Sales teams like talking to the right person. They want to have worthwhile conversations with the people that are in the position to make a decision and they want that person to be interested in what they’re selling. They need a lead qualification process to ensure they are indeed talking with the right people. That’s what the MEDDIC sales methodology can achieve.
In this article, we’ll get into some of the details about MEDDIC and explore what each part of the system means.
- The MEDDIC Sales Methodology: The Details
- What Does MEDDIC Mean?
The MEDDIC Sales Methodology: The Details
At its heart, the MEDDIC sales strategy and methodology takes a holistic view of the elements that influence a customer's purchase. That means getting into the head of a customer and seeing the customer journey from their point of view. Sometimes it is all too simple to get wrapped up in your business. You forget what it might be like to be a customer, and you lose sight of what the customer really goes through.
The MEDDIC framework doesn’t let you do that. Instead, it focuses on every aspect of the purchase. It can be used to qualify your leads during the sales prospecting process so that your sales team can confidently talk to the hottest ones. A welcome by-product is that your business can begin to feel more confident in sales forecasting. Your team knows who is likely to convert and who isn’t.
What Does MEDDIC Mean?
The name MEDDIC is an acronym made from the 6 core concepts within the qualification framework. They are:
- Economic Buyer
- Decision Criteria
- Decision Process
- Identify Pain
These are the umbrella terms that will direct your questioning. By asking questions from each of the categories, your team can begin to build a qualification picture confidently.
The MEDDIC framework was initially coined by Jack Napoli at a technology company called PTC. Jack, alongside his co-founder and team, began to use the system and found that over a four-year period, their sales grew from $300 million to $1 billion.
First, the foundation is Metrics. By holding a series of metrics, you’re able to use actual quantifiable data that proves a need for your product. It can also show that a specific challenge exists that your product can resolve effectively. As the name suggests, metrics require numerical evidence and measurements.
Let’s say that your product will likely decrease a potential customer’s operational expenses by 15%. Or it could increase the speed of a business’s production by 20%. Your sales team needs to understand these key performance indicators. Do that and they’re able to easily demonstrate just how the product is going to deliver value.
These metrics should be based on fact rather than guesswork. Legitimate fact-finding allows you to speak with confidence and deliver a solution that will deliver. Once the metrics have been validated, your sales team can use a data-driven approach that ensures the value in what they’re offering is desirable.
The E of MEDDIC refers to Economic Buyer. This section is all about the person that makes the final purchasing decision. Can the deal actually go ahead? Can money change hands?
Your team should look to find out who is in charge of the budget and if they’re the person that can make the approval or final decision. It’s also worthwhile finding out if the prospect is the one that will deal with any economic consequences that might come from the purchase.
Once a salesperson understands who the Economic Buyer is, they can tailor their solution, strategy, and messaging. Just because a company has a CEO or there’s an obvious leader of a department, that doesn’t automatically make them the Economic Buyer. That role is typically delegated.
When selling a product or service, we often focus on who is actually going to be using it. Often they’re not the Economic Buyer. Therefore, sales teams need to develop relationships with both.
Our third category is Decision Criteria. Think of all the considerations that a prospect has to factor into their decision-making process. What do they need to bare in mind before they make a purchase? That could be the price, or it might be the features on offer, or how it fits in with their current stack. This also covers their consideration of your business, your reputation, and how you interact with customers.
The role of a salesperson that is trying to determine a prospect’s Decision Criteria is to gauge what really matters to the prospect. Understand this, and then the salesperson is able to customize their pitch. They can also tailor their offer and better emphasize certain aspects of the product or service according to the prospect.
The astute salesperson can use this information to influence the prospect’s Decision Criteria. They might be able to bring up considerations that the prospect hadn’t factored in. Considerations that put their product or service in a favorable light. That said, it’s still important here that a respectable level of honesty and integrity is still met.
The Decision Process examines the entire decision-making process within the prospect’s organization. Your team should get to know how a decision will be made, who will make it, and what that timeline might look like.
There are different methods of tracking this, and a prospect might move between stages. This is natural as your relationship develops with them. That’s all beneficial because the salesperson is able to deliver assistance and information that is relevant to where the prospect is in their Decision Process.
A solid understanding of the Decision Process also allows you to spot potential hurdles or obstacles before they crop up. You might understand that there’s a certain approval process that needs to be met or that there’s a budget cycle coming up. Having these on a timeline allows your team to strategize and work through them as they crop up.
Understanding the issues that the prospect is facing is crucial if you’re planning on selling them a solution. Pain points come in all shapes and sizes, many are universal, but many are also specific to the prospect that you’re looking to work with.
The first step is to recognize the pain points. Then gauge how the prospect is currently dealing with them. After that, begin to link those pain points to the solutions that the product or service provides. The Identify Pain stage requires the salesperson to engage the prospect in a detailed line of questioning. Fact-finding typically unveils pain points that can then be addressed.
Once identified, these pain points can be used to a salesperson’s advantage. They can link to the pain points to demonstrate the effective value of the product. They can also detail compelling reasons why their solution is better at solving the pain points versus any other options on the market.
It’s a salesperson’s job to find their Champion in the prospect’s organization. This is the person that is fighting the fight to engage with your product or services. They genuinely believe that you are the right solution and that your product is the best choice, and they’re ready and willing to tell people about it.
This person is crucial. They can often influence the Economic Buyer and can hold a stake in or influence the Decision Process and Decision Criteria. They could even help overcome objections. This person isn’t always the prospect themselves. They could be an end user. They could be the person that recommended your services. Whoever they are, they’re your ally.
Engage with the Champion wherever you think is appropriate and seek to leverage their influence to your advantage. Often they will deliver incredible insight into the target business. They might even help you overcome certain pitfalls or obstructions. Done right, they’ll become an extension of your team.
Understanding the MEDDIC sales methodology allows you to get a far better picture of your entire sales process. You'll also see what the customer themselves has to go through. Taking this wider approach will only better serve you in your steps toward a conversion. Chances are, you’ll find that much of it is already in place. You might just need to add a level of refinement.
- The MEDDIC framework relies on a combination of data and questions to gain understanding.
- The process enables effective qualification that allows sales teams to work more efficiently.
- Implementing the process from a cold start can be complex but, with significant training, success will follow.