If there’s one thing sales leaders love, it’s a good framework or methodology.
Methodologies and frameworks make it so the whole team has the same point of reference when talking about each deal. This makes it easier to forecast and scale. A methodology provides the guiding principles for onboarding and training new reps, giving them a holistic education of the defining moments in the buying cycle.
But not all frameworks or methodologies are created equal – and not all work for your unique sales process.
Could MEDDPICC be the right fit to train and coach your team? Let’s find out.
What is MEDDPICC?
MEDDPICC stands for:
MEDDPICC covers everything from the numbers, to the pain points, and is one of the most comprehensive sales methodologies out there.
Here’s a deeper dive into each letter of the acronym:
What’s the hard ROI the buyer is looking for? What metrics in their business are they trying to influence by purchasing this product or solution?
Talking numbers helps the buyer quantify the outcome they’re hoping for, and helps the seller speak directly to the value they can provide.
The economic buyer is the person who’s going to sign the contract and release the funds to make the sale happen.
Sellers always want to try to meet or at least know who controls the budget as soon as possible in the sales process, so they can tailor their approach accordingly.
What’s a dealbreaker? What’s a must-have? What’s a nice-to-have?
Sellers must understand the hard facts and features buyers are looking for when they purchase a particular product.
What’s the path to a final decision?
This step is about figuring out when, who, and how the purchasing decision will be made.
Legal: the common denominator of stalled deals.
Avoid derailing your forecast by figuring out in advance what the paperwork process is, so redlines don’t wreck your quarter.
If metrics help you make the rational argument to buy, the identified pain helps you make the emotional case for a change.
The only reason your prospect is going to purchase your solution is if there’s real friction in their personal role or in the larger scheme of things internally. In this step, sellers dig into the underlying driving forces behind the “why.”
A seller’s champion is the person who stands to gain the most from this purchase, and so will fight for it to happen. You also might notice they’re the most engaged in the selling process.
But if it’s not obvious who the champion is, it’s important to find them as you make connections in the company. This is who you’ll want to spend a significant amount of time educating and engaging with throughout the course of the deal.
You need to know who you’re up against it – it helps you sell your strengths and address weak points before they become a point of contention.
Even if a company isn’t considering a direct competitor, the additional alternative to purchasing your product is just…not buying anything at all. So knowing what to fight against with your messaging (even if it’s just the status quo) is key.
By covering all this ground, MEDDPICC should help sellers build credibility with their buyers, and help the buyers arrive at a more holistic understanding of their own needs.
MEDDIC vs. MEDDICC vs. MEDDPICC
MEDDPICC isn’t new, but maybe you’re used to a different acronym.
There are two other versions of this acronym that are simpler, but are based on the same framework.
MEDDIC is the first, and it stands for: Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and Champion.
Then, another slightly more complex version is MEDDICC, which is the same as MEDDIC but includes the final C – Competition.
The story behind the different variations is simple. MEDDIC was initially created in 1995. In that time period, there were vastly fewer technology options available for purchase, so “competition” was less of a factor.
Also, purchasing technology didn’t involve the in-depth security and legal reviews it does today, so “paper process” wasn’t as critical to understand.
Read more about the history of the MEDDIC framework here.
“Regardless of the type of organization, big or small, complex or simple, they can benefit from understanding a flavor of this methodology.”
However, the variations of which MEDD+ to use more specifically depends on who you’re selling to, and the size of your internal team.
On MEDDIC, David says, “Great for companies with faster-moving sales processes, little to no legal requirements, and where most deals are single-threaded without a need for a champion.” If your team is selling small deals directly to owners, MEDDIC is a good choice.
What about MEDDICC, the version that includes “competition?” David says this version is perfect for companies that have more complex deals, but simple legal processes. Once the business decides to buy something they can fairly quickly without too many legal hurdles.
MEDDPICC is designed for complex enterprise-level deals, with lengthy (and potentially difficult) legal processes.
“The addition of the P is for Paper Process which isolates legal/procurement from the buying process as its own unique area to track. Doing this in enterprise deals helps someone increase forecast accuracy, as once the business decides to buy something, it could still take months to get a signature,” says David.
Pros and Cons of MEDDPICC
What’s the point of using a methodology like MEDDPICC to analyze and score your deals, and outline a process for your reps?
Here are the top advantages to using MEDDPICC:
Improved deal qualification: Identify the right opportunities and avoid wasting resources on unqualified leads. MEDDPICC is often viewed as a lead qualification tool.
