Where Sales Leaders Go Wrong
Too often, sales leaders hastily implement new processes for salespeople and managers, in hopes of improving qualification across the sales organization. The rush to results means there is a lack of thought around making the new processes, content and tools relevant, as well as finding ways to continually reinforce them. These new edicts from upper management fail to incorporate how sales reps are having conversations or how they need to engage with the buyer to effectively qualify. As a result, what typically remains is a bunch of CRM fields that provide little value for the organization. People fill in the information, but the fields don’t mean anything because there is no accountability associated with them... and they sure can’t help you predict where you are in a quarter.
As with any change initiative, there's no quick fix for improving qualification and shortening the sales process. However, it takes a commitment, along with focused time and resources to transform your organization into one that accelerates growth with predictable revenue. The leaders who have the guts to take on a sales transformation initiative around MEDDICC reap great rewards.
The MEDDICC Tool
MEDDICC is a sales qualification tool that is often celebrated for its easy-to-remember components and for its ability to help leaders dissect deals. Created at Parametric Technology Corporation in the 1990s, the system helped PTC accurately deliver their number to Wall Street for 40+ quarters straight. Over the years, the salespeople who used the tool at PTC in the 1990s took it with them as they moved to other companies and took on leadership roles. Since then, it has been a highly celebrated and used qualification tool, particularly among high-tech sales organizations. There's no doubt that there is power in the acronym and the system behind it. MEDDICC’s strength, when implemented correctly, is how it helps sales teams dissect an opportunity, ensuring that all the pieces are in place to effectively move a singular deal forward and close it at a premium.
We receive frequent inquiries about implementing MEDDICC. It can help leaders "stop the bleeding" in a lot of areas and at the same time, it can build momentum around a sales process. But, it’s important to use it for what it is and understand what it’s not. Launching MEDDICC (or one of its variants) without an effective sales process to support it — won't enable your sales team to improve business predictability. At the same time, implementing it without providing your sales teams with the ability to articulate a value-based sales message will only get you so far. Implementing MEDDICC on its own has the risk of creating an environment where salespeople may know what to do, but they don’t know how. They don't know how to have the necessary conversations to further qualify a deal.
MEDDICC's specific function is to qualify opportunities. It’s a tool, merely a checklist for keeping qualification benchmarks top of mind. It doesn’t tell sales reps how to go and get that information. Although it’s commonly confused with a sales process or a way to have better sales conversations, MEDDICC requires a solid sales process and value-selling methodology to maximize its impact. Our founder, John Kaplan uses the analogy of an x-ray to explain what MEDDICC is and what it's not.
"Think of MEDDICC as an x-ray. It tells you where you're hurt (where your deals have gaps), but it doesn't tell you how to fix them. You can't fix your deals or solve your forecasting issues without having both the x-ray to identify gaps and the treatment so you can fix them."