MEDDIC is a Sales Qualification Framework used by the world's most successful sales teams to drive efficient and predictable growth.
MEDDIC is the original name of the sales qualification framework, more commonly referred to as MEDDICC and MEDDPICC.
The MEDDICC sales methodology is widely adopted by the world’s most elite sales organizations.
MEDDIC’s strength comes in both its simplicity and depth. You can introduce MEDDIC to help you qualify your deal at the earliest opportunity and it stays relevant throughout its evolution keeping Sellers on their toes to focus on what matters.
MEDDIC is uniquely suited to enterprise sales organizations. Enterprise sales usually require engagement with multiple stakeholders and often will require a complex solution to meet their needs. For this purpose, MEDDIC is ideally suited as a qualification methodology.
As a qualification framework, MEDDIC helps you to qualify first and foremost whether there is a real opportunity within the organization you are engaged with. Often this is an overlooked factor in sales as salespeople try to create opportunities within organizations that are unqualified. These areas of qualification (or unqualification as it is in this case) tend to fall into a few categories:
MEDDIC works specifically to uncover these areas of qualification as well as acting as a framework for salespeople to use to put themselves back on the front foot to:
MEDDIC was created inside of PTC in 1996 by Dick Dunkel who was working under the leadership of PTC SVP John McMahon and in collaboration with teammate Jack Napoli. The acronym is formed of six elements which came from an exercise Dick Dunkel was undertaking to ascertain:
What Dick found was that there were six commonalities in the answers to these questions and these commonalities were the basis and origin of MEDDIC. Consequently, Dick is referred to as the “biological” father of MEDDIC. As Dick and Jack Napoli were preparing for a sales education event Dick wrote the acronym on the whiteboard to review.
Jack witnessed the “birth of MEDDIC” and this is why Jack will tell you that he is affectionately/humorously known as the “Godfather” of MEDDIC. Dick on the other hand thinks Jack is known as the Godfather due to his active and influential role in its “upbringing” as he helped to refine the message and applications and shared it with so many emerging enterprise sales teams.
Sales leadership teams are trying to create predictable revenue for their execs, board members, and shareholders. There are two critical factors required to create predictable revenue:
1. Efficient Resource Allocation
Sellers and their supporting peers are often the highest-paid individuals within their organization. This is for good reason as an elite Seller is likely to deliver exponentially more revenue than what their additional cost is over an average Seller.
A Seller who is unable to qualify their opportunities won’t just be inefficient to themselves, but they will also pull in other resources draining their efficiency too.
MEDDIC helps Sellers continually ensure that they are investing their time in the right deals, and if not, it gives a clear path of how they can get back on the right course or qualify out.
2. Forecast Accuracy
Being able to accurately forecast revenue performance allows organizations to confidently invest in strategies that support growth such as hiring to support the growing customer base and investing more in go-to-market strategies.
For the executive team, being able to work with an accurate forecast is imperative to their planning and execution.
Elite Sellers are accurate forecasters and elite sales leaders are too.
Customers who are buying from a sales organization that utilizes MEDDIC also benefit from an approach that is optimized to be efficient. It means that it won’t just save the Seller’s time but the customer’s time too. Further still, the customer will benefit from a Seller focused on providing deeper clarity on the problem that the customer is trying to find a solution for. In doing so, the Seller will uncover a deeper quantification of the problem and potentially more benefits that the customer hadn’t yet considered.
Finally, the cherry on top will be that a good Seller will help the customer drive a deal through their organization securing budget and buy-in as they go, cutting the time to go-live considerably.
There have been several instances of customers outwardly commenting on what a great experience it is to buy from a company that uses MEDDIC. MEDDIC is as aligned to the customers buying process as it is the sellers sales process. In fact, you could argue MEDDIC more closely suits the buying process.
The head if purchasing at multi billion dollar organization, Siemens is quoted as saying he actively looks for MEDDIC in vendors that he is selecting to buy from.
The original variation of MEDDIC was created in 1995 and technology has evolved radically since then. Today it is a much more complicated process to procure technology due to the business model changing from perpetual licenses that organizations own outright to the subscription model as used in most technology companies today. With the model change came an adaptation to how technology is used and subsequently there are many more stringent requirements in the relationship between vendor and customer such as privacy, security, and service level agreements. Therefore, the Paper Process has become several multitudes more complex and subsequently is often called out as its own element in MEDDIC by including a P so MEDDIC becomes MEDDPICC.
You will notice the additional C also, which stands for Competition. Today Competition is much more prevalent in sales cycles not just because there are more rival solutions to the average vendor, but, because the average buyer has vastly more opportunities available to them to invest in technology that will help them towards their goals and solving their challenges.
An average deal today is not only competing against the vendor's rivals but, other solutions AND the possibility that the organization will want to build their own solution.
