If your sales team is struggling to speak to the right customers or close deals, you should try the MEDDIC sales qualification process.
The MEDDIC framework explores the different elements that go into making a purchase. By focusing on the buying experience for customers, reps can better understand prospects’ needs. You can then qualify buyers, so you’re focusing on those who are a good fit.
By understanding every component of a purchase process, MEDDIC helps organizations forecast sales with more accuracy and efficiently close more deals. Below, we’ll unpack the nuances of transforming your business with MEDDIC.
What is MEDDIC?
The MEDDIC sales qualification process is a framework used to qualify prospects and potential buyers. It stands for:
- Economic buyer.
- Decision criteria.
- Decision process.
- Identify pain.
When using MEDDIC, you’ll ask questions related to each of the categories above. At the end of the process, you’ll know more about each customer and know who’s a great fit for your business.
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.
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.”
MEDDIC can turn teams into sales powerhouses. The first step? Diving deep into each part of the MEDDIC acronym. Let’s get started.
Inside the MEDDIC Sales Qualification Process
The MEDDIC process begins with customer motivations. So, why does your customer want to buy your product?
Instead of focusing on vague benefits, you’ll need to dive into metrics. The goals buyers want to achieve should be measurable.
For example, a buyer’s goals may include achieving a fourfold increase in output, decreasing the time it takes to bring products to market by half, or a 20% reduction in manufacturing costs.
Once you learn which KPIs are most important to your client, you can show how your solution will yield results.
Who’s in charge of financial decisions? When pursuing a lead, a sales rep must identify who’s in charge of making and authorizing financial decisions. This person is also known as the economic buyer.
It’s likely your economic buyer will be further up the corporate food chain than your current point of contact. The economic buyer is the one person who can make or break a transaction. You need to know what motivates this person and who to appeal to them.
Try to have a one-on-one conversation with the economic buyer to get a sense of their goals, KPIs, and criteria for making a purchase.
There may be times when verbal communication is impossible. In these situations, obtaining this information about the economic buyer from your contact is important. Even if the buyer is not personally impacted, you can use this knowledge to close the deal.
What criteria impact your prospect’s decision-making? Remember, you’re not the only company vying for your prospect’s business. Find out what factors influence their decision-making. You can then craft a more persuasive pitch to help you beat the competition.
Some common decision-making criteria include:
- Ease of implementation.
- Compatibility with existing systems.
- Return on investment (ROI).
If you’re not sure what goes into decision-making, check in with your prospect. They may have guidelines to send your way. They can also summarize the process in an email. This makes it easier to meet their requirements and make the sale.
What steps are a part of the decision-making process?
Decision criteria outline the requirements you’ll need to meet to close the deal. Meanwhile, the decision process outlines the steps used to reach a purchase point and implement that choice.
The decision maker, the time frame, and any formal approval procedures make up the decision process.
Not every company has the same decision-making process. Some companies have more hurdles than others. If you don’t understand the internal process, you may lose a sale due to inaction. Conversely, if you know the exact steps to take, you can expedite the process.
Customers are coming to you for a solution, which means they must have a pain point. It’s your job to understand what’s causing them headaches and determine if your product can alleviate the pain. Start with the following questions:
- What happens if your customer can’t solve the problem?
- How can your product improve their situation?
Knowing the exact problem your customer faces aids in both qualification and making your pitch. If your solution aligns perfectly with your needs, you’re already on track for a successful relationship. You can then help your customer envision a world where your solution has been implemented and eased their pain.
The key here is specificity. Let’s say a lagging manufacturing process loses your prospect $300,000 every month. If your solution can close the gap, you can make a far more targeted and persuasive case.
Who’s your champion? Discover an internal supporter or a champion who will advocate on your behalf. Your champion should recognize the value of your solution and be interested in bringing your product on board.
Your champion doesn't have to be a manager or supervisor themselves, but they should be well regarded in the workplace. Having an influential employee on your side makes all the difference in making the sale.
Should my team use MEDDIC?
There are many sales frameworks to choose from, and picking the right one for your team can be overwhelming. Before making a decision it's important to explore the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
We’ll explore the pros and cons of the MEDDIC sales process below.
The Advantages of MEDDIC
MEDDIC helps determine if a client is a good fit.
If you know a customer's needs, the KPIs that matter to them, and their pain, you can better identify who’s a fit for your offering. Instead of focusing on all prospects equally, your team can target those who are most likely to find success with your product.
By focusing on likely-to-close prospects, your sales team will have a higher close rate with better-qualified consumers. MEDDIC is a useful framework if your company sells specialized software, products with a high price tag, or offerings that require a significant change in user behavior.
You’ll know exactly the steps that go into decision-making.
With MEDDIC, you’re never left wondering what the next steps might be. You’ll already know the decision-making process and criteria that matter most for your prospect.
With all of this information, your sales team can better prioritize prospects. You’ll know which buyers need to move quickly and those with a more complex decision-making process. You can build your follow-ups around these schedules.
You can build a better buyer’s journey.
With MEDDIC, you’ll gain a deep understanding of each prospect’s needs, pain, and motivation. This allows your sales teams to close deals with empathy. Each buyer is treated like an individual with a tailored experience.
Not only will you know if prospects are a good fit, potential customers will feel like they're in great hands with someone who truly understands them.
The Disadvantages of MEDDIC
Your team will need to learn more about customers.
MEDDIC requires asking questions and recording information about each prospect you work with. You’ll need to train your team in this methodology so they can find the right information.
Additionally, not every customer may be forthcoming or knowledgeable about their internal purchasing processes. You’ll need to train your team to tease out this information.
Understanding your audience is essential to MEDDIC.
If your company has unclear buyer personas, MEDDIC will be difficult to implement. Before getting started, you need to know the ins and outs of your buyer to understand what questions to ask during the MEDDIC process.
MEDDIC requires doing your homework. If you don’t already know your ideal customer, you won’t be able to thrive with this framework.
Implementing the MEDDIC Methodology
If your company already has a customer-centric approach, MEDDIC may be the best sales framework for you. Including MEDDIC in your sales approach can help you learn about customers, increase efficiency, and build a better experience for your prospect.
Remember: If you properly qualify leads at the outset, you'll have a much easier time closing deals later on.