The MEDDIC and MEDDPIC methods give sales professionals a framework to improve the management of their sales process, especially when it comes to long sales cycles.
Qualifying prospects in a long sales cycle involves a number of different issues, such as strong variations in the probability of a contract being signed or changes in contacts.
In this article, you'll find a guide to help you qualify your prospects and optimise your pipeline follow-up using the MEDDPIC and MEDDIC sales methodology.
What is the MEDDIC method?
MEDDIC is a B2B sales technique used to qualify prospects and sales opportunities.
To apply MEDDIC or its more recent offshoot, MEDDPIC, sales teams use a grid to define the need, context and decisive elements for each opportunity.
In what situations are MEDDIC and MEDPIC recommended?
MEDDIC and MEDDPIC is generally recognized for its effectiveness in the following contexts:
- Long sales cycles (over 4 months)
- Large budgets are involved
- Several parties are implicated in the project
- When the product/service brings significant change
It's also for these reasons MEDDIC and MEDDPIC are specific to B2B, where the stakes are often high.
What does MEDDIC stand for?
MEDDIC stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identify pain, Champion. Below, we take a closer look at each of these elements.
Metrics or Indicators
These are the famous KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that drive the motivations and concerns of the potential buyers. During this phase the salesperson must identify the prospect's KPIs. Understanding their KPIs will allow the salesperson to articulate the economic benefit their solution delivers to the prospect, in addition to any other benefits.
Clarifying the benefits increases the chances of a successful sales closing.
This second phase consists of identifying the decision-maker: The person in a position to make decisions for the company and authorise expenditures.
Often, the person with whom you establish contact is not the decision-maker. To stack the odds in your favour, it's important to get to know the decision-maker to learn more about his or her needs, decision-making process, and vision.
However, in some cases, the decision-maker isn't accessible. So you'll need to glean as much information as possible about the decision-maker from your contact, LinkedIn, and any other sources you have access to.
Through your exchanges, you need to understand what criteria your potential customer uses to make decisions.
Prospects are solicited from all sides. Generally speaking, they will compile a short list during which they see how you measure up against your competitors.
It's up to you to identify the key criteria on which companies base their choices and include them in your sales pitch–this level of specificity will demonstrate you empathise with and understand their challenges.
These factors are generally the same within a given sector, but they often differ in importance from one company to another.
The most common criteria are: cost, interoperability, ease of use, and return on investment.
As we mentioned earlier, the decision process is important. Decision criteria tell you what the company takes into account when it comes to accepting one offer versus another, while the decision process refers to the steps involved in making that decision.
When it comes down to it, you need to discover what milestones must be passed before the company can make their final choice.
Once you've found out about the stages and players in this process, you'll be able to personalise your sales pitch so it reflects their needs, concerns, and process.
Identify pain points
Identifying your prospect's pain points and demonstrating how your solution will address them will give your prospect compelling reasons to choose you above competitors.
But your success will depend on how you communicate during prospect interactions. Avoid trite phrasing and tiresome feature lists.
Instead, play it smart by using concrete examples and figures to demonstrate how your product/service eliminates the problem(s) in question.
Let's imagine your prospects are losing money every month because of a recurring equipment failure in its production line. If you can estimate its losses, you can then estimate its profits over time. Additionally, if you've identified their KPIs, you can even take those into account.
When you're grinding through a long sales cycle, it's not uncommon for you to get to know your contacts quite well. Though nurturing these relationships is important for several reasons, both MEDDPIC and MEDDIC sales methodology recommend finding a key contact who can act as an in-house ambassador for your solution.
Contrary to popular belief, this contact is not necessarily a manager or director. All that matters is that their opinion counts in the eyes of the decision-makers. In many cases, the best ambassador to choose is an employee who's strongly affected by the problems identified, that your solution can resolve.
The MEDDIC method: Why use it?
Created in the ‘90s by Jack Napoli and Dick Dunkel of PTC Corporation, the MEDDIC method has literally revolutionised sales.
In fact, it enabled the company to record sustained growth for 40 quarters! In the shorter term, the company grew from $300 million in sales to $1 billion in just 4 years.
The benefits of MEDDIC sales methodology
MEDDIC and its most recent version MEDDPIC offers many advantages to the companies that use it:
- Easier identification and processing of sales opportunities
- Access to actionable data
- Increased productivity
- Maintain control of the sales cycle
- Improved collaboration
- Easily identify and process opportunities
Identify and easily address opportunities
MEDDIC and MEDDPIC provide a framework for defining your strategy. Most take the form of a checklist that's adaptable to different sales processes.
Alternatively, you can create a grid that you fill in during the course of the sales cycle, guiding you towards your objectives and making your job easier.