Therefore as a result of this evolution of technology and how it is bought by organizations, MEDDIC has evolved to include the P for Paper Process and an additional C for Competition.
MEDDIC with an additional P and C doesn’t instantly guarantee that the definitions are Paper Process and Competition as often you will find sales teams will have P referencing Partners and a C referencing Compelling Event.
The bottom line here is that one of the reasons why MEDDIC has lasted the test of time and been so successful for so many elite sales organizations is because it is adaptable and open. Therefore, sales leaders should implement MEDDIC however they best think it will help improve their sales velocity.
The below video describes in a little more detail the things that you should consider when thinking which variant of MEDDIC to implement.
When used to its full potential, MEDDIC becomes the common language in which revenue teams refer to all factors of an opportunity with a new or existing customer. MEDDIC helps define:
Suppose you consider all of the above and imagine all of the different terminologies and definitions you could have for these critical factors of your opportunities. In that case, it is easy to see why MEDDICC as a common language is such a valuable aspect of MEDDIC. Having everyone talk in the same language, with the same definitions for every part of a deal, adds an incredible amount of clarity to the state of the deal, therefore, increasing the ability the team has of being effective with their guidance on the next steps to progress the deal forward.
MEDDIC is sales qualification framework used by sales people and sales teams to help qualify their sales opportunities. Often labelled a sales methodology MEDDIC is an acronym based on the following six elements: Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and, Champion.
MEDDIC was created by Dick Dunkel inside of PTC in 1996. Dick had been working on helping enable the sales teams to be more effective and noticed when evaluating why PTC were winning deals, losing deals and their deals were slipping that there were six commonalities in all of the reasons. Dick rolled the six commonalities into the acronym of MEDDIC and with the support of John McMahon who was PTC’s CRO and ‘The Godfather of MEDDIC’ Jack Napoli it proliferated out of PTC into thousands of sales teams to date.
The MEDDIC methodology is a framework that helps sales teams to qualify their sales opportunities.
MEDDIC is often misunderstood to be a sales process. MEDDIC is not a sales process. MEDDIC is a framework that works alongside the sales process to help sales teams to qualify their sales opportunities. For these reasons MEDDIC is a qualification framework.
The MEDDIC sales qualification is a framework that helps sales teams to qualify their sales opportunities by focusing on six important elements which are the: Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and Champion.
You should use MEDDIC as MEDDIC helps salespeople and sales teams to qualify their sales opportunities. MEDDIC focuses on helping the salesperson to understand whether an opportunity is qualified by focusing on value selling in an outcome-focused and in a manner that supports the customer journey.
MEDDIC and BANT are both qualification frameworks but they work very differently. BANT is focused on qualifying whether the customer can buy by qualifying if they have Budget (B), Authority (A), a Need (N), and on what Timing (T). In contrast, MEDDIC focuses on the wider stakeholders, what their goals and challenges are what value there is in solving them and what is the criteria and processes that will go into the decision.
In practice a seller using MEDDIC is always on the front foot. They know where they stand with the customer and have clear next steps ahead of themselves in the Decision Process. Often MEDDIC identifies that the opportunity isn’t qualified and allows the salesperson to make a qualified decision to qualify out of the opportunity. Saving time and effort that can be better directed toward qualified opportunities.
Before MEDDIC, salespeople tend not to have visibility of why they are winning or losing opportunities. Therefore they break down the reasons why they win or lose to the following:
The problem with this approach is that without a qualification framework, the salesperson is just guessing. Further still, while the high-level reasons stay the same, they flip depending on whether the deal is won or lost. For example, if you ask a seller why they won, they’ll say:
Ask a seller why they lost, and they’ll say:
The problem with those reasons for winning and losing is that it is tough to measure the strength of each, and therefore forecasting becomes a real challenge. Likewise, those reasons for losing are not reasons you should lose a deal; they are reasons to qualify out. If a salesperson loses a deal for those reasons, they are not qualifying their opportunities and passively riding the process to an outcome that they are not in control of.
Before winning or losing a deal without MEDDIC, sellers will find it challenging to understand where they stand in the deal. Are they losing? Are they winning? This is usually because they haven’t defined the criteria and process surrounding the decision and haven’t built a qualified Champion to keep them in the loop of where they stand. This results in the salesperson not knowing what to do next or with whom. This results in what I call “Just Checking in Syndrome.”
The worst case of a ‘before MEDDIC’ scenario is when the salesperson doesn’t know why they won or their deal slipped.
After implementing MEDDIC, sales teams will have a ‘common language’ to communicate with their entire revenue team. This results in more accurate and efficient communication that leads to better forecasting.
