Is there a MEDDIC in the house?

When deals go wrong it’s time to send for a MEDDIC. A sales leader from Onfido shows us how.

Last month we staged our 4th Sales Confidence live event at the Salesforce Tower in London. 100 SaaS devotees gathered to hear 4 of London’s most knowledgeable founders and sales leaders share their secrets. If you couldn’t make it, we’re producing a series of articles covering all the talks, so you can still share in the knowledge.

Our last speaker was Jennifer Bers. Jennifer is VP of Sales at Onfido, a software company that helps enterprise businesses verify people’s identities. In the first part of her talk, Jennifer showed us how to encourage the rest of your company to value your sales team higher. You can read about that here. Later on, Jennifer explained what happens when deals go wrong at Onfido.

‘When deals go wrong it’s often because we didn’t really understand the decision criteria. We thought we did, but it turns out they were making a decision based on something else.’

Jennifer prescribed MEDDIC as the remedy, but she didn’t explain for the uninitiated what it was. Let’s look at that now.

What is MEDDIC?

MEDDIC is a sales methodology devised in the 1990s by Jack Napoli and Richard Dunkel. They used it to turn their company, PTC, into a $1 billion business in only 4 years.

The premise of MEDDIC is different from many other sales theories. It turns the sales process upside-down. If you’re not making sales, it may not be because you can’t pitch, overcome objections or close deals (although that could be a problem too!).

MEDDIC addresses a different problem. Deals are lost because you’re trying to sell to the wrong customers at the wrong time. You need to be selling to the right people at the right time. Once this is in place, any problems could be down to your sales technique.

The 6 components of MEDDIC

If you follow the individual letters of MEDDIC, it spells out an optimal sales process for you, as well as the questions you need to be asking your prospects and yourself to keep you on the right track.

M = Metric

  • What is the economic impact of your solution?
  • What does your customer gain from using your product or service?
  • You need to be able to put a figure on this. Does your product help them increase output? Lower costs?If so, by how much? What is the ROI for your customer?

When you attempt to sell to customers who actually have something to gain from what you have, you’re much more likely to do the deal.

E = Economic buyer

  • Who has economic responsibility for this deal?
  • Are you talking to the person who actually signs the cheques?

We’ve all been in sales situations when the people you’re selling to, who love your product, have to bring in people from higher-up to sign off the deal, and they don’t love it so much!

Top salespeople always aim to deal directly with the person who has control of the budget. It’s not always possible, but it’s worth making the effort to involve them. Don’t rely on a middleman to sell your product for you.

D = Decision criteria

  • What is their technical, vendor or financial criteria?
  • What are your prospects looking for in your product?

When you know the answers to these questions, you can make sure you show them exactly what they want to see. You have the opportunity to prove your product solves their problem.

Jennifer explained this in greater detail.

‘Be the ones to set this criteria. If you’re not setting the criteria, someone else is.’

D = Decision process

  • Once your customer has decided they want to buy, what happens next?
  • What has to happen to be able to close the deal?
  • What do validation and approval look like?

Knowing the whole story about how a deal goes through within your customer’s company stops your deal getting delayed and bogged down in paperwork. If there are conditions that need to be met, you can make sure you meet them.

I = Identify pain

  • What are your customer’s pain points?
  • What are their most important business objectives?
  • What is the problem you’re going to solve for your customer?

Time is wasted by salespeople who do this bit first before the M, E and 2 Ds. Once your foundations are in place you can find out your customer’s problem and sell your product as the remedy. Remember, put figures on everything. Never be vague.

C = Champion

  • Who will help you inside your customer’s company?
  • Will someone be an advocate for you?
  • Who in the company benefits most from your product?
  • What do they need from you to sell within their company on your behalf?

Dealing with the decision-maker is essential. However, if you can find the person who stands to benefit most from your product, you have a champion. Show them the better life your product will bring them. Get them to sell your product inside the company.

Why MEDDIC is successful

MEDDIC is a simple acronym to help you remember to gather all the information you need for a smooth, efficient sales process. It means you’re always aiming at the right target. Once you’re locked on, it’s down to you to make the sale happen.

When MEDDIC goes well, you’re not wasting time on customers who won’t or can’t buy. Your percentage of deals closed goes way up. It also helps you forecast revenues more accurately and keep your pipeline free of clutter.

MEDDIC or Plant The Flag?

There are a lot of similarities with the ‘Plant the Flag’ sales process we talked about in a recent article. Both are about being super clear on what your customer wants before you expend energy trying to sell to them. Both are about minimising the risk of getting bogged down in bureaucracy. Both have the potential to bring success to your sales operation.

Over to you now. Do you follow the MEDDIC methodology in your sales team? Maybe you’d like to share another sales process with the Sales Confidence community? Let us know by leaving a comment.

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