You dedicated your 2020 sales kickoff to rolling out MEDDIC. Everything went off without a hitch. Your sales team hit the ground humming about the new sales qualification framework. Then, one month out . . . crickets.
Or perhaps you spent over $30,000 bringing in a sales trainer to get your team up to speed on MEDDIC. The trainer was a big hit with your sales reps and managers. Yet, three weeks later, only a handful of your reps are filling out MEDDIC fields, and managers are back to their old ways. Sound familiar?
It doesn’t matter how you roll out MEDDIC to your sales team. If you ignore these oft-overlooked challenges (and how to sidestep them), your MEDDIC initiative will inevitably fail.
*Note: While this article focuses on implementing MEDDIC, the challenges and recommendations we bring up also apply to many other sales qualification processes.
Your tools make MEDDIC difficult to capture and coach to
Just because your CRM provides fields and options for MEDDIC doesn’t mean it’s right to lock it up there. Your team won’t adopt MEDDIC if your tools make it difficult to log, inspect, and coach to.
Make it easy to capture and review MEDDIC information
In an ideal world, your tech stack would allow reps to log sales process information to the CRM as quickly and painlessly as possible. Yet most sales teams make reps dig through 175 fields in Salesforce to log MEDDIC information.
Instead of making your reps spend more time in Salesforce than they can stomach, bring MEDDIC right to them. Troops gives reps the ability to log MEDDIC fields with only a few clicks in Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Getting the information into Salesforce is only half the battle. You need to make it as easy as possible for managers to inspect MEDDIC so they can do so all the time as opposed to once a week or not at all.
By surfacing MEDDIC updates in your collaboration platform, you’re making it more visible and easier for managers to access. Managers can then coach in Slack or Teams, too, so other sales reps learn from others’ missteps. This also gives executives visibility into how their frontline managers inspect and coach to MEDDIC.
Log MEDDIC information in a way that’s valuable
CRM sales process solutions often force sales reps to log MEDDIC information with checkboxes, color codes, and other quick-log options. While low effort, they don’t provide sales managers with the context they need to inspect, coach, and ultimately trust what reps are asserting.
For example, what does it mean to color code Implications of Pain green? Even if you know that green is a positive sign, there’s no additional information there to tell you why. You can’t inspect, coach, or trust that.
Instead, give reps the space to leave notes and even fully formed thoughts about their opportunities. Troops uses simple text fields to give sales reps the freedom to log critical context.
Provide easy-to-access coaching resources
MEDDIC fields aren’t just for reps. It’s equally important to give managers a way to leave sales process feedback and access coaching guides directly from sales reps’ updates.
Our sales managers have the ability to leave MEDDIC coaching notes outside of Salesforce with a custom text field from a prompt in Slack.
We also link to coaching guides. At any time when reviewing sales reps’ inputs, a manager can click a button and refer to a resource reminding them of what they should look for in a MEDDIC update.
This can be as simple as linking to a Google Doc that outlines what to look for when evaluating the strength of the Economic Buyer or Champion. The point is that everything a manager needs to coach effectively is all right there within reach.
Your managers don’t know MEDDIC well enough to coach it
Imagine picking up a lacrosse stick for the first time, and then, two weeks later, being expected to coach lacrosse at a Division 1 level. Unreasonable, right? MEDDIC is no different.
Training your sales managers to the level of expertise needed to coach sales reps means going beyond the basics of MEDDIC and what the letters stand for. They should know enough to interpret what MEDDIC information means for forecasting, as well as how to guide reps through the process of identifying and collecting that context.
Know what MEDDIC means for Sales forecasting
While MEDDIC might tell you that there’s a problem with an opportunity, just knowing that isn’t very useful. Sales managers have to dig into what the problem is to understand why it’s a problem, and then they need to decipher what that means for your sales forecast.
For example, if a sales rep has yet to identify or speak with the Economic Buyer, the rep’s sales manager should understand how this endangers the deal and impacts the forecast. They should realize that the deal won’t close without the Economic Buyer’s consent, as the Economic Buyer is the person who controls the budget.
It also shows that your rep doesn’t have a good grasp on the Decision Criteria or Decision Process, since all that information is coming secondhand rather than from the source. Without this information, it’s impossible to set an accurate close date for the opportunity.
Guide reps as they identify and collect MEDDIC information
Your sales managers also need to know how to encourage sales reps through the process of uncovering MEDDIC information. This means coaching reps on identifying what information they need to discover as well as guiding them through the process of gathering that information in sales calls.
For example, a sales rep might know that they need to find out who the Economic Buyer is in a sales call. Yet they have no idea how to accomplish that. Sales managers can recommend questions or other ways of getting at that information gracefully.
Let’s say the rep discovers who the Economic Buyer is. The manager then should be able to switch their focus to help a rep build trust and demonstrate enough value to win a meeting with that person (or direct the rep to ask their Champion for help).
With the meeting scheduled, your sales manager should then know enough to prepare the rep for that conversation. What information is most valuable here? The manager should help the rep home in on what motivates the Economic Buyer and what they think about your product so far.
Dedicate time and money to MEDDIC training
It’s important to invest the time needed to get MEDDIC right with your sales managers.
You can handle training in-house, though some teams may prefer to seek external help. Several organizations offer online and in-person training. MEDDIC Academy is one option that offers branded certification.
Your approach depends on how much you want to invest in time, money, and productivity. While it might make sense for one person to become certified and then teach the rest of your sales team, other teams opt to train everyone at once. In that case, expect to pay a trainer anywhere from $10,000-$50,000 for a team of around 25 people for a few hours over a couple of weeks.
You don’t have a system in place to reinforce MEDDIC
You can spend a lot of money on MEDDIC training, but it won’t matter, because no new sales qualification framework stands a chance without reinforcement.
Sales reinforcement is a system you have in place to guide your sales reps in real time as they incorporate MEDDIC into their daily work lives.
Sales reinforcement should be contextual, prompting reps in those critical moments when they need to do something they wouldn’t normally. For example, contextual reinforcement might remind sales reps to ask a few key questions and dig deeper on sales conversations before they go into a meeting. Or a notification might remind sales reps to log what they learned in MEDDIC fields after the conversation is over and the information is fresh in their minds.
It’s also fluid. As your team uses MEDDIC over time, you may find that some contextual MEDDIC prompts have become overkill. You can then cut back on the number of guiding behavior alerts you send. Or let’s say your reps are struggling to define a Champion for their opportunities; you can then add contextual alerts built to reinforce the Champion in their sales meetings and CRM documentation.
Reinforcement isn’t just for sales reps. It also empowers sales coaching because it helps managers inspect and coach to the new sales framework.
You can send your managers an alert whenever someone on their team updates sales process fields in the CRM. This provides added visibility to your managers on how their reps approach MEDDIC in their sales calls and whether they’re logging it properly in the CRM. If a rep is struggling with MEDDIC, your manager can step in and provide more personalized guidance to reinforce the initiative further.
Don’t wait for everything to be perfect
Don’t feel like you have to have everything in place before you roll out MEDDIC.
You can take a couple of hours or so to explain what MEDDIC is and what it means for your sales reps, but many won’t learn without constant, long-term coaching.
So, start small. Spend two to three hours introducing it to your sales reps. Explain what MEDDIC stands for and why it’s important. Give them a few questions to start asking in their sales conversations. And then coach.