The sales team (and beyond) will become more aligned on how deals are analyzed, and activities are applied. For example, suppose you are scoring the strength of a deal. In that case, you can use the same criteria throughout, or should you wish to implement stage gates of qualification over the top of your sales process, then certain elements of MEDDIC can act as the requirements to move a deal forward.
After embracing MEDDIC, sellers will no longer have to rely on ‘gut feel’ for where they stand with their deals. Likewise, sales leaders won’t need to rely on a seller’s gut feel combined with their filter of how optimistic or pessimistic their seller is typically to decide how the deal stands.
In short, after a sales team implements MEDDIC, they are always going to know where they stand in deals and what to do next. Sometimes the answer to that question will be to qualify out.
Some consistent symptoms will point to a scenario where the salesperson needs to qualify better and sell better. They are as follows:
If you have no real Champion, or even worse, a ‘Faux Champion‘ – A Champion, he acts like they are your Champion, but they don’t qualify and block you from making progress, whether consciously or by stopping you broadening your engagements within the customers business. If they do not have power and influence, they cannot act as a true Champion because they lack the strength internally to help you.
You don’t know how the customer is making their decision or the process in which the decision will be made.
You are unable to access influential stakeholders, and even if you do, you are unsure of what their pains and, subsequently, their criteria for your solution are:
The customer doesn’t feel the pain you solve strongly enough or see the value in your solution.
Your competition continually seems to be on the front foot and is landing effective blows against your proposition, putting you on the back foot and constantly playing catch up.
You don’t seem to be losing deals outright, and your customer decides not to buy now. “It’s not a no; it’s just a not right now.”
Metrics are the quantifiable measures of the value that your solution provides. They highlight to your customers the value of your solution in a straightforward and easy-to-understand manner.
Metrics should stand alone as bullet points that any stakeholder within the customer’s organization can see and then instantly understand the specific value your solution brings to your customers.
An example of Metrics that I find universally understandable is to imagine a web hosting company; if you are selling a web hosting solution, your Metrics will need to focus on the unique areas of value that your solution provides relevant to your customer.
For this example, let’s say your solution has strengths in three areas:
Many sellers will zoom in on their strengths rather than their customer’s needs. Therefore they will focus their Metrics on all three of the above strengths. However, in our example, the customer in question is very pleased with the Speed and Uptime of their current host. Therefore, building Metrics around the Speed and Uptime of your solution has little effect to help customers feel value in switching to your solution.
Alternatively, with a qualifying mindset and a credible and curious discovery process, you would uncover that the customer has a problem with their current hosts’ support levels. Armed with this information, you can dig deeper to find out what in particular it is around the support levels that the customer is unhappy with, and you can create Metrics relative to that.
The difference will look as follows:
Mostly Irrelevant Metrics:
To relevant Metrics:
Which Metrics do you think are likely to be most compelling to the customer in the above scenario? Likewise, what about when your proposal makes its way to other stakeholders? The relevant Metrics are likely to spark a recollection in their memory of the pain that you are solving, thus implicating the pain further and driving the urgency.
Storytelling with Metrics
Metrics are the perfect framework to talk to your customers about case studies and proof points you have with your other customers. A robust framework for this in which you can use in a first meeting is to talk about the state before your customer used your solution and the pain they were facing. As a result, then take the story forward by talking about how your solution solved their pains and the benefits they see from implementing your solution underpinned by how they measure the value (Metrics!).
This process allows you to win credibility in your deal early on by showing the value you have provided to other customers. As is always the case with Metrics, you can only talk in the language of value when talking Metrics.
The Economic Buyer is the overall authority in your deal. They have the power to say “yes” when others say “no” and “no” when others say “yes.” They are usually the person to which the overall budget rolls up.
Identifying and working with their requirements and demonstrating how your product fits their needs will lead to success.
What does your economic buyer look like? They will have overall discretion over funds, in-depth knowledge of available budgets, and speak the language of business. Think of the language in the companies annual report; this is how the Economic Buyer will talk.
They have the knowledge, perspective, understanding, and energy to commit to a meaningful purchase.
Data suggests that over 80% of deals lost or slipped do so without having access to the Economic Buyer. By contrast, over 80% of deals are won when forecasted when strong engagement with the Economic Buyer.
The first D in MEDDIC stands for Decision Criteria. Simply put, this is the criteria on which a purchase decision is made.
These criteria fall into three categories.
If your customer already has comprehensive Decision Criteria, you will need to ensure your solution matches up well. Not all customers will have clear Decision Criteria in mind. In these instances, it is a fantastic opportunity for you to influence the Decision Criteria towards the strengths of your solution.
In any instance, whether the Decision Criteria is well constructed or not, it is the job of the salesperson to attach their value to the Decision Criteria. They need to adapt it to include additional areas of value that they can provide that are either unique to their proposition or differentiated enough to be defensible as strengths.
