MEDDIC sales methodology: 6 stages to boost B2B sales success
Raise your hand if this sounds familiar…
You've worked hard to become the best sales rep you can be. You're the first one in the office and the last one out. You've read every sales book there is and spent good money on high-end courses. But, for some reason, your sales numbers aren't where you want them to be.
Here's the good news: you're not a terrible salesperson. In all likelihood, you're just selling to the wrong people. The MEDDIC sales methodology can help with that.
In this guide, we'll explain what the MEDDIC sales methodology is, why it's beneficial to reps like you, how to implement this sales strategy, and a whole lot more, including:
- What is the MEDDIC sales methodology?
- How the MEDDIC sales process works
- 6 stages of the MEDDIC sales approach
- MEDDIC sales process advantages and disadvantages
- 24 MEDDIC sales model questions
- How to master the MEDDIC sales process at your company
- Close more deals with the MEDDIC sales methodology
What is the MEDDIC sales methodology?
The MEDDIC sales methodology is a framework of questions that B2B sales professionals can use to qualify prospects, build relationships, and close deals more efficiently.
The acronym stands for Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identify pain, and Champion. Each letter represents a different stage in the qualification process.
MEDDIC was developed in the 1990s by the folks at Parametric Technology Corporation, better known as PTC. With it, the company was able to grow from $300 million in annual revenue to over $1 billion in annual revenue in just four years.
How the MEDDIC sales process works
One of the best things about the MEDDIC sales method is how straightforward it is. I've always been a big proponent of keeping things simple in sales.
Sales reps simply ask their prospects a series of questions. The answers they get back help them qualify prospects, identify opportunities, and decide how to proceed.
Here's an example:
Jim sells high-priced widgets for Company XYZ. He recently connected with a potential customer, but before he invests too much time into the relationship, he decides to qualify the prospect. To do so, Jim uses the MEDDIC sales methodology—good thinking, Jim.
The first stage in the MEDDIC sales methodology is "Metrics". So, Jim knows that he needs to ask his prospect about the metrics they care about. He gets on the phone and fires away, "Hi, Mr. Prospect, what goals do you hope to achieve once you buy this kind of widget?"
The prospect replies, "I want to accomplish ABC."
Jim knows that his company's widgets are specifically designed to help companies do ABC. As such, he knows he can help Mr. Prospect and moves on to stage two, "Economic Buyer".
"Tell me, Mr. Prospect, who makes buying decisions at your company?"
Jim continues to go through each stage of the MEDDIC sales process, asking Mr. Prospect questions to figure out if he's a good fit for the widgets Jim sells. If he is, Jim will deliver his sales pitch. If he isn't, Jim will move on to another prospect before he wastes any more time.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the MEDDIC sales approach, let's dive deeper. In the next section, we'll explain what happens at each stage of this process.
6 stages of the MEDDIC sales approach
There are six stages in the MEDDIC sales process—one for each letter in the acronym.
To use this sales qualification framework, you'll need to guide your prospects through each stage. But you can't do that until you understand what each stage entails.
Don't worry, it's actually pretty simple…
Stage 1: Metrics
What goal(s) does your potential customer want to achieve? And how will they measure success? Put another way, what metrics will they use to evaluate your solution?
When you know the answers to these questions, you can determine if your product is a good fit for your prospect. If it is, you can frame the benefits of your product in a way that you know they will appreciate.
You can say, "I see you want to do ABC. Our product is specifically designed to help users do that. In fact, it's been proven to boost results in this area by XYZ percent!"
Stage 2: Economic buyer
Who has the power to make purchases? Is it the person you're currently talking to? Their boss? Their boss's boss? Maybe it's an entire team of people.
Do your best to talk to the actual decision-maker when possible. If the actual decision-maker is unavailable to you, consult your contact. Ask them about the decision-maker so that you can learn about his or her general mindset, expectations, and priorities.
When you understand these things, you'll be able to pitch your company's products in a way that appeals to the buyer's Economic Buyer's emotions, which will help you make sales.
Stage 3: Decision criteria
How does your prospect evaluate potential purchases? In all likelihood, they're comparing your solution to those offered by competing brands. How will they decide which one to buy?
When you know what your prospect's unique decision criteria are, you can adjust your sales pitch and highlight the things that affect purchase decisions the most.
Typical decision criteria include ease of use, price, and potential ROI. Your prospect may have other criteria, though, so make sure you ask during the MEDDIC sales process.
Stage 4: Decision process
What internal processes does your prospect use to make company purchases? Which team members need to be involved? What steps do said team members need to go through? And how long will all of this take? The simplest way to do this is to simply ask the prospect: "What will it take for you to become a customer?" This is one of the most powerful questions you can ask a prospect at this stage in the sales process. I've talked about this many times before:
When you know what your prospect's decision process looks like, you can follow along. That way, if the sale stalls, you'll know exactly where it stalled and can work to un-stall it.
