MEDDIC is not actually a healthcare term.
It’s a sales acronym. And it’s all about deal qualification
MEDDIC – a deal qualification framework
Many think that MEDDIC is a sales process, but it’s really a deal qualification framework with multiple processes for decision criteria, decision process, etc. aimed at helping sales teams assess the viability of a sales opportunity. Many companies that use MEDDIC still must incorporate it into their actual sales process for it to be successful.
What is deal qualification?
Deal qualification refers to the rigorous process of determining whether a lead or prospect is a good fit for the product or service you have to offer. While there are many ways in which this assessment takes place, it is primarily performed during sales calls. Deal qualification is important in determining which deals are a likely long-term fit for your business, and which are likely to be more headache than they are worth. More on that in the next section.
Why is deal qualification important?
Deal qualification can have an outsized, positive impact on your business. To demonstrate the importance of deal qualification, we will highlight a sales leader, Sarah Walker Managing Director, Enterprise, Cisco, from our book, Not Just Another Vendor, who created a culture of deal qualification for her team during her time at BT Group.
By bolstering efforts to qualify deals early and often, she was able to foster an environment of trust, where sellers felt safe in sharing their vital deal details with the greater revenue team.
Why are some deals so hard to walk away from?
It’s not that building that culture is an easy thing to do. In fact, making the shift to a culture where you turn deals away is anything but easy.
“It’s a very difficult thing for a salesperson to proactively walk away from a sale, particularly when they’re chasing targets,” Sarah says.
Despite the challenge, she wasn’t willing to let the idea go.
The way she saw it, sales effort couldn’t be measured in wins alone. After all, chasing deals isn’t free.
“It’s easy to negate the fact that the cost-to-bid and cost-to-pursue are incredibly significant causes of burnt resources for any sales organization,” she explains.
Thinking more critically about which deals they chased and how they chased them might do more than just get them bigger contracts, she reasoned: it might make them more efficient, too.
These conversations helped the team not only get better at deal qualification but also helped them think more about engaging with customers earlier and influencing their decision processes more. “It moved us from talking about qualification to talking about account planning more broadly. It moved us in the right direction,” says Sarah.
Your sellers’ time and resources are finite. There’s simply no way around it.
For every action a rep takes, there are many other possible actions they’re not taking. Consciously or not, every deal you chase is a decision to knock on one door at the expense of another.
Rigorous qualification is a foundational pillar of account planning because it’s the only way to focus your attention on building real, mutually beneficial relationships. It’s all about finding the deals that matter so you can have the maximum impact for both your business and your customer.
Chasing a high number of smaller, transactional deals might help a seller hit their quota for the quarter, but it won’t create the kind of long-term partnerships that move you out of the status of being “just another vendor” and pay off in the long run.
When you select which deals to pursue carefully, however, you can target the opportunities in which you’re best positioned to help your customers succeed. Then, you can go all-in on aligning an account team, building an extensive roster of relationships, and becoming a strategic partner to your customers.
Let’s Talk About MEDDIC
So you know it’s important to have a deal qualification process. But how do you choose the right one for you? There are many different approaches. However, one of the most popular ones is MEDDIC.
MEDDIC is a deal qualification framework that helps salespeople qualify their sales opportunities by focusing on six important elements:
Metrics: What are the customer’s most important metrics? How are they currently measuring success?
Economic buyer: Who is the person or people who will ultimately decide whether or not to buy your product or service?
Decision criteria: What factors will buyers consider when making their decision?
Decision process: How does the customer make decisions? Who else is involved in the decision-making process?
Identify pain: What are the customer’s biggest pain points? How is your product or service uniquely positioned to solve those pain points?
Champion: Who is the person within the customer organization who is most enthusiastic about your product or service?
The MEDDIC deal qualification process is designed to help salespeople focus on the most important factors that will determine if a sale is successful. By asking the right questions and gathering the right information, salespeople can better qualify their leads and increase their chances of closing deals.
Let’s investigate each of those sections in a bit more detail
Oddly enough, metrics rarely look the same from one place to another. They’re often unique to each business. So are the pains and problems they face.
