Whether it’s MEDDIC, MEDPICC, or some other combination of d, i, and c, the fundamental idea is the same: a strategic sales methodology that helps teams qualify and close deals better and faster.
What does MEDDIC stand for?
MEDDIC stands for metrics, economic buyer, decision criteria, decision process, implicate the pain, champion.
But that’s not where the story ends … We’ve seen the already pretty hefty acronym get taken even further:
- MEDDIC – original (that is a big acronym)
- MEDDPIC – the P was introduced (ok….)
- MEDDPICC – an additional C was added (holy wow, is it going to keep on getting bigger?)
What does MEDDPICC stand for?
MEDDPIC stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Paper Process, Implicate the Pain, Champion, Competition.
That’s a lot. It is a bit easier to read this way.
- M: Metrics
- E: Economic Buyer
- D: Decision Criteria
- D: Decision Process
- P: Paper Process
- I: Implicate the Pain
- C: Champion
- C: Competition
And here it is in a handy table:
A bit of history
MEDDIC was first started in the 1990s by sales legend John McMahon as a methodology for selling strategic deals in a B2B environment. The sales discipline essentially has a line in the sand before and after MEDDIC was created. Here’s McMahon describing how he used MEDDIC before it had a name:
Before the acronym MEDDIC existed, I always taught specific items as qualification parameters on every forecasted deal. Things like, do we have a Champion or just a coach? Has the Champion helped us get to the Economic Buyer to qualify the deal further and help us “frame” the Decision Criteria and fully understand the Decision Process? And, as our product evolved and eventually worked – since it didn’t work until version 7 – we focused on what Pain we were solving; how could we quantify the customer’s pain, and quantify the tangible business value of our solution.
And here’s Jack Napoli, who was working for McMahon doing sales training at the time, on how it came to be (edited lightly for readability):
The company was at an inflection point. We were about 300 reps and about $300 million, and we were losing reps as fast as we could hire, and we couldn’t sustain growth if that were the case. What [the company] did was they recruited Dick Dunkel and myself to come in out of the field and revamp the new hire sales training program and implement a series of boot camps. We also defined an eight-step sales process and when we did that, we reviewed hundreds of opportunities and what we discovered is when we won, we dominated in six areas. Those six areas became MEDDIC.
The four Rs of sales training
MEDDIC fits the four Rs of sales training:
“They’ve got to be able to retain what we tell them, they’ve got to be able to recall it, they've got to be able to repeat it, and if they can’t do those three things, they need to know where to go research it,” says Napoli.
Everything starts with metrics. What does your prospect hope to accomplish using your product or service? How can you quantify that outcome? Those are your metrics. It’s all about defining the results you can provide.
In most cases, metrics come in many shapes and sizes. First, there are the ultimate goals that your economic buyer has, which are often directly tied to their compensation. For instance, if you’re selling sales software, your buyer probably has a target just like you. They’re buying your product to help them reach that goal, and understanding how far they have to go and what your product can add is critical to your sale and future success.
While you may have a set of metrics that generally apply to customers (Variance, for instance, is generally focused on helping you identify more deals to close and close them faster), it’s important to fundamentally understand the specific buyer and tailor metrics to them. This is also where product data becomes extra critical (see the product data + MEDDIC section below), as it gives you a whole new perspective on who and how your prospect is thinking about using your product—information you can tie back into the metrics you’re looking to drive for them.
Questions to ask to understand Metrics in MEDDIC/MEDDPICC:
- What are your overall goals?
- How are you doing against your overall goals?
- What is the most critical metric for the company?
- How would a new solution impact your goals?
The economic buyer is a key role in any sales process. They’re the ones who ultimately hold the budget to make the go/no-go on your deal. Therefore, identifying your economic buyer early in the process is critical, as without them it’s nearly impossible to answer the rest of the questions MEDDIC/MEDDPICC requires.
Sometimes you won’t have a direct connection with the ultimate economic buyer and you need to work through a proxy. Understanding who that proxy is, how close they are to the actual buyer, and whether they have different needs and motivations is critical for success.
Questions to ask to identify your Economic Buyer in MEDDIC/MEDDPICC:
- Who is responsible for the final signoff?
- Would they need to see the product?
- Does the buyer need to use the product before signature?
- Are the buyer's metrics and goals different than yours?
- If the buyer’s metrics are different, how do you envision them accomplishing their metrics?
Decision criteria are one of those things that are kind of hard to define without just using the words again. In any competitive situation, a prospect is judging different solutions against a set of criteria (objectives, key functionality, etc.) they have. Sometimes this is all written out nicely in an RFP, and sometimes it is just in someone’s head. Decision criteria can extend from ease of use to implementation time to price. Knowing which criteria are most important to your economic buyer (and the other stakeholders in the deal) can help you identify the levers you have in the deal and negotiation.
Decision criteria are also critical for competitive positioning. If you know there is one crucial criterion you excel at, you can play that up throughout the process.
Questions to ask to understand the Decision Criteria in MEDDIC/MEDDPICC:
- Are there multiple buyers that are defining your criteria?
- What is the most important decision you need to make in your process?