Stage 5: Identify pain
Every legitimate prospect has pain points. If they didn't, they wouldn't be a prospect. This stage in the MEDDIC sales framework will help you identify the specific pain your prospect is dealing with. What problem are they hoping to solve with your product?
When you understand your prospect's pain, you can customize your sales pitch to describe all of the ways that your product relieves these kinds of pain.
Encourage your prospects to open up and be specific about the pain they're dealing with.
If they struggle to maintain sales productivity, ask them how much time they lose on a daily basis. If their website traffic is down, ask them how much revenue the lost traffic costs them. Specificity will make it easier for you to tailor your pitch to your prospect's needs.
Stage 6: Champion
Your champion is an influential person who works for the company you're trying to sell to. In many cases, they'll be the person that will benefit most from your offerings. Because of this, they'll probably be one of your strongest advocates.
B2B sales is MUCH easier with a champion. Why? Because B2B sales cycles are often lengthy. Your champion will help keep your solution at the forefront of decision-makers' minds, preventing sales from stagnating. This is incredibly valuable!
Just make sure you choose the right champion. This person should be respected within their company and be able to influence buying decisions, even if they can't make them themselves.
MEDDIC sales process advantages and disadvantages
Now that you understand what the MEDDIC sales methodology is and how it works, let's talk about the advantages and disadvantages it presents.
Advantages of the MEDDIC sales model
We're an optimistic bunch, so we'll start with advantages. (Note: there are more advantages than what we've outlined here. But these are the most important ones.)
MEDDIC simplifies the sales process
We won't lie, the MEDDIC sales methodology takes work. (See below.)
Here's the good news: you'll never have to ask yourself, "What should I work on next?" You'll just ask your prospects questions that correlate to each stage of the MEDDIC sales process.
Because of this, MEDDIC is often recommended for entry-level sales reps.
Think back to your first quarter in sales. You had no idea what you were doing. In fact, you probably spent more time wondering how to make sales than you did actually making them. The MEDDIC sales approach is one framework for helping new reps become successful faster! MEDDIC allows reps to gather quality information that they can turn into sales.
High-level sales teams are all about the data.
The MEDDIC sales methodology will help you collect the prospect information you need, which you can then store in your CRM of choice.
Think about it: to make this sales approach work, you have to ask your prospects questions. The answers you get back will shine a light on your target audience, reveal potential gaps in your sales strategy, and help you forecast future results more accurately.
MEDDIC saves sales pros time and boosts revenue
The MEDDIC sales process has productivity and monetary benefits, too.
How many hours have you wasted on bad-fit prospects? More than you'd like to admit, right? The MEDDIC approach minimizes these occurrences via qualification questions that weed out tire kickers, price hagglers, and other less-than-desirable leads.
By focusing your energy on your best opportunities, you'll boost your productivity levels, which, in turn, will help you close more deals and generate more revenue.
Disadvantages of the MEDDIC sales model
The MEDDIC sales method isn't always ideal. You may want to stay away from this approach if you sell low-ticket items, for example, because it requires a significant amount of sales resources—resources you likely don't want or need to spend.
MEDDIC takes a lot of work
Asking a series of qualifications questions is harder than just making a sales pitch and hoping it resonates with your audience. Are you prepared to put in the extra work?
Don't worry, this disadvantage is offset by the fact that, while labor-intensive, asking qualification questions results in more sales. Why? Because you won't waste valuable time on bad-fit prospects that won't buy your products, as mentioned earlier.
Still, be prepared to put in extra effort if you implement a MEDDIC sales strategy.
MEDDIC requires clear organization
The MEDDIC sales methodology requires accurate documentation for each lead in your pipeline, too. Again, this makes the process more labor-intensive than other sales strategies.
Before adopting the MEDDIC sales model, commit to cataloging the answers to your qualifying questions, tracking each of your leads as they progress through your sales pipeline, and running sales forecast reports on a regular basis.
24 MEDDIC sales model questions
We've talked a lot about "qualifying questions" in this Ultimate Guide to the MEDDIC Sales Methodology. What we haven't really talked about is which qualifying questions to ask.
Let's change that. Here are 24 questions to ask your prospects:
The "Metrics" step
What does your prospect want to achieve with your product and/or service? Maybe they want to drive more traffic to their website. Or get more done in less time. Or boost their conversion rates. Whatever it is, you can find out by asking questions like:
- What goals do you want this product/service to help you achieve?
- How will you track your progress towards those goals?
- How will you measure the overall success of your investment in this product/service?
