We're building what feels like the deal of the year. We've mapped out everything - you'd think we were planning a mission to space.
Team roles, check. Project scope, nailed. Timelines, aligned. Budget, healthy. Staffing, finalized. Everything was coming together. Our stars were aligning just as the ground beneath us started shifting.
It turns out, the buyer we were pouring all of our time and energy into was more like a local tour guide than a true decision-maker. He didn't actually have the funds to do any of this work, he just "knew where to go ask." Which he did, but by that time we were too late. We missed what the customer actually wanted. It was like making it all the way to the gates of El Dorado only to discover we forgot the key back at camp.
But, upon reflection, we shouldn't have gone so far down that road to begin with. We failed to identify the Economic Buyer and true Decision Process in the deal. As mad as I wanted to be at our customer, I had no moral high ground. It was my fault.
In today's business climate, where sales tactics are more improvisation than choreography, structured methodologies are not just useful - they're vital. Our customers are evolving, becoming meticulous evaluators and risk-averse spenders. If we don't refine our approach accordingly, we don't just risk stagnation, we're on the fast track to obsolescence.
If you are reading this far, you've probably experienced this in your own career or know someone who has. So, how do we retroactively do our past selves a favor while future-proofing our existing sales playbook? The MEDDPICC qualification framework serves as both a rearview mirror and a GPS, guiding us through the landscape of modern sales.
MEDDPICC @ 30,000 ft.
MEDDPICC is a sales methodology and qualification framework designed to help teams evaluate and pursue high-value opportunities more effectively and consistently. The key to sustainable revenue growth lies in creating consistent processes. MEDDPICC will ensure your sellers maximize their chances of success by only focusing on real opportunities.
It’s easy to think of rainmakers as King Midas, turning everything they touch into gold. In fact, true rainmakers are picky. They only bother touching golden things. -Mo Bunnell
- Metrics: What are the quantifiable measures that your solution will provide? Prioritize your customers' KPIs and business objectives.
- Economic Buyer: Who has overall authority in the buying decision? Who can say "no" even when everyone else says "yes"?
- Decision Criteria: What are the various criteria by which your solution will be judged? Understand the lenses through which your solution will be scrutinized (cost, functionality, etc.)
- Decision Process: What is the labyrinth of decision-making within the buyer's organization? How does each step progress?
- Paper Process: What is the process to go from decision to signature? Don't underestimate the power of red tape. Deals collapse here all the time, despite human agreement.
- Implicating the Pain: What stings so much that the customer will consider taking action? Show how their pain ties to business costs and make it urgent.
- Champion: Who are the people with real power, influence, and credibility within the organization? These are the people that will advocate for you when you aren't in the room.
- Competition: What is competing for the same resources as you? It’s not just your direct rivals; it's also other projects, initiatives, and even inertia - doing nothing.
Applying MEDDPICC to Your Sales Process
You need more than just a list of leads and a group of hungry sellers to generate revenue; you need a roadmap to navigate each opportunity wisely. That's where MEDDPICC comes in. It sharpens your sales strategy, helping you focus on the deals that actually matter.
"It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at your highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential." -Greg McKeown
Let's dive into a typical 5-stage sales process, and see how adding a pinch of MEDDPICC can make each stage better. Remember, each company's process is a bit unique. Take what serves you, and leave what doesn't.
- Lead Development: Identify, research, and contact prospects.
- Discovery: Uncover and diagnose pain points. Qualify the deal.
- Solution: Create a solution and business case for their problem.
- Proposal: Create a proposal outlining details. Negotiate final terms.
- Close: Turn the handshake into ink on paper. No loose ends.
- MIC Focus: Metrics, Implicating the Pain, Champion
- Action Steps:
- Identify the prospects' key business metrics and how your solution impacts them. Get obsessively clear on the ROI.
- Have discovery conversations to uncover their true pain points. Don't accept surface-level problems. Dig deeper.
- What are the reasons behind their pain? Cost, Process, Human?
- Map out all the players and their agendas. Who are the mobilizers and blockers? Who influences decisions behind the scenes?
- Experience the product, go to the stores, buy something online - put yourself in the shoes of your customer's customer.
- EDI Focus: Implicating the Pain, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria
- Action Steps:
- Structure your discovery meetings around their pain points. Let them vent frustrations before you ever pitch.
- Use organizational charts and backchannel conversations to uncover the economic buyer. Don't assume titles equal authority.
- Ask curious questions to uncover their decision criteria. Let them explain what good looks like rather than telling them.
- Instead of asking what they need, ask them what they would need to avoid in a solution. This can provide a different lens to view their priorities.
- MDP Focus: Metrics, Decision Process, Paper Process
- Action Steps:
- Illustrate how your solution moves the metrics that matter most to them. Laser focus on their KPIs.
- Challenge as needed, focusing on how the product or solution impacts their business.
- Map out their decision process and timelines. Who needs to bless what and when? Sync with their cadences.
- Do you have any success stories or references that may help?
- Learn their procurement processes early. Don't get blindsided by bureaucracy during papering. Time is precious.
- If feasible, develop a simple model to predict how changes in various metrics can impact the customer’s ROI. This adds a data-driven dimension to your pitch.
- DC Focus: Decision Criteria, Competition
- Action Steps:
- Frame your solution around their decision criteria. Address each concern directly.
- Know what you're up against. Battle test against competitors. Turn weaknesses into strengths.
- Know what the default path is and know how you will address the "do nothing" option.
- EP Focus: Economic Buyer, Paper Process, Champion
- Action Steps:
- Keep the economic buyer front and center through close. Maintain alignment on value.
- Ensure Champions are armed with information and context.
- Shepherd the contract through proper channels on their end. Don't drop the ball before signatures.
- Provide high-touch support after the fact to avoid buyer's remorse.
- Create a one-page executive summary your Champions and Economic Buyer can use to sell your solution internally.
- Offer a 30-60-90 day outline of what implementation and success will look like. This shows you’re thinking beyond the sale.
Navigating the intricacies of modern sales requires more than instinct; it demands a robust, reliable framework. That's where MEDDPICC comes in. This qualification model isn't just a sales tool—it's an essential strategic asset for any team committed to sustainable revenue growth.
By implementing MEDDPICC, you bring discipline and focus to your sales process, ensuring that time and resources are invested in genuinely viable opportunities. It serves as a comprehensive roadmap, guiding your team through each deal's complexities while zeroing in on critical factors like the economic buyer and decision criteria.
This isn't merely about sales enablement; it's about business transformation. So, as you consider optimizing your sales strategies, make MEDDPICC a cornerstone. Your future self, not to mention your bottom line, will thank you.
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