- Have you laid out how you will make sure all of your criteria areas are met during our evaluation process?
If part one is understanding the decision criteria, part two is understanding the process. What are the steps your prospect will go through to make a final decision? Who needs to be involved? What do they need to see? Who do they need to talk to? The earlier you find out there’s a security review, for instance, the earlier you can schedule the conversation so that it doesn’t become a last-minute blocker.
Questions to ask to understand the Decision Process in MEDDIC/MEDDPICC:
- Can you take me through the steps you want to take to make a decision?
- Do you have an estimated date you want to decide by?
- Is it possible to lay out how we can engage with you at different stages of the decision process?
There’s the decision process (what needs to happen to make the call), and then there’s the paper process: how do we actually get a deal done. Is it our paper or yours? Who will be involved?
Questions to ask to understand the Paper Process in MEDDIC/MEDDPICC:
- Can you help me understand the contracting process at your company? Who will be involved and what does it typically entail?
- Is there anything I can share ahead of time that would make the legal process simpler?
- Are there any new people I should be introduced to that would help us get this signature done faster?
- How much time does the legal process typically take?
- When could I get introduced to your procurement team to start the process?
Implicate the Pain
There’s some overlap here with the decision criteria and the metrics, but the goal is to figure out what pains your product is solving. There’s long been talk of vitamins versus painkillers in sales, with the former being nice to have while the latter is a must-have. Understanding the specific hard pain points your customer has and how your product might be able to solve them can help you tailor your pitch.
Questions to ask to Implicate the Pain in MEDDIC/MEDDPICC:
- How are your goals tied to the broader company goals?
- What happens if you meet/exceed your goals?
- What is holding you back the most right now?
- What frustrates you most in your current situation?
- What do you fear most about the next year in your role?
- What would need to happen for you if you could “blue-sky” a great year?
Your champion is the person inside the prospect who is rooting for you to win. They are the ones who would benefit most from your solution and can be an essential voice around the table when the decision is made. Although most often the champion and decision-maker are different people, your champion is your best advocate back to the decision-maker. While it’s helpful to hear from a salesperson about all the value their product can provide, it’s even more important to hear it from an employee at the company who is aligned with you.
Helping the champion to understand the value to them and the broader organization and arming them to articulate that internally is an integral part of the sales process.
Questions to ask to identify your Champion in MEDDIC/MEDDPICC:
- Will you introduce me to the most important people in the buying process?
- Are you willing to go to bat for us against any detractors?
- Have there been examples where you could successfully sell in a solution like this?
- Do you have the faith of your boss?
- What are the key objections you know we need to overcome?
- What is the best way to sell in this solution to the most senior folks in the room?
This one is pretty simple: who are you up against? Of course, there are obvious direct competitors. Still, it’s also crucial to understand other products that do partial or similar jobs, consultants who are delivering services to help solve this problem, and even employees at the company who may be displaced by a product like yours. All of these are competitors, and mapping the landscape and understanding your competitive advantages and disadvantages could be the difference between getting the deal done and missing out.
Questions to ask to understand your Competition in MEDDIC/MEDDPICC:
- What other companies besides us are you thinking about?
- Are there things you wish we did differently?
- Why would we not win this deal?
- We respect our competition, and I’d be interested in what you think of them?
- Would you let me know if we were running behind a competitor in this evaluation?
Updating MEDDIC/MEDDPIC for Product Data/PLG
Think about where MEDDIC started in the 90s and where we are today—living in a data-driven and connected world. This can be seen with the amount of technology that GTM teams are adopting and also to the solutions they are selling, which increasingly are digital. We covered this in a prior post, but as you start to sell digital solutions, the amount of data you can generate about a customer—often captured as MEDDPICC fields that are manually updated in Salesforce—is far exceeded by how much they can generate about themselves (as they do research, ask questions, use your product, and a host of other activities that leave digital bread crumbs). Below is a chart that tries to illustrate the data you can create with MEDDPICC v the data that can be created by your customers.
The question becomes, how do you incorporate this first-party data into your MEDDPICC methodology? We are working hard on this solution and we think it is the key to unlocking the next great generation of sellers that augment their qualification criteria with data that their customer generates. This ideally leads to more quantitative sales stages, more constructive pipeline meetings, and a seller that is more informed on how a customer defines their needs and what they are looking for in a solution.
Are you up for extending MEDDPICC? I think it needs another C, with that C standing for Customer Data. What is the definition?
Doing > Saying. Understand what your customer is doing, not just what they are saying. Collect customer data throughout the qualification process via your digital interactions with them and their interactions with you, your company, and your product.
A customer saying something is great but knowing with data is better. Just like the ball don’t lie in basketball, the data from your customer will showcase your potential with them both now and after you close and expand them.
Using MEDDIC/MEDDPIC in Variance
Variance supports all different kinds of sales methodologies, but we’re especially big fans of MEDDIC/MEDDPIC. You can use all the qualification data you collect alongside real-time customer data to create data-driven Milestones for each account and contact in the system. This can work alone or alongside your regular sales stages to give you a far more accurate view of where companies are in their journey to purchase.
Have questions? Want to try out Variance? Want to see a demo? Sign up or get in touch.