you have so far, the commitment level is mutual. And you’re confident when you pop the question, they’ll say yes.
Yet, when it comes to marriage proposals –– among heterosexual couples, at least –– 25% of women being proposed to say no. That means for every four straight couples, one pair isn’t on the same page in terms of what they see for their future.
If your partner turns down your proposal, you’ll likely be left to start over and expend all that energy again building a different relationship with a different person –– in hopes this one will be the one.
So, if you could bypass all that and instead use a proven methodology to all-but-guarantee the person you think is your soulmate will agree to marry you, would you do it?
For sales professionals, these qualification methodologies do exist and they can be your shortcut to pursuing only the opportunities that are most likely to become customers.
At the end of the day, only 3% of the market is ready to buy at any given time and almost two-thirds of people who are proactively seeking information about a company won’t actually make a purchase for one reason or another.
So, if you’re not qualifying your leads with a tried-and-true framework, you’re probably wasting time (and money) barking up the wrong tree.
Enter MEDDIC, one sales qualification methodology that helps sales teams parse out which opportunities are worth pursuing –– and which ones probably won’t amount to much –– so you can ultimately drive more predictable revenue.
Interested? Let’s do a deeper dive on the MEDDIC sales methodology.
Understanding the MEDDIC sales methodology
MEDDIC was initially developed and documented in 1996 by Dick Dunkel and Jack Napoli, who were members of the sales team at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC).
They analyzed hundreds of PTC’s deals trying to answer three key questions:
- Why were they losing deals?
- Why were they winning deals?
- And why were deals slipping?
As Dunkel and Napoli reviewed the answers, they discovered six common threads running through the material they had collected. They determined that when the team could zero in on all six of these areas –– and there was strong alignment between the potential customer and the proposed solution across every area –– they typically won the deal:
- Metrics: An understanding of the specific numerical performance indicators the customer wants to move the needle on.
- Economic buyer: Knowing who makes final decisions (and holds the purse strings) within an organization.
- Decision criteria: Uncovering what pieces of information a team uses to make decisions.
- Decision process: Learning the typical decision-making process within an organization.
- Identification of pain points: Pinpointing the pain a customer is experiencing that prompted them to search for a solution in the first place.
- Champion: Identifying the member of the team who desperately wants the proposed solution in place and will go to bat for it internally.
These six commonalities became the core tenets of MEDDIC, dictated the sales methodology’s acronym, and ended up taking PTC’s sales from $300 million to $1 billion in just four years.
That result speaks for itself, but implementing the MEDDIC sales qualification process can have a positive influence on much more than just your bottom line. MEDDIC helps:
- Increase close rates by ensuring sales reps conduct thorough prospect reviews and assess who is truly likely to buy into the solution.
- Prevent resource waste by focusing a sales team on the deals that are most likely to close –– and shelving the leads that just aren’t poised to purchase.
- Drive increasingly accurate forecasting by disqualifying leads that can’t be won and yielding enhanced predictability on deal closings. Improved forecasting also helps drive more confident decision-making among members of the leadership team.
- Create a common language across every team in your business with a straightforward lineup of information to gather from each potential customer and a process that’s easily understood by professionals at every level. More than three-quarters of customers say they expect consistency when communicating with different teams in the same organization. MEDDIC can help deliver on that. Plus, having standardized topics to cover leads to quick identification of why deals are lost.
- Improve the overall customer experience by requesting only the most valuable information, allowing you to avoid wasting anyone’s time, and supporting highly customized, relevant pitches. Ultimately, MEDDIC helps the customer arrive at a solution that addresses their pain points faster.
MEDDIC serves as an easy-to-follow checklist, which makes it highly accessible and fairly straightforward to implement for most sales teams. But there are a few additional things to consider within each portion of the methodology.
Breaking down the MEDDIC sales methodology
As you start to think about how MEDDIC might be able to help your team gain efficiencies and level up sales performance, let’s take a closer look at each part of the framework.
This is all about getting a clear picture of the numbers your potential customer is trying to hit. Don’t underestimate the gravity here: Achieving these results –– and having the metrics to show for it –– could be a make-or-break moment for them. The solution you’re selling just might make the difference.
Aim to uncover the specific measurable goals they’re aiming for and how those goals connect to the business challenges they’re up against. If you understand how the customer defines success, you can give them a very targeted description of how your solution can help them reach those crucial metrics and, ultimately, deliver a return on investment.