Obtain usable data
Using MEDDIC, you can collect crucial information and data to determine your prospects' level of qualification accurately and, above all, objectively.
This eliminates many of the biases that interfere with your decision-making process. Whether they like to admit it or not, salespeople can be influenced by their organisation's expectations in terms of prospect qualification, forgetting the prospect's needs and expectations in the process.
How does MEDDIC boost productivity?
MEDDIC helps you to be more efficient. By identifying your prospects' performance indicators, you'll be able to pinpoint where you need to act more quickly, enabling you to deliver a more precise sales pitch and avoid wasting time on low-value-added subjects.
You keep control of the sales cycle
The MEDDIC methodology is often considered to be the most comprehensive sales approach in B2B. That's thanks to how precisely it covers key aspects of complex and lengthy sales cycles, and how it simplifies follow-up.
A tool for optimising collaboration
Members of a sales team can use MEDDIC or MEDDPIC to work in a more efficient and coordinated way. The methodological structure helps avoid redundancies and errors.
For example, an account executive can work with a business analyst to better understand the prospect's financial objectives and budgetary constraints.
This makes the proposal to the prospect all the more relevant and precise, increasing the chances of closing the sale.
MEDDIC: How to apply it?
How do you go from theory to practice? How can you integrate it into your sales process and reap the benefits?
For each letter of the acronym, we'll now give you some concrete examples to help you implement MEDDIC into your strategy.
At the events, there's inevitably a salesperson who's as talkative as they are tenacious, quoting their most prestigious customers and telling you all about their business. The good news is that MEDDIC helps you avoid becoming that person.
Admittedly, an interpersonal connection is important, and it's crucial to maintain excellent relationships with your various contacts. However, facts and figures are more likely to tip a sale in your favour than anecdotes and conversation. Together with your team, or in the course of your discussions with your contact, you will identify the potential benefits of your product/service for your potential customer. Once identified, quantify them. Here's an example you can use to flesh out your sales scripts:
"I understand that every month you lose $X because of problem Y. Problem Y can be partially dealt with by [recommended action 1] or [recommended action 2]. For a lasting solution, it's more appropriate to [recommended action 3]. Not only will you no longer lose $X each year, but you'll also be able to allocate the time recovered to other tasks with high added value for you, such as [current and crucial task for prospect]."
Such an approach requires mastery of the subject and, above all, careful study of the prospect in question beforehand.
2. The decision maker
Make sure from the outset of your relationship with the prospect that you are in contact with the person who makes the decisions. This way, you won't have to repeat your sales pitch several times, and you'll avoid wasting unnecessary time. One good way to identify the decision maker is through LinkedIn.
3. Decision criteria
What criteria does your prospect use to choose one solution over another? Have they already done a benchmark? Answering these questions will help you refine your sales pitch and your proposal so that it perfectly matches what the prospect is looking for. Here are a few examples of criteria:
- Technical aspects: What technology does your prospect use? How easy is it to deploy the solution you're looking for? How easy is it to learn?
- Financial aspect: What is the prospect's budget for this investment?
- Product characteristics: The product you're looking for must have a specific characteristic/functionality/size for your prospect. It's up to you to make a proposal that matches these characteristics.
- Legal constraints: Depending on the legislation of the country or business sector, certain requirements may emerge. Take them into account to fine-tune your sales pitch.
- Support: While some prospects like to have a certain degree of autonomy, others prefer to be supported from A to Z. This is even more true when it comes to switching to a new technology or new machines, as this logically entails the adoption of new processes. Be sure of the quality of the follow-up, and act as an expert and advisor to your contact.
4. The decision-making process
Your role is to determine the decision-making process. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself to gain clarity:
- Who are the people and departments directly or indirectly involved in the process?
- Is the decision taken after joint reflection? If so, who is consulted?
- What are the deadlines?
- How far along are the specifications?
- Do technical or legal documents need to be produced and issued? And when? For what reasons?
The above questions will help you map the process and act at the right moment.
5. List any obstacles or problems
Clearly list your prospect's problems, and systematically provide a solution to them. The aim is not simply to say: "Yes, with our solution you won't have this problem anymore." That's not specific enough. Adopt a more concrete approach, using up-to-date figures.
Show your expertise and adapt to the person you're talking to. If you're dealing with a prospect with a technical profile, use their jargon. On the other hand, if the person you're speaking to is the decision-maker, focus on communicating clearly and concisely, with minimal technical jargon.
The aim is to ensure that, by the end of your discussions, your prospect is fully aware of the benefits your solution can bring.
6. MEDDIC's C: Find your champion!
As mentioned above, if you have an internal ally, your sale is more likely to succeed. Often, this privileged contact comes naturally. But if not, here are a few things to help you identify him or her:
- Your MEDDIC champion is open and willing to provide you with information on the internal workings of their company.
