A foolproof lead qualification process is the backbone of any successful sales strategy. Most sales pros believe that qualifying leads early on in the sales cycle helps the company save valuable resources like time and money in the long run. If you are looking for a time-tested sales methodology for enterprise sales, what better than one based on a lead qualification framework. This blog will elucidate how the MEDDIC sales methodology can help improve your conversion rate by focusing only on winning prospects.
In the 1990s, American tech multinational PTC (Parametric Technology Corporation) went through an attrition phase and struggled to hire replacements. To salvage the situation, the company’s sales leader John McMahon sought help from one of their seasoned sellers, Dick Dunkel. Dick worked with individual teams within the company and concluded that PTC’s sales performance consistently revolved around six primary factors.
MEDDIC was developed from these six elements and was later implemented across the global PTC sales teams with the help of yet another successful PTC sales lead, Jack Napoli. Thanks to MEDDIC, PTC hit its goals for 43 straight quarters achieving over $10 bn in revenue. Since then, some of the world’s most outstanding sales companies, including PTC have given birth to thousands of successful MEDDIC sellers worldwide.
MEDDIC is a sales qualification methodology that encourages sellers to pursue leads with higher closing potential. It’s your blueprint for decoding the complex sales processes of enterprise sales companies. High-performing sales teams from around the world have driven efficient and foreseeable growth by applying MEDDIC.
Let’s take a deep dive into this sales technique.
The MEDDIC method represents a framework of qualifiers to identify your potential buyers. The acronym stands for Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision process, Decision Criteria, Identify pain, and Champion.
Understand the metrics that are sacrosanct for your buyer. It will help you quantify your prospect’s expected success parameters, justify the value of your product/service, and demonstrate ROI. These metrics can be divided into two groups.
You will need to focus on your discovery questions to uncover these metrics.
Pro tip: To learn more about how to leverage discovery questions in lead qualification, read our comprehensive blog on 19 sales discovery questions.
Our product can guarantee X times more client engagement.
Our existing customers have seen an X% increase in revenue since using our branding services.
Figure out if your contact has buying authority. Your goal is to tailor your offering to suit your economic buyer, as they are the ones who will be pulling the trigger. Being proactive with your prospect research goes a long way in determining their buying powers. Check out their Linked profile or go through their web page. You could also request your prospect for a team call inviting all key personnel.
Here are a few sample questions to ascertain your economic buyer.
Knowing your prospect’s decision criteria will help you understand what exactly you can do to nudge them towards a decision. Work out how you can add value to their decision criteria if already predetermined. If not, this is your chance to influence their deciding factor based on your research and offering.
According to MEDDIC’s official website, there are three categories of decision criteria.
If the decision criteria defines what the prospect’s decision is based on, the decision process tells you how they make buying decisions. This step is essential if the prospect company is actually considering you as a prospective vendor. Knowing the decision process helps you know the deciding authority, the buying timeline, and the guidelines to follow.
These sample questions will help you forecast the deal correctly.
Identifying your prospective customer’s pain is fundamental to securing the deal. Let’s face it, if there is no actual pain/need, it is difficult for you to demonstrate the value of your product/service. Determine their pain through research and asking probing questions, let them know that you are aware of their problems, highlight what they would miss out on by not selecting your solution, and most importantly, illustrate how you can address their issue.
This is the person who is the most affected by the company’s business pain. You are likely to meet them during your initial calls and can identify them by their curiosity during product demos or sales pitches. Invest in developing a personal connection with this person so they can help you influence the company’s decision. Do note that a champion does not have to be the deciding authority, but they do have a say in the decision process.
However, keep this as your wild card and do not involve them in everyday communication. Let’s say after the proposal, conversations have slowed down, or there’s been limited contact from the prospect company. This is the time you reach out to your champion.
Bonus: Watch the following video to recap your learnings so far.
To stay abreast of the rapidly changing business and technological landscape, MEDDIC birthed two other variants – MEDDICC and MEDDPICC.
The extra C stands for Competition which has become more prevalent in sales cycles with multiple choices available to the average buyer. Hence sales reps must have a clear idea of their competitive advantage. The P refers to the Paper process, which focuses on avoiding any eleventh-hour delays or drops due to issues with pending paperwork. Ensure you are cognizant of the fine prints in the paperwork and get contracts signed on time.
Wondering which MEDDIC variant is suitable for you? Watch this video from legendary MEDDIC sales leader and author of the book MEDDICC, Andy White.
According to Pipedrive’s State of Sales Report 2020-2021, sales prospecting and qualification are the most time-consuming tasks for an average salesperson. Moreover, the more time you spend with unqualified leads, the more time you lose out on closing deals that matter. MEDDIC simplifies the lead qualification process and helps you tick off all the boxes befitting your ideal lead within a short timeframe.
By identifying the decision-maker and closing timeframe, MEDDIC enables you to predict deals more accurately. This is crucial when making decisions like sales hiring for managing a growing customer base, market expansion plans, business planning, etc.
MEDDIC helps standardize sales processes instead of relying on subjective decision-making and gut instinct. By utilizing quantifiable metrics and factual data, you can gauge the health of sales opportunities, identify roadblocks, and devise strategies to rectify them ahead of time.
MEDDIC not only helps you save time as a seller, but it also respects your customer’s time. Using the MEDDIC checklist makes the prospect aware of their core business needs and what they can expect from you. By determining these critical metrics at the beginning of the sales process, your buyer gets clarity on whether you can meet their needs. It especially benefits long and complicated enterprise sales processes by shortening the sales cycle.
Any successful sales methodology comes with certain pitfalls. For instance, to leverage MEDDIC make sure you are working with accurate information, updated on a real-time basis. Here are a few best practices to make the most of this sales methodology.
Understanding your target audience is vital in applying the MEDDIC lead qualification framework. Ideate your buyer personas based on solid research and existing client data.
Accurate and updated data is essential for a successful sales strategy. Pay attention to data hygiene. Setting up workflow automation can remove the hassle of manually updating your CRM. Use CRM analytics to identify your target audience, qualify leads, and track and engage them by setting up activity triggers or prompts.
By applying the MEDDIC qualification framework, you will proactively invite customer objections. While this is necessary for identifying your prospective customer, you will also need the ability to handle objections. This will be possible by reviewing your deal history (both won and lost deals) to get perspective on facing client objections.
For a comprehensive guide on mastering sales objections, read 22 Most daunting sales objections and how to overcome them.
The MEDDIC sales process gives you six essential guidelines to filter the wheat from the chaff. A stellar lead qualification framework can save you hours spent chasing tire kickers. Using the MEDDIC checklist with precise and up-to-date data can help you achieve those revenue goals – smarter and faster.