The Paper Process is the newest addition to the common elements of MEDDIC, but for a good reason. The Paper Process is cited as the number one reason why deals slip. In today’s world of B2B sales, the process to get deals closed is complicated and time-consuming. Deals can stall on issues relating to the paperwork, sometimes for months.
Therefore focusing on the Paper Process and mapping it out with your customer has become a critical factor in enterprise sales.
Be mindful of what may delay the paperwork process. Are your team prepared and equipped to deliver contracts quickly? Is your customer expecting any periods of team absences – holidays, maternity or paternity leave, or managing other projects – that may delay your deal’s progress? Your job is to ensure your customer is confident in their responsibilities in the process, ready and able to act accordingly to ensure the Paper Process timeline remains prompt and hassle-free.
Initially, the I in MEDDIC stood for Identify the Pain, and many organizations will still refer to the I as Identify. At MEDDICC, we refer to the I in MEDDIC as a three-stage process. This process is as follows:
i1 – Identify the Pain:
This is straightforward. By Identifying the Pain, you are doing just that ‘identifying it’ This does little to evoke urgency or emotion with your customer. Using the pain analogy is like pointing out a bruise that your customer has on their arm.
i2 – Indicating the pain:
This is what most modern sales teams do – they Identify pain and then Indicate to the customer how much the pain is hurting them, whether it be by Lost Revenue, Costs, or Risks to their business. Usually, the pain is indicated by an ROI report or business case. In the pain analogy, this is like telling the customer how much the bruise hurts them if you poke it.
i3 – Implicating the pain:
Elite Sellers Implicate the Pain upon their customer. They Identify the Pain, Indicate how much it is hurting their customer, and then go deep with their customer to understand just how painful the issue is for the customer. By focusing on the implications of the pain, the customer lives in the moment of pain, radically increasing the severity of the pain in the customer’s mind driving the urgency.
In the pain analogy, this is like sternly poking at the bruise on the customer’s arm.
Use Open-Ended Discovery to uncover pain
Use open-ended discovery questions to unpack your buyer’s pain instead of imposing your idea of problems from an initial meeting. By entering into a holistic, authentic conversation with your buyer, you’re enabling them to articulate their position and what they find to be blocking their progress. This then allows you to delve deeper into the reasons and structures behind these problems.
When you truly understand the business’s pain/s, you are setting the stage to create your Champions.
No Champion, No Deal. Big Champion, Big Deal. It is as simple as that. Every single CRO I have asked which part of MEDDIC they see as most important has said Champion.
Champions are respected stakeholders within your customers business who meet very distinct criteria:
Power and Influence is non-negotiable
If your Champion has the other two qualifying criteria but is without Power and Influence, they are a Coach, not a Champion. Whereas you can work with your potential Champion to help them sell internally for you and to have a vested interest in your success, Power and Influence are non-negotiable. If they lack it, you can’t change this factor, and you will need to find another Champion.
Selling Internally is easily identifiable
Often sellers think it is not easy to identify if their Champion is selling internally for them, but it is easy. You ask your Champion: “Has our solution come up in discussions with other stakeholders?” If it hasn’t, then this is a red flag for your deal, but if it has, then it is vital to understand how your Champion acted in the discussions. Did they talk about your solution positively? Did they stick up for your solution if anyone had any criticisms? You can find out the answers to these questions by simply asking your Champion.
Having a Vested Interest doesn’t mean Bias.
For a Champion to have a vested interest in your success, the value of your solution has to align with your Champions’s goals. This can mean your solution will solve a problem your Champion has that means their job will be easier, or they’ll get a bonus or promotion.
Having a vested interest doesn’t necessarily mean a bias towards your or your company—quite the contrary. Your Champion will lose credibility if they are seen to be biassed.
The original MEDDIC did not include a second C for Competition. However, the landscape of modern sales has evolved so much that it is imperative to focus on Competition to qualify opportunities correctly.
It is not just that there are more direct competitors today (there are), but that there are also a vast array of indirect competitors. Whether they be solutions that aren’t direct rivals to you but offer a similar proposition or an entirely different proposition with the same goal. On top of this, your customers have never been more empowered to solve their problems themselves by building.
This means that your Competition is no longer just your direct rival solution providers but any individual or vendor competing for the same resources or budget as you are.
Winning out against the competition is not enough in itself; approaching your competition strategy with the correct attitude is what will lead you to secure bigger deals, more consistent customers, and general upscaling across your business. Highlight the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of both your brand and your competitors. Be honest and comprehensive about their position and define the unique, specific ways you will combat them. How will you build yourself up against these in discussion with your customer?Lastly, never talk down the competition. It will immediately lose your respect and credibility in your customer’s eyes and is not an attitude that will strengthen your business. The customer is, ultimately, buying into you. If they don’t trust you, they’ll go elsewhere.