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It can be frustrating.
You practice day after day, honing your technique and brushing up on "tips and tricks" to land prospects, but you still have trouble hitting those targets.
You were spot on; you did everything right, but you still missed the mark.
What went wrong?
Maybe your sales skills aren't the problem - maybe the customer was never right in the first place. Research does show that at least 50% of sales prospects aren't a good fit for the product.
Now, this is where the MEDDIC sales methodology comes in.
The MEDDIC sales process emphasizes better customer qualification, so you're pitching your solution to an audience that both wants and needs to hear it.
But what does that entail? And what the heck does "MEDDIC" stand for?
Let's answer these questions.
What Is the MEDDIC Sales Methodology?
MEDDIC is a sales qualification methodology that emphasizes better lead qualification by pitching to customers who are a more suitable fit for your product. It's generally a framework of questions designed to qualify prospects accurately. What's the prospect's pain point? How can you solve it? What are the company's main criteria for making this type of decision?
Knowing your audience helps you sell to the right people in the right way.
The MEDDIC sales methodology was first named and used at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) in the 1990s.
Dick Dunkel was the first person to coin the term, and he proceeded to spread its good message across the company with the help of John McMahon and Jack Napoli.
Teaching the MEDDIC sales process to their sales reps allowed PTC to grow their sales from $300 million to $1 billion in four years - so we'd say it's pretty effective.
So what about MEDDICC sales methodology (with an extra "C")?
It's the same thing but simply adds one more word to our acronym.
Which leads us to…
What Does MEDDIC Stand for in Sales?
Alright, let's get to the burning question and start breaking down this MEDDIC acronym.
Knowing the meaning behind each letter leads to a better understanding of the methodology itself. Plus, it's what you came here for, right? ;)
Here's a quick summary for all you skimmers:
Now let's go in-depth.
This part of the process is all about finding out what the customer hopes to gain from your service. For best results, these benefits should be quantifiable.
What does that mean? It's the difference between saying "more sales" versus "a 20% increase in sales".
Establishing firm metrics enables you to:
- See how you can solve their pain point: Once you know a customer's goals, you know how your solution can achieve them
- Personalize the value you're selling: A prospect is much more likely to consider your solution when it can be matched exactly to their needs
Metrics allow you to describe the benefits you're selling instead of just rattling off the same "it'll save you cash" jargon - and, by justifying their purchase and outlining their ROI, you can streamline the entire sales process.
Find out who the economic buyer is for your target customer. The economic buyer is the individual who has financial control over solutions like yours. Often, the person we correspond with is not the decision maker.
Knowing the economic buyer's mindset (like through your point of contact or social networking) gives you an understanding of how they work, what's important to them, and what they need to hear.
Top-performing salespeople spend an average of 6 hours per week researching their prospects.
And if you can manage to set it up through your point of contact, talk to the economic buyer directly for the best info.
Try talking to them about:
- Their expectations
- Their personal metrics
- Their decision-making process
Your sales call is only 5 to 6% of the total buying journey, so getting to better know your economic buyer is key.
Understanding how your prospect makes decisions and purchases is fundamental when it comes to selling your solution.
Your potential clients are very likely considering several other vendors simultaneously and have some key considerations they're factoring in when comparing products/services.
These considerations are their decision criteria. These could include:
- Ease of use
- Onboarding and implementation
These criteria are the foundation upon which your prospect weighs their decision.
Researching these decision criteria and tailoring your pitch to suit their highest priorities makes you clearly stand out from the crowd.
Some companies won't have their exact criteria defined yet, so don't be afraid to be the one who urges them to consider it.
This move allows you to actively prove you meet all their critical criteria, making it easier for them to decide on a solution (and for you to close a deal).
The last point covered what goes into a decision - this point tells you how that decision is made and acted on (i.e., the company's personal internal steps taken to finalize purchase).
This includes discovering key decision makers, the timeline they operate on, and all formal approval processes, including paperwork.
How does this help you?
B2B sales can be complex. A single business may have six to ten decision makers, all with their own information, methods, and opinions. Knowing their exact sales process means you know where your sale sits within that complicated web.
For instance, if the buyer has okayed the sale, you know that XYZ paperwork is the next step in the process. So send a follow-up message asking about said paperwork.
This due diligence can keep a sale from going cold.
It's a much more professional, streamlined process to say, "Has Ms. Tyler had a chance to go over the contract?" than "How are you doing with finalizing the sale?".
We all know some variation of this step - agitating a need or a pain is what sells your service.
This is a two-step process:
- Identify a customer's pain
- Identify how your service solves it
This is similar to the "M" (the "metrics," in case you forgot) - just like you gathered quantifiable goal metrics, now you're going to gather specific pain points.