Enhanced sales forecasting: Gain more accurate insights into the pipeline and predict revenue more effectively.
Effective stakeholder management: Identify decision-makers, understand their needs, and build strong relationships.
Improved collaboration and alignment: Enables cross-functional teams to work together towards a common goal.
Enhanced customer understanding: Develop a deeper understanding of customer pain points, priorities, and decision-making criteria.
What’s the downside?
Here are the top disadvantages to using MEDDPICC:
Time and resource-intensive: Requires commitment and effort to fully implement. This involves significant resources from sales enablement teams.
Potential for rigidity: May need adaptation to suit specific business environments or sales cycles. Not useful in every case.
Difficult to remember and adopt: There’s a learning curve to knowing each stage of MEDDPICC and naturally working to uncover the answers.
Poor threat diagnosis: Steve Dickerman, Founder and CEO of Sangria, says, “MEDDPICC is great for strengths and weaknesses but does a poor job diagnosing opportunities and threats. Buyer/seller projects don’t exist in a vacuum, and the MEDDPICC methodology doesn’t address the external stakeholders and forces that ultimately determine project success.”
5 tips to making MEDDPICC work in your sales process
How do you get started with MEDDPICC? The experts weigh in with these five recommendations:
#1: Educate before you implement
Peter Mollins, Chief Marketing Officer at SetSail, has over 20 years of experience training up go-to-market teams and says weakness in this area leads to weakness everywhere.
"Too often sales methodologies and frameworks get put into place without a solid understanding of how they function by the people that will use them the most -- the reps. The result is that there can be a wide range of quality of inputs -- with some reps being more complete, consistent, and accurate, while others less so.
That can erode the ability of leaders to leverage the framework. because they can't rely on the quality of the inputted information. Effective training up front and automation of data collection can solve this challenge."
#2: Get accurate sales data
David Weiss says data completeness and data accuracy are critical.
“The devil is always in the details. Surface level data on areas of MEDDPICC lead to false senses of security and forecast accuracy. By looking at data not as a ‘check the box,’ but as a starting point to go deeper, we can make sense of the data and use it to drive actions that lead to a full understanding.”
David uses a color-coding system to determine MEDDPICC sales data quality. “Red is I don't have the information or very little. Yellow is I have some information but there is misalignment, or the client hasn't validated the things I think I know. Green is client-side validation and full alignment/involvement of the buying team.”
Steve Dickerman agrees.
“Great applications of MEDDPICC are data driven. MEDDPICC is about working with a buyer to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your project. Build your project on data and objective criteria instead of gut feelings.
Data clearly defines targets, and executing against clearly defined targets is the best way to build momentum and trust in a buyer-seller relationship.”
Gathering all of the data needed to satisfy MEDDPICC-related questions can be time-consuming. Vince Beese, 3X CRO, and Founder & CEO of Sales@Scale advocates for making data accessible, easy to input, and most importantly – making sure sales managers reference it once it’s in place.
“When you incorporate your sales process in CRM and use it as a single source for input, it becomes a great tool for both sellers and managers. The trick is to make it user-friendly for the seller by cutting down on manual input and using the data in 1:1s and pipeline reviews for coaching.”
#3: Set realistic time frames for each MEDDPICC step
Normand Chevrette, President & CEO at CME Corp., recognizes the fact that sellers can’t rush the buying cycle – but setting thoughtful timelines and doing your best to adhere to them puts structure around the sales process.
“Set realistic timelines and milestones for each stage of the MEDDPICC process to maintain momentum and focus. Break down complicated processes into more manageable steps with clear timeframes. You must also allocate sufficient time for research, analysis, and decision-making. However, be flexible enough to adjust timelines and avoid excessive delays.”
#4: Tailor MEDDPICC as needed for larger, complex deals
No sales methodology is one-size-fits-all.
For larger deals with many complicated hoops to jump through, it’s critical to alter MEDDPICC as needed (or adjust timelines and key steps) to integrate your selling approach with the way your prospect account wants to buy.
#5: Make it all about the buyer
Steve Dickerman says at the end of the day, MEDDPICC isn’t just a sales framework to copy and paste. It’s about getting the buyer to look in the mirror at what’s truly important to them.
“MEDDPICC should be entirely focused on helping a buyer better understand their own needs and process. It isn’t an exercise in persuasion, and it isn’t a sales process. Instead, it’s about successfully laying the foundation for an internal evaluation.”
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