Pros and cons of the MEDDIC sales qualification process
The MEDDIC sales process is not the only option when choosing a methodology to guide your sales reps. Solution selling, SPIN selling, and BANT are just a few of the alternatives that sales leaders can select instead.
So, which one should you choose? That’s entirely dependent on your company’s goals, the complexity of the sales cycle, and your available resources. Exploring the pros and cons of the MEDDIC sale qualification process can help you decide if this framework aligns with your needs.
These are the top 3 advantages of adopting the MEDDIC methodology:
- Save time, effort, and resources by qualifying leads, addressing customer pain points, and delivering pitches to the right people when needed.
- Improve your sales team’s ability to accurately forecast sales outcomes and manage the sales pipeline from start to finish.
- Build stronger customer relationships for lasting connections that significantly boost customer lifetime value and return on investment.
These are the main disadvantages of using MEDDIC:
- Doesn’t work well for all types of sales situations, like low-ticket items or quick transactions.
- Initially feels overly complex or time consuming to sales reps new to the framework, making it feel daunting to integrate into their workflow.
- Often requires extra effort to qualify leads, especially if your salespeople don’t have buyer personas guiding them to your ideal target customers.
Often, you need to put the sales strategy into action before truly deciding if it will work for your company. You can do that without shaking things up too much by having a couple of your salespeople try it out first.
How sales teams can use the MEDDIC framework
Understanding the MEDDIC process is one thing, but actually using it is a whole different story. You’ll need to push aside other sales methodologies to weave these new steps into your business’s sales funnel. How this works differs for every team. MEDDIC sales training can help, but in most cases, the transition involves adopting the following best practices.
Weave metrics into the sales pitch to share your product’s value
Many sales teams aim to highlight product features above all else. Although that’s an important step, getting the customer to envision how your solution can help them achieve their goals will capture their attention much better.
Quantifying their potential gains with specific metrics is the key to making that happen. Not just any metrics will do, however. You need the ones the buyer will consider when they are deciding if your solution meets their needs.
So, think about what would make your customer want to pay for your solution. What kind of return on investment can they expect to get? Then, roll out the metrics that paint their picture of success.
Depending on your customer’s needs, the metrics may look like:
- Expand the active user base by 20% within 1 quarter
- Reduce operational costs by 25% within 6 months
- Boost sales conversions by 30% over the next quarter
- Lower customer churn rate by 15% within the year
- Grow monthly recurring revenue by 35% by year-end
Don’t go overboard here. You want to highlight the customer’s potential wins with laser focus to keep them from feeling overwhelmed.
If you do that successfully, it’ll help them see you as a partner in their success.
Engage with the economic buyer throughout the sales cycle
Budget is everything when it comes to making a sale. If the money’s not there, nothing you say will make it appear. How are you supposed to know what budget your customers are working with? You could ask directly but finding the economic buyer and directing your sales pitches to them is usually better.
The economic buyer is the person with the buying power. As a senior executive, they have in-depth knowledge of the company’s profits and losses and the responsibility to maintain the profitability of the organization. They can stop the deal instantly, even when everyone on their team welcomes your solution with open arms.
Finding the economic buyer can be challenging. If you’re lucky, asking your primary contact to direct you their way will work like a charm.
Sometimes, you may need to research the company on its website, LinkedIn, and other channels to see who’s in charge of purchasing.
Once you identify the economic buyer, get to know their priorities and expectations before launching into the sales pitch. The better you understand their mindset, the easier it will be to identify metrics that match their needs and create a personalized pitch.
Outline the decision criteria likely used by the sales prospect
The potential benefits of your product are just one piece of the puzzle as customers weigh your solution against their other options.
Numerous other factors shape their decision and set the decision criteria framework for evaluating purchases. Economic buyers rarely write out the criteria in a checklist, but you can bet that they’re mentally checking off each one while hearing the sales pitch or demoing the product.
Every company uses unique decision criteria that typically vary depending on the product. For example, when considering a new cloud storage solution, the economic buyer may assess if it offers seamless migration tools for their current data. When shopping for communication tools, they’ll see whether the tools support multiple platforms, like mobile and desktop. Other decision criteria might be more general, like pricing and ease of use.
You’re unlikely to get the economic buyer to share every aspect of their decision criteria. But a little critical thinking can get you most of the way there. Use what you know about businesses in their industry and any goals the customer has shared to figure it out.
If you’re using the MEDDICC framework, this is where competitor research may come into play. Customers compare products and look at their features, benefits, and drawbacks with their decision criteria in mind. So, you should, too.