Who signs on the dotted line when it comes to purchasing solutions like yours? You’ll need to know, so seek to understand who oversees the relevant budget –– and has veto power. Keep in mind it might not be your first point of contact, and there may be more than one economic buyer.
Focus on connecting the economic benefit for the buyer. If you have trouble getting in touch with the economic buyer (or buyers), tap your internal contacts to help you navigate the economic buyer's mindset so you can craft a pitch that speaks to them.
Almost every time someone looks to purchase something new, they consider multiple options –– meaning they pit your product against competing products, review a certain set of factors, and decide which solution is the best fit.
That set of factors is their decision criteria. Figure out what those factors are so you can speak to them directly, and help the customer understand why your solution ticks all their boxes –– and trumps other choices.
What is the step-by-step process the business uses to arrive at a decision? If your point of contact can give you insight on the decision-making timeline and where key milestones come into play, you can proactively help alleviate bottlenecks, reconnect at moments that make sense, collaborate on a mutually beneficial action plan, and have a clear picture of what stage the deal is in at all times.
Make sure you get a sense of any extra logistics and action items involved in the decision process, including administrative tasks that need to be completed, key stakeholders who need to weigh in (and when they need to do that), and approvals required to get the deal across the finish line.
Identification of pain points
In many ways, this is your starting point with a prospect. After all, an initial determination of how well your product can address a customer’s pain points is crucial to understanding if they’re a qualified lead. If these two things are out of alignment, it’s a non-starter.
Do a deep dive here so you understand details of the pain points. Then, design a pitch that clearly shows how your product can alleviate that pain.
Your champion is the person in the business who will fight to get your solution in place. This could be your initial point of contact but it also might be the person who is experiencing the effects of the pain points most acutely. It’s someone who will do the heavy lifting for you of selling your product internally.
Make sure your champion –– or team of champions (the more the merrier) –– is someone who is well respected in the organization. This person needs to have the capacity to influence the economic buyer’s decision.
Beyond the core parts of MEDDIC, two more elements are now often added, transforming MEDDIC into MEDDPICC®:
- Paper process: Coming together with your customer to outline all the deal-related paperwork that will come into play, including anything needed for privacy or security reasons.
- Competition: Openly and honestly discussing the competition and how your solution stacks up against everything from direct competitors to a customer building their own in-house solution.
With a full view of this sales methodology under your belt, you might be considering how to implement MEDDIC across your sales team. Get started with a few tips.
6 ways to make MEDDIC work for your team
Before you activate MEDDIC, keep in mind that your revenue team needs to have a very clear understanding of your buyer personas. Without that, it will be difficult to train new members of the team and ensure reps are able to gather the most useful information.
Beyond buyer personas, consider these six ways to give MEDDIC a go within your team:
- Find an efficient, accessible, and engaging way to educate your team on MEDDIC, its value, and the day-to-day practicalities of infusing it into your sales process.
- Don’t set it and forget it: Continually highlight internal success stories of using MEDDIC –– and times when things went awry –– so the entire team can learn and refine their approach. Use the data in your CRM to help you measure MEDDIC’s impact. After all, MEDDIC is a marathon, not a sprint; it will take practice to get the machine purring.
- Document all your sales conversations to drive visibility on information gathered, ensure every aspect of MEDDIC was tackled, make it easier to collaborate across the team, and support ongoing MEDDIC learning.
- When you’re exploring new solutions, incorporate the MEDDIC mentality into your team’s buying process so you can understand what it’s like from a customer’s perspective.
- Get your team’s sales leaders to model MEDDIC and infuse the terminology into their day-to-day communication so adoption is more seamless across the team.
- Find and develop tools and resources –– think flowcharts, checklists, and templates –– that will make it easy to understand and use MEDDIC.
And finally, let your CRM help you make the most of the MEDDIC sales process
If you commit to using MEDDIC to level up your lead qualification, don’t overlook all the ways your CRM can support your team.
From creating fields that map back to each part of the methodology to developing sales call templates that give your team a plug-and-play experience, your CRM and corresponding revenue team workspace have the power to make your transition to the MEDDIC sales process seamless.
Book a RevOps strategy call today to see how the Scratchpad workspace can support your journey to MEDDIC mastery.
MEDDPICC® is a federally registered trademark of Darius Lahoutifard, exclusively licensed by MEDDIC Academy, and is being used with permission.