Ask your prospect what their pain is and dig deep into the heart of the issue.
If their issue is "disorganized sales reps," explore this in-depth to find out how this disorganization is affecting them - is it letting leads slip through the cracks? Is it causing delays in sales calls as reps search for information?
96% of customers say that a sales rep who focuses on the specific value their solution can deliver heavily impacts their purchasing decision.
And why shouldn't it? Any sales rep can tell you "all your problems will be solved," - but a sales rep who can tell you "X problem will be solved via Y solution and you'll achieve Z goal" is exactly what the prospect wants to hear.
Okay, so this is where the acronym differs.
The MEDDIC sales approach (one "C") is just "Champion," while the MEDDICC meaning includes both "Champion and Competition."
Let's take a look at both.
Your Champion is someone within the prospect's company that wants, needs, and advocates for your solution.
Generally, this person is your main point of contact or whichever person is most affected by the pain point (sometimes, these are the same person).
This person keeps your solution at the front of everyone's mind and stokes interest in the employees who finalize sales.
So your Champion is a key player in closing the deal.
Your competition is any vendor or solution that is competing for the same funds as you.
Identifying the competition is essential in selling your product. You have to know what you're up against to sell your solution's value and worth properly.
This part of the sales process is about proving why you're the best option out there - but that doesn't mean you should start bad-mouthing the competition.
Don't trash-talk your competitors.
Understand MEDDIC Sales Process
Alright, so why does the MEDDIC sales method work so well?
Let's start by looking at the results of a study by Richardson Sales Performance identifying the top challenges faced by salespeople. Here's a handful of them:
- Gaining access to the right stakeholder
- Creating a targeted strategy
- Managing gatekeepers
- Prospect qualification
- Delivering a concise value statement
The MEDDIC sales methodology tackles each one of these challenges by taking all the crucial, core elements in a successful sale and building them into a repeatable framework.
This is why the MEDDIC sales framework makes selling easier. It's a logical sales approach - no "tips and tricks," just a clean and clear methodology, which means that even beginners can learn it.
Since it isn't as reliant on negotiation and persuasion, you can just provide a framework of questions that help gather key information, including metrics, decision criteria, and pain points.
Then you compare this information to your target buyer's persona and qualify them. It's a quick, efficient way to qualify a prospect, and it leads to higher close rates.
Because it's a lot easier to persuade someone that they need something when they truly do need it.
That's why prioritizing your sales qualification process and producing high-quality leads is one of our top tips to close more sales - check out our blog for six more strategies to hit your sales quotas like a pro.
Benefits of MEDDIC Sales Approach
Now, we've made our point on what we think about the MEDDIC sales model - but we won't just leave it at that.
Let's discuss the benefits you'll see from adopting the MEDDIC sales approach.
Here's the short version of the benefits:
Focused on qualification
A greater focus on qualifying prospects leads to smoother, more efficient sales conversations
Builds a quick and easy checklist
Using a framework of questions makes the sales process easier and more efficient
Streamlines the sales cycle
MEDDIC reveals gaps and risks in the sales cycle early, so your team can face them and speed up the sales cycle
Creates a common language
Using MEDDIC's terminology makes communication in your sales team simple
And here's the long version.
Focused on qualification
The MEDDIC sales methodology is heavily focused on lead qualification, and we've already mentioned how better-qualified leads = better fit for the solution = faster sales = deal closed.
This is why MEDDIC is such a top performer when it comes to accurate sales forecasting.
A focus on qualification also means less time spent on leads that aren't worth your time.
What if a lead isn't likely to close any time soon? Or at all?
You can stop fussing over them and focus your time and energy on higher-quality leads that close faster.
And it isn't just your sales reps who'll gain more time from this method - when your processes are qualification-focused, your pre-sales resources, marketing team, and sales managers alike will all save time and effort.
Builds a quick and easy checklist
Some people like to think of the MEDDIC sales framework as a checklist:
- What are the goals and metrics of the prospect? ✅
- Who's the economic buyer for the project? ✅
- What are their decision criteria? ✅
- And so on.
This allows a sale to be much more airtight as no details will slip by your sales reps, enabling them to qualify faster and more efficiently.
It also means that new sales reps can jump in and learn this method as early as possible. Since it's a logical, step-by-step framework, you don't need years of experience, confidence, or FBI negotiation tactics learned from Chris Voss to get started.
Although it could buy you some time to practice your FBI tactics. ;)
Streamlines the sales cycle
Gathering the type of information that MEDDIC does, like metrics and pain points, helps reveal gaps and identify risks in the sales process.
When you're able to identify these gaps and issues, sales reps can act on them more quickly and effectively.
Discovering and addressing these potential pitfalls shortens your overall sales cycle, so the deal can move forward at top efficiency.
