Properly qualifying prospective customers is tough.
It takes a lot of energy to identify new leads and move them through the qualification process. Sometimes, you may not discover a new lead is a poor fit until after you've spent hours on research and calls.
If your sales team is struggling to speak to the right customers or close deals, try the MEDDIC sales qualification process.
What is the MEDDIC sales qualification?
The MEDDIC sales qualification process is a framework of questions used to qualify prospects and potential buyers. It stands for Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identify pain, and Champion.
MEDDIC was pioneered in the 1990s by Jack Napoli.At technology company PTC, Napoli and his co-founder used MEDDIC to triple sales from $300 million to $1 billion in just four years.
Why is MEDDIC so powerful? Well, it sets itself apart from other sales qualification processes by emphasizing thorough buyer qualification.
By understanding every component of a prospect’s purchase process, MEDDIC helps organizations forecast sales with more accuracy and efficiently close more deals. (This is especially valuable for enterprise-level B2B companies who routinely make million-dollar deals.)
Below, we’ll unpack the steps in the MEDDIC sales qualification process. First, let’s discuss why MEDDIC is a valuable qualification framework.
Why should you use MEDDIC?
The MEDDIC sales qualification framework helps you properly identify and qualify your prospects. With better-qualified customers, your sales organization can see higher close rates and greater success.
Moreover, if your business sells highly-technical or complex products, expensive products, or products that require a notable shift in user behavior, MEDDIC is a valuable framework to use. By using MEDDIC to thoroughly evaluate and qualify your prospective customers early in the sales process, your sales team can dedicate their valuable resources to customers who are the most likely to close.
Take it from Brian Halligan, who worked at PTC before founding HubSpot: “From $0 to $100 million, PTC was successful because we sold a better widget. From $100 million to $1 billion, however, we sold a shift in technology. MEDDIC became important because it's not just any old purchase -- it's a transformation of the business."
Lastly, MEDDIC is a straightforward sales qualification framework. It serves as a checklist of information to obtain, not a laundry list of sales tricks or “best practices” to try out until one sticks. For this reason, MEDDIC can be taught and mastered by even the most novice salespeople.
Where MEDDIC can get complicated is not in its execution but in preparing your sales team to seek the right information according to your buyer personas.
Your sales qualification process can only operate as well as you’ve prepared your target buyer information, meaning that if you don’t know the ins and outs of your buyer persona, you won’t know what questions to ask during the MEDDIC process.
Before you jump into the MEDDIC sales qualification steps, ensure you’ve established your buyer persona(s) and thoroughly trained your sales team on that information.
MEDDIC Sales Qualification Steps
As defined above, MEDDIC has six main qualification steps.
Discover what quantifiable goals your prospect hopes to achieve. Establishing these metrics allows you to describe the benefit of your solution as it specifically pertains to your prospect.
For example, your prospect tells you they want to drive 100,000 new monthly visitors to their website (versus the vague goal of “more traffic”).
Understanding that this metric matters so much to your prospect enables you to customize the economic benefit of your product or service in a way that relates to their business goals.
Questions to ask
- What goals are you hoping to achieve?
- How would you measure success?
2. Economic Buyer
Find out who has the power to spend the appropriate budget. Who makes the financial decisions as they pertain to the solution you’re selling? This person may not be the point of contact you’ve established at the company, but they’re important nonetheless as they have sway over if your deal closes.
Get in touch with the economic buyer if possible. If you can’t speak directly to them, work with your point of contact to understand their mindset, expectations, priorities, decision-making process so that you can appeal your pitch to their motivations.
Questions to ask
- What does success look like for you?
- Is anyone else involved in the final decision?
3. Decision Criteria
Understand how your prospect’s company makes decisions about purchases similar to your solution. They’re likely comparing many different vendor choices and are weighing their options based on a few important factors — their decision criteria.
Depending on your solution (i.e. if you’re selling a software product), prospective companies could be examining and comparing criteria like ease of use, onboarding and integration, price versus budget, and potential ROI. Get a clear answer on what you’re prospect is looking at so you can tailor your pitch to highlight these criteria.
Questions to ask
- What are the most important criteria for you when making this decision?
- How might you justify this purchase?
4. Decision Process
In addition to the decision criteria, you must also understand your prospect’s decision process— the internal steps followed to actually finalize a decision. Once you get familiar with this process, you can follow along and ensure your sale doesn’t fall to the wayside or hit an ambiguous roadblock.
Ask your point of contact to walk you through the typical process. Understand who’s involved in meetings to discuss the decision, what paperwork is required, and what types of approval processes need to happen to close the deal.
Questions to ask
- Who do you need to talk to finalize this decision?
- What kind of paperwork needs to get pushed through?
5. Identify Pain
It’s impossible to explain the value of your solution if you don’t know what problems your prospect is trying to solve. Identify the pain points your prospect is facing before you tailor your pitch to explain how your product or service can alleviate that pain.
Just as you gathered quantifiable metrics around your prospect’s goals, ask your prospect to be just as specific about their pains and problems. For example, if your prospect is “struggling to drive website traffic,” dig deeper to uncover just how much traffic they’re missing or how many potential conversions they lose from that traffic. These numbers can help you tailor your pitch to be the most helpful and poignant solution.
Questions to ask
- How does [problem] affect your business and bottom line?
- What happens if you do nothing?
Your champion is someone inside your prospect’s company — your point of contact or perhaps the person who’d benefit the most from your solution — who advocates for you to decision-makers and the economic buyer.
This person is important to keeping your solution top-of-mind and maintaining interest among the folks who can finalize the sale, especially if your solution is a big-ticket item. Be mindful of who you choose to be your champion; their respect and influence (or lack thereof) can influence your sale.
Questions to ask
- What is this person’s interest in your product or solution?
- Can they accurately explain the product’s benefits as they relate to the company?
To implement MEDDIC, first train your sales team on your buyer personas. Once they understand how your product or service relates to the ideal customer, encourage them to start applying the MEDDIC framework to sales calls and documenting the conversations. The specific questions will vary depending on the prospect, but the themes should remain the same.
To somewhat automate this process, consider creating templates for discovery calls in your CRM. This can serve as a guide for salespeople still getting comfortable with the MEDDIC process.
MEDDIC equips your sales team to truly understand and properly qualify your customers. This allows them to spend more time on deals that are likely to close — and boosts sales success and morale in the process.