- They put you in touch with stakeholders
- They put their heart and soul into their projects and company.
- They're influential
- They're so interested in your product, they are willing to act as an intermediary with decision-makers.
The limits of the MEDDIC method
The MEDDIC sales methodology can bring advantages to sales teams, but it's no panacea. In fact, it has certain limitations. Let's take a look at the drawbacks, such as they are.
When applied literally, the MEDDIC method can lead a sales team to focus solely on qualifying criteria and filling in a grid. Ultimately, the risk is that the approach is not sufficiently focused on the prospect's needs and building the trusting relationship necessary for fruitful sales.
Is MEDDIC too conceptual?
This is one of its main pitfalls. The MEDDIC framework can appear vague insofar that it doesn't necessarily take into account the full complexity of a sale.
MEDDIC doesn't provide pacing recommendations
While this approach helps you to obtain crucial data and optimise your qualification process, it is unfortunately incomplete when it comes to guidance on when exactly actions should be taken or information obtained.
You probably won't get all the data and information you need in a single exchange. When should you plan a particular discussion? And within the exchanges themselves, at what point should you broach a particular subject? Tools like sales scripts or even sales prospecting tools can help determine best timing to round out the MEDDIC sales methodology.
MEDDIC requires an investment that can be substantial
Theory is all very well, but practice is what really counts. To be successful, the method must be understood by all members of your team.
It is therefore necessary to plan sales coaching sessions and invest time and resources in implementing MEDDIC. While these investments can make the difference (think of the results the founders of MEDDIC achieved!), organisational change rarely comes easy. Thus, if you want to implement MEDDIC, be prepared for a transition process.
The evolution towards MEDDICC and MEDDPIC
Over time, the method has been improved. MEDDIC became MEDDICC and then MEDDPIC.
A second C for Competition
The second C in the acronym stands for Competitors. Here we're not talking about the prospect's competition, but yours. Your prospect is bound to be approached by one or more of your competitors.
Take a close look at what your competitors are offering and, above all, how they could generate impact during a pitch to your prospects. This will enable you to fine-tune your proposal and your sales approach.
A P for Paper Process
The decision-making process necessarily includes an administrative component, which needs to be spelled out as clearly as possible in order to anticipate potential blockages and delays in the sales process. With the addition of this step, MEDDPIC demonstrates its relevance to long, complex sales cycles.
To successfully complete this step, you and your team must study your prospect's administrative process. Don't forget to look into legal requirements too, which can vary from sector to sector. Find out about current legislation beforehand.
For your part, the administrative process must, of course, be well established.
Equip yourself with the right tools to manage your contracts and avoid delays. The slightest hiccup can cause potential customers to lose confidence in you, and reduce your chances of closing a sale.
MEDDIC and MEDDPIC: A summary
The MEDDIC sales methodology gives you a framework to help you better qualify your prospects.
Since its creation in 1996, the method has been improved to give salespeople greater precision. It is now referred to as MEDDPIC, to include the dimensions of administrative process and competition.
Nevertheless, the implementation of this method can prove complicated, as it is rather conceptual. It is therefore not uncommon for well-structured sales teams to combine it with other methods such as BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe) or the French acronym SONCAS (Security, Self-esteem, Novelty, Convenience, Price, Affinity, Ecology) to qualify their prospects more quickly.
To find out more about the tools and techniques that can help you qualify your prospects, visit our blog, where you'll find numerous articles on prospecting and possible optimizations for your sales process.
What is the difference between MEDDIC and MEDDPICC?
MEDDPIC is a more recent version of MEDDIC. MEDDPICC was revised to include a P that stands for Paper Process and a C which stands for Competition. The sales methodology was revised to take into account the complexities of long term sales cycles.
What does MEDDICC stand for?
MEDDICC stands for Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identify pain point, Champion, and Competition. MEDDICC is an evolved version of the original sales methodology MEDDIC.
What is an example of MEDDIC sales?
An example of a MEDDIC sales is using the MEDDIC sales methodology over a long-term sales cycle to better understand the prospect needs and the milestones that must be hit before the sale can be finalized.
What does Meddpic stand for?
MEDDPIC stands for Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision Process, Paper process, Implications of pain points, and Champion.
Is MEDDPICC a sales process?
MEDDPICC is a sales process methodology that evolved from the original version, called MEDDIC. MEDDPICC stands for Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision Process, Paper process, Implications of pain points, Champion, and Competition.
What is the MEDDIC qualification?
The MEDDIC sales qualification is a structured sales approach which helps qualify leads. MEDDIC includes six important elements: Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identify pain points, and Champion.