Upon getting a good idea of what they’re thinking while considering the purchase, use that information to position your products as their ideal solution. For the best results, don’t be shy about sharing how your product stands above the rest in all their focus areas.
Expedite the decision process with a personalized sales strategy
The economic buyer has the power to close the deal, but what steps must they take to do that? Perhaps they must first bounce the solution and its associated paperwork to the legal department. Or maybe they plan to compile all the potential solutions and present them at an executive meeting before picking the best one.
Whatever the case, you can significantly benefit from knowing how their decision process works. Understanding their steps and timelines allows you to follow along and offer support at every turn. Your attention to detail and responsiveness will go a long way in showing your commitment and building trust.
The only real way to get to know the customer’s decision-making process is by asking them to walk you through their typical buying process. For additional insights, ask about any barriers that could get in the way of adopting a new solution for their company. Remember to pinpoint an ideal timeline for each step and the overall process.
Use the buying process and timeline to create a sales strategy for a tailored approach that impresses the buyer. Show up when they need you most, then let your actions speak for themselves. For example, if they plan on presenting solutions at an upcoming meeting, offer a presentation deck or demo they can showcase.
If the MEDDPICC framework is in play, create a strategy for the paper process at this stage. Decide how you will provide documentation, handle contractual negotiations, and what preapproved concessions you can offer if pushback occurs.
Identify pain points to highlight how your product can help
Knowing what’s holding the customer back from achieving success can ensure you will always present your product as their ideal solution. These pain points usually fall into 1 of 3 categories: finances, efficiency, or people. They’re the things that keep the business from growing year over year and reaching its full potential.
Pain points differ for each organization. It’s also common for pain points to change as the company expands its operations, adds new products, or improves its market position. The solutions that worked previously may not solve the emerging pain points, leaving the customer looking for something better.
As with decision criteria, identifying pain points takes research. Use anything your customer has shared about their needs and goals as a starting point. Then, complete competitor research to identify common challenges in the industry. Explore the market by attending webinars, reading forums and blogs, and looking at reviews for the company and its competitors.
Write down every pain point, then arrange them from most to least serious. Reflect on how your product can solve those pain points better than your competitors ever could. Tie the benefits back to the metrics that matter to create a well-rounded sales pitch personalized to the customer’s needs.
Find a champion for your sales qualification framework
There’s nothing more powerful than having someone in your prospect’s company vouching for your products; they are your champion for the cause. In some cases, this person could be the economic buyer, but more often than not, it’s someone else in the organization, like a team leader.
The champion’s opinion can heavily influence the buying process, especially if they could directly benefit from using your solution to relieve key pain points. Moreover, their desire to resolve the problem keeps them pushing for the purchase, maintaining focus on your company through even the longest sales cycles.
Finding a champion usually involves some extra effort. Although you want to work directly with the economic buyer, it’s often a good idea to interact with multiple stakeholders in some way during the sales cycle. Look for people who show genuine interest in your products or express excitement about how your solution can address their challenges.
As you do that, identify the people with the most influence on the buyer. Then, boldly ask if they’re willing to champion your solution. Although you could leave this up to chance, asking directly is much more effective. Stay in touch with your champion through the sales cycle to address concerns and get updates.
Five tips for successfully using the MEDDIC sales process
The MEDDIC sales process can help high-performing sales teams close deals like never before, but it’s only as good as its implementation. If you want to make the most of it, aim to get the basics right and be open to refinement along the way. Here are some tips to help you make that happen.
Switch to MEDDICC or MEDDPICC if needed
MEDDIC is a proven sales strategy, but it doesn’t work perfectly for every sales team. If you’re not getting the desired results, switching to MEDDICC or MEDDPICC instead might make sense.
MEDDPICC can serve you well if you’re in a highly competitive field saturated with solutions similar to your own. Keeping the competitive landscape in mind lets you pinpoint what makes your product unique and better share that message with your prospects.
On the other hand, MEDDPICC might be a better choice if your sales funnel continuously gets jammed with paperwork. This framework can help you effectively navigate working with customers bogged down by stringent legal requirements and procurement protocols.
Prioritize MEDDIC sales training for your team
Your salespeople undoubtedly already have their process to follow in interacting with customers and closing deals. Introducing MEDDIC can throw them off course and tank their productivity if they’re not adequately prepared for the change.
To help them get ready for this major switch, set up MEDDIC sales training from the start. The training sessions should help them learn the framework and level up their sales skills bit by bit. For even better results, you can incentivize continued training that covers even more complex sales scenarios and challenges.