The "Economic buyer" step
Who has the power to make buying decisions at the company you're selling to? This is the person you need to get in touch with. Learn this important detail by asking questions like:
- Who has the ability to make final purchasing decisions?
- How do we get this person involved in the sales process?
- Does the Economic Buyer need to see the product before he/she approves it?
- What does success with this product/service look like to the Economic Buyer?
The "Decision criteria" step
Every company has an internal checklist it goes through before investing in a product or service. This is known as their "decision criteria" and includes things like price point and potential ROI. To figure out the decision criteria for your prospects, ask them questions like:
8. What's most important to you when making purchasing decisions?
9. How can I convince you that our products/services are the best fit for you?
10. How do you plan to calculate ROI if you invest in our products/services?
11. Do you have a specific budget in mind for this kind of product/service?
The "Decision process" step
Once you know your prospect's decision criteria, you can learn their decision process, i.e. the steps said prospect needs to take to make a purchase. Ask questions like:
12. What steps do you need to take to make a final decision?
13. Are there any other people that need to be involved in this process?
14. What kind of paperwork do we need to complete?
15. When do you expect to make a final decision? (AKA - What's your timeline?)
16. What can I do to make this process as smooth as possible for you?
The "Identify pain" step
Your prospect has a problem. Your job is to figure out what that problem is and how your products and/or services can solve it. The only way to do that is to ask questions like:
17. Do you know what the root cause of your problem is?
18. How does this problem affect your company's bottom line?
19. What would happen if you didn't solve this problem for your company?
20. How valuable would it be to you if our product/service solved this problem?
The "Champion" step
The "Champion" stage is all about finding a partner within the company you're attempting to sell to. Someone that will benefit from your products and/or services and truly advocate for them.
To find this person, you need to ask yourself questions like:
21. Who in this company will get the most benefit out of our product/services?
22. Can this person accurately explain the benefits of our offerings to others?
23. Is this person respected and able to influence buying decisions for their company?
24. How will I know if this person acts like a real champion for our brand?
How to master the MEDDIC sales process at your company
"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect." - Vince Lombardi
To master the MEDDIC sales methodology, you have to practice. Guide your next prospect through each of the six stages we talked about. Ask them pointed questions that help uncover their goals, processes, and pain points. Then do it again with the next prospect.
While you practice, keep the following three things in mind. That way you can practice perfectly.
Understand your buyer personas
You can't qualify prospects—even with the MEDDIC sales methodology—without a deep understanding of your ideal customers.
This is why every sales department should have buyer persons that explain who their ideal customers are, the goals these people have, the things they struggle with on a daily basis, and the ways their products and/or services help customers overcome challenges.
So, before you start walking prospects through the MEDDIC sales stages, make sure you study your buyer personas to understand who's worth your time.
(Note: If you don't have buyer personas, create them ASAP.)
Review common objections to sales
The MEDDIC sales approach is proactive. As such, reps that use this methodology are often hit with a barrage of sales objections. You need to make sure you're prepared for them.
Prospects will think that your prices are too high, that adopting your solution will be too much of a hassle, and that the ROI potential of your offering is unrealistic. How are you going to overcome these objections? Create a game plan now, before you engage with prospects.
Here's what we suggest: scan through your CRM and identify common reasons why past deals fell through. Then devise ways to overcome them.
Do prospects complain about price? Show them how much more money your product can help them make. Are prospects worried that switching solutions will be a hassle? Offer them your company's complete onboarding service at a slightly discounted rate.
Every salesperson deals with objections. To succeed with the MEDDIC sales methodology, plan ways to render your most common objections null and void.
Evaluate your MEDDIC sales process
Finally, take a look at the data.
Is the MEDDIC sales approach working for you? If not, figure out why. Maybe it's because you haven't fully committed to the process. Maybe it's because you're asking too many of the wrong questions. Or maybe it's something else.
You need to figure out where things go wrong and why. That way you can fix them.
If the MEDDIC sales strategy is working, look for ways to make it work even better. There's always room for improvement. Optimize your sales processes for greater results.
Close more deals with the MEDDIC sales methodology
The MEDDIC sales methodology has the potential to supercharge your sales process.
Once you adopt this approach, you'll be able to thoroughly qualify leads, which, in turn, will help you focus on the right prospects and close deals at a more consistent clip.
Just remember, to succeed with MEDDIC, you need a strong work ethic and organizational skills. We can't make you work harder—that's on you. But we can help you stay organized with our powerful and agile CRM, that you can easily custom-tailor to your own sales process: Whether that's MEDDIC or another sales process.
Close is the all-in-one CRM for growing sales teams. With it, you'll be able to easily catalog information and move prospects from one MEDDIC sales stage to the next.
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