B2B sales teams face many challenges when it comes to qualifying, prioritizing, and engaging new sales leads. If you aren’t using a structured lead qualification framework, you might be wasting time trying to find good fit.
Over the past few years, B2B sales and marketing departments have turned to the MEDDIC sales methodology to streamline the prospecting process. This blog outlines what MEDDIC selling is and how enterprise sales teams can implement it successfully.
Let’s get started.
Why is lead qualification important?
Enterprise sales teams often sell complex solutions, but chasing leads with poor product fit can cost you time and revenue. Lead qualification ensures that each prospect is a good fit for your offer and that your sales team only moves forward with the right prospects.
What is the MEDDIC sales process and how can it help?
The MEDDIC sales process helps B2B sales teams identify and qualify the most likely clients for your product. By making the process repeatable and predictable, it results in a more organized lead qualification process and higher sales efficiency.
So, what does the MEDDIC acronym stand for?
- Economic buyer
- Decision criteria
- Decision process
- Identify pain
Let’s dig into what each letter of the acronym means.
Facts and stats are a critical component of enterprise decision-making. Providing a prospect with hard data on your product’s benefits compared to the competition can tilt the deal in your favor.
The key is to figure out what your enterprise sales prospects care about. Is it the amount of money they’ll save or make? Perhaps the amount of time they’ll shave off their tasks? After determining their goals, source the data to answer those questions in a compelling, persuasive way.
#2 Economic buyer
Unfortunately, sales reps don’t always have the luxury of knowing who their prospective company’s decision-makers are, and it’s important to determine early on the people with the power to approve the deal. Once you know this, you can figure out the best way to reach and engage them with facts and stats they care about.
#3 Decision criteria
To ensure you are the best fit for your prospect, knowing what they value in a solution is essential - beyond just the numbers you’ve collected on them or presented them with. For example, does price matter more than quality? What specific product feature moves the needle for them? The more information you have, the better prepared you are to present your solution.
#4 Decision process
Beyond the decision criteria, it’s essential to understand how your prospects internally go about identifying, evaluating, and deciding on new solutions. For example, do they allocate more weight to the pricing of new solutions? Is speed to implementation a bigger factor in their decision-making? Is adequate customer support a must-have for them? What are their dealbreakers and delighters?
If you don’t know this information, you could end up pitching your product in a way that isn’t aligned with how they choose new vendors - and waste precious time and effort. Get to know how they make decisions so you can present them with a solution that ticks all the right boxes.
#5 Identify pain
Part of the lead qualification process entails understanding where (and how) a prospect’s business is hurting. Identifying these areas early can help you tailor your pitch to what they need to hear and make them choose you over other options.
Identify the root causes of their problem(s) and ask them when, where, and how they experience it. Ask about the impact these issues have had on them and their job performance. From there, determine which aspects of your solution could relieve their pain in a timely, cost-effective manner.
No matter how epic your product is or your skills as a salesperson, your sales process could always use extra help. Most times, this help comes in the form of internal advocates within your target company (called ