In the past few years, Zendesk brought its sales forecasts from 25% accuracy to beat the 5% industry standard and achieve an astonishing 1%. How?
The company owed the improvement in large part to implementing MEDDPICC, a variation of the MEDDIC sales qualification framework. Along with a second variation, MEDDPIC, each version provides a powerful foundation and common language for qualifying sales opportunities.
All three approaches help sales teams home in on the best deals and make sure they close, but in slightly different ways.
What are MEDDIC, MEDDPIC, and MEDDPICC?
All of the MEDDIC variations are well-known and adopted B2B sales qualification frameworks that help teams qualify and develop opportunities.
MEDDIC itself was created in the 1990s by the sales development team at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC). Thanks to their new methodology, PTC grew sales from $300 million to $1 billion.
Since then, sales teams have added onto the framework to create MEDDIC variations, including MEDDPIC and MEDDPICC.
The letters in MEDDIC stand for elements that look at specific aspects of what makes an opportunity a good fit for your sales pipeline:
- Metrics: How does the prospect plan on measuring success? What quantifiable goals do they need to achieve?
- Economic Buyer: Am I talking to the real decision-maker?
- Decision Criteria: What’s driving their decision? Do we need to meet certain technical, budget, or ROI requirements?
- Decision Process: Who is involved, and what steps does the company take to make a final decision? How does the process change based on the amount of money at stake? What can we do to make this go smoothly?
- Implications of Pain: What problem is the prospect trying to solve? What’s the risk in terms of lost revenue, opportunity cost, etc.? How soon before this problem becomes unbearable?
- Champion: Who in the company feels the most pain from the problem? Who will go to bat for the solution you provide?
MEDDPIC adds a “P” for Paper Process. This element prompts sales reps to wonder: What signed contracts need to be in place? What’s the process of getting everything completed and signed?
MEDDPICC holds on to Paper Process and adds a “C” for Competition. Sales reps use the Competition element to ask themselves: Who else is the prospect considering? What do they think about them in relation to you? What’s your edge?
Why choose a MEDDIC framework?
The MEDDICs urge sales reps to defend their opportunity at every element. The best opportunities will also show promise in every element. Not only do the MEDDICs give sales teams what they need to qualify opportunities, they also help reps forecast more accurately and hurdle challenges.
Quickly identify your best prospects
When deals reach sales reps, they’re already somewhat qualified (industry, revenue, tech stack, etc.). The MEDDICs help sales teams dig deeper into whether an opportunity is a good fit. Knowing this helps sales teams spend less time on prospects who aren’t ready to buy or who aren’t a good fit for your product/service.
Take the Implications of Pain element, for example. It helps define what problem the prospect is trying to solve and how painful it is in terms of revenue or opportunity cost. If your opportunity isn’t demonstrating enough pain, there may not be enough urgency or need to justify moving them through your sales pipeline.
Get way more accurate in your Sales forecasting
The MEDDICs provide additional, critical information so managers can inspect and trust what sales reps say about their opportunities. This context also helps frontline managers forecast sales more accurately.
For example, how does a manager know the close date their rep assigned to a deal is valid? Does the deal have a Champion willing to go to bat for your product? What steps does the company need to take to make a final decision? With MEDDIC, MEDDPIC, or MEDDPICC, the manager can make sure the Champion and Decision Process all match the close date.
With any of the MEDDICs, sales managers can identify potential roadblocks for opportunities that are worth pursuing. You can then meet those challenges head-on, improving your chances of closing the deal.
Do you wonder whether your sales rep is talking to the right people? The Economic Buyer element indicates whether your sales rep has identified the decision-makers, knows their thoughts about buying, and whether they are at the right level.
Do you need to fall within certain budget requirements to close the deal? Decision Criteria tell managers whether a prospect is a good fit.
How does the prospect plan on measuring success? Metrics give your team the insight they need to create a more compelling value proposition aligned with the prospect’s objectives.
Develop a common Sales language and process
A sales qualification framework helps bring order and a common language to an otherwise subjective sales process. Instead of gauging the health of opportunities based on opinion, the MEDDICs prompt sales reps to base their assertions on evidence.
The MEDDICs give sales reps a checklist of items so they know exactly what they need to discover on sales calls. They also give sales managers more guidance on what they should look for in sales rep inputs and what to coach to.
Which MEDDIC framework is right for your team?
Any of the MEDDIC frameworks will help your sales team get stronger leads into your sales pipeline. You can choose one or adapt any of them to create your own, based on your team’s specific needs.
MEDDIC: Set a solid Sales foundation
If you think addressing the six elements in MEDDIC is enough to effectively qualify, forecast, and close deals, then go ahead and stick with MEDDIC. However, more complex prospects might require your team to try one of the MEDDIC variations or for you to adapt your own.
MEDDPIC: Deal with complex contracting
MEDDPIC is ideal for teams that need the standard MEDDIC elements but also sell more to enterprise buyers who have long or complex contracting processes. The Paper Process element in MEDDPIC prompts sales reps to be proactive about finding out what contract, legal, procurement, and other requirements your company will need to meet.
Instead of being surprised by a hefty contracting phase toward the end of your pipeline, you can use MEDDPIC to discover and prepare for what needs to be signed, who needs to sign it, and in what sequence. Knowing all this helps better predict the opportunity’s closing date, resulting in a more accurate sales forecast.
MEDDPICC: Stand out from the competition
MEDDPICC, on the other hand, is useful for sales teams in competitive spaces. Go with MEDDPICC if competitors add another layer of pressure and complexity to your sales conversations.
The Competition element in MEDDPICC ensures that your team knows who your competitors are, what their prospects think of them, and what value you provide that they don’t. This helps your team tell a more compelling story about how your product is different from the competition by building better talk tracks and scripts.
Competitor information also helps sales teams understand and keep track of their market landscape. You know not only when new competitors start engaging with your prospects but also which competitors pose the biggest threat.
Create your own MEDDIC variation
Your options don’t stop with MEDDPIC or MEDDPICC. Some sales teams adapt MEDDIC to suit their unique prospects and sales cycles, while others craft their own approaches from scratch.
To experiment with your own MEDDIC sales qualification framework, start by adding elements as you encounter challenges in selling. You can also begin with MEDDPICC and remove elements that create more busywork than value.
If you’d like to divert entirely from the MEDDIC framework, first consider the challenges your team contends with when moving prospects through your pipeline. Then, identify what your sales team needs in order to overcome those roadblocks and close those deals. You can create your own acronym to qualify opportunities based on your particular product, industry, sales team skills, buying process, and buyer concerns and refine it as you go.
Remember, just because you picked the right approach, doesn't mean you'll get results. No sales qualification framework stands a chance unless you put in a process to reinforce it over time. Learn more in Why Your MEDDIC Implementation Will Fail (and What to Do About It.
Sales processes never run according to plan
Sales is the only job where your success or failure is contingent on people who are outside of your organization, who have their own goals and concerns, and who are naturally skeptical of you. So it should be no surprise when things don’t match up exactly with your chosen sales approach and framework.
Can you close a deal without a strong Champion? Sure. Do you need to gather evidence to back an opportunity on all eight MEDDPICC elements? No. Is your deal doomed if you discover the Economic Buyer before the Champion? Probably not. However, the MEDDICs provide a foundation for approaching sales conversations and identifying challenges. They’re meant to help you understand and be realistic about your opportunities, not add another level of difficulty to closing them.
Don’t sweat it if you don’t defend all the MEDDPICC elements for every deal. Though, if that deal falls through, then the missing elements might tell you why.