From a definition standpoint, metrics, also called KPIs, are the way of measuring success and value. But they are more than that. No matter what you call them, you need to meet them if you expect your customers to do repeat business with you.
The “economic buyer” is the person who is going to be buying what you have to offer. They are the final decision maker – the person holding the purse strings.
Of course, as we know, buying groups seldom have just one decision maker. At least not in an enterprise, B2B setting.
That said, in this scenario, we’re talking about the final decision maker.
The important thing here is to fully understand this person’s needs and motivations. Relationship mapping is important for this and plays a fundamental role now in the MEDDIC process.
Sarah Walker was great at understanding who the final decision maker within the account was. In one impactful deal, she went directly to the CIO and built a relationship with him.
When future deals came along, due to the relationship that was established early-on, her business was first in line for new opportunities.
How are decisions actually made within the company you are selling to? Do you or your sellers know?
You may not at first. But you certainly know how competitive deals can be to win. Rarely are you the only vendor attempting to achieve a new contract. The key here, however, is to not be just another vendor. It’s not necessarily the best branding, product, or tech that makes you stand out, but the experience you create for the buying team. You must understand what’s truly important to your customers, or risk being syphoned off for not meeting the criteria of the company, business unit, or team.
The next part of MEDDIC is the decision process. It’s not A LOT different than what we discussed above, but it is important to understand. It means understanding how the gears turn within an organization – what makes it tick. A lot of this information can be uncovered in your relationship and insight map. Who influences who? Who are the supporters, mentors, and even detractors within an account?
As you begin to paint a holistic picture of the decision process within the account, you can sidestep potential pitfalls your less careful competitors will surely fall for.
One of the oldest tools in the trade sellers will be able to understand is all too often overlooked. How can you identify pain points?
This is about the people, problems, and potential within the account. What are their motivations? Their obstacles? What’s keeping them from achieving their desired goals?
Far too often sellers go with a basic understanding of the account, or only a superficial pain, and then turn that into a pitch, hoping it is compelling. But they neglect deeper issues residing beneath the surface. To avoid staying on the surface, or simply listening to respond, the best practice is to set your sellers up with a guided template for their discovery process – also called an Insight Map.
Seeking to understand customers’ pain points as well as they do or better is the key to unlocking trusted advisor status.
Lastly, sellers must know if they have a champion within an account. Champions are those positive towards you and your solution, who also influence decision makers. They will go the distance to fight for your solution, hence the name “champion”.
If someone like this exists within your account, you have a strong chance at winning that deal.
Here are some of the benefits of using the MEDDIC sales process:
Whether you are using MEDDIC or another deal qualification framework, like Sarah Walker you can expect to unlock before tethered new avenues for expansion within accounts.
Specifically, the benefits you can expect include:
Increased sales productivity: By focusing on the most crucial factors, sellers can spend their time more effectively and close more deals.
Improved customer relationships: By understanding the customer’s needs and pain points, sellers can build stronger relationships and create more value for the customer.
Increased sales confidence: By having a clear understanding of the sales process, salespeople can feel more confident in their ability to close deals.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your sales process, using MEDDIC as the basis for your sales process is a great option. It’s a proven framework that can help you qualify your leads, build stronger relationships, and close more deals.
What’s the difference between MEDDIC, MEDDICC and MEDDPICC?
While MEDDIC is the original framework, two other variations of MEDDIC exist. These are MEDDICC and MEDDPICC. In brief, the differences can be summarized as:
- MEDDICC is a variation of MEDDIC that adds a C for Competition.
- MEDDPICC is a more recent variation of MEDDIC that adds a P for Paper Process.
The added C that stands for Competition in both variations highlights the importance of understanding who else is attempting to win over a potential buyer. Understanding this added layer of insights can better help revenue teams to flank against competition that could derail the deal.
Paper process, on the other hand, applies more specifically to deals where there is a significant chance of losing a deal due to clerical errors, or red tape details the revenue team might not otherwise think of. It can also include things like signing contracts, getting approvals from different stakeholders, and implementing security measures.
No matter what deal qualification framework you are using, account planning and account-based selling best practices can help you succeed, build relationships with the people that matter, and qualify deals before your team spends precious resources on closing them.