For more information on streamlining this beautiful process, read our blog, What is a Sales Cycle?
Creates a common language
One of the MEDDIC sales method's top benefits is the common language it creates on your sales floor.
Did you have a secret code when you were a kid that only you and your best friends could understand? MEDDIC is like that, but for businesses.
Having shorthands like "Champion" and "Economic Buyer" can facilitate quick and clear communication between sales professionals.
A sales manager can ask their SDR, "Who's your Champion?" and the rep immediately knows that their manager wants to know if they've identified a key individual within the prospect company that will vouch for your services.
Less of a mouthful, right?
Creating a common language ensures everyone's on the same page, and it's fast and efficient. Win-win.
6 Types of MEDDIC Sales Questions
Each letter in the MEDDIC acronym stands for a crucial part of the MEDDIC sales process. And each letter also has a series of questions that helps you accomplish that goal.
Example: Decision Criteria questions help you uncover the prospect's main criteria.
Let's take a look at these questions so you can build your own framework and learn how to close a sale with the MEDDIC methodology.
1. Metrics questions
Metrics questions are all about discovering what the prospect needs to achieve their goals.
These questions aim to uncover the prospect's quantifiable business objectives so you know how to solve them.
Here are a few questions that help gather metrics:
- "What are your business goals right now?"
- "How do you measure success?"
- "What metrics around business/cost/efficiency do you need to see?"
2. Economic buyer questions
These questions help you zero in on which individual at the prospect company holds the purse strings.
The ultimate goal of these questions is to discover who's responsible for the budget surrounding purchases like yours - and then dig into their mindset once you know you're talking to them.
Here are a few example questions to sniff out the economic buyer:
- "Who's involved in the final decision?"
- "Are you sponsoring this project?"
And here are a few example questions to ask the economic buyer:
- "What are your main goals and priorities?"
- "How do you generally come to a decision?"
3. Decision criteria questions
Time to find out the prospect's main decision criteria when purchasing a product/service in your industry.
These questions aim to find out what the perfect product looks like to your customer - so you can highlight which criteria your product meets.
To better understand your prospect's decision criteria, try questions such as:
- "What are your main criteria for making this decision?"
- "How do you justify this purchase?"
4. Decision process questions
Mapping out the prospect's decision process can be tricky, but it's worth it in the end.
Let's jump right into the examples - because we have a lot of them:
- "What's the process within your company to come to a final decision?"
- "Who do you need to talk to in order to finalize this decision?"
- "What kind of paperwork is required to finish this?"
- "Does anyone else need to be involved in this decision?"
- "How long does this process usually take?"
- "What's the legal review process look like in your company?"
5. Identify pain questions
When you identify a prospect's pain, you also identify how you can solve it.
These "pain questions" help you discover what's causing the prospect to search for a solution and the overall impact this issue has on the company.
Here are a few great questions to identify pain points:
- "What does a normal day look like on your end?"
- "What are the challenges you're currently facing?"
- "What would happen if you didn't solve this problem?"
6. Champion/competition questions
This is all about identifying your Champion.
These questions you ask yourself, but bear with us, they're still important:
- "What does this person have to gain?"
- "Does this person have an influence on key decision-makers?"
- "Can this person accurately describe my solution's benefits to decision-makers?"
And as for Competition questions, it's totally fine to ask the prospect:
- "Have you considered any other solutions?"
By asking this question upfront, you immediately know which competitor you're being compared to and how to highlight your benefits compared to their solution.
MEDDIC Sales Approach - Frequently Asked Questions
"What does the acronym MEDDIC stand for?"
MEDDIC stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, Champion.
These are the six essential steps in executing the MEDDIC sales approach.
"Is MEDDPICC a sales process?"
The MEDDPICC sales methodology is very similar to both MEDDIC and MEDDICC but contains an extra step and an extra letter. The "P" stands for Paper Process - it essentially separates the paperwork out of the Decision Process step in a standard MEDDIC sales method. So MEDDPICC is the same sales method - just with an extra step.
"What is MEDDIC used for?"
The MEDDIC sales process is used to:
- Better qualify prospects
- Close deals faster
- Build better business relationships
Its aim is to focus on qualification and help you discover the prospect's goals and pain points, identify the best-suited solution, and talk to the right people.
Better Qualification Through the MEDDIC Sales Approach
The MEDDIC sales methodology has been boosting sales and creating loyal customers for thirty years now, and we don't think it's going to stop any time soon.
When the benefits of the MEDDIC sales model include laser-focused lead qualification, a shorter sales cycle, and a veritable checklist to success, it's easy to see why it's so valuable.
If you're interested in more ways to qualify, manage, and categorize your leads, read our blog on how a lead information system can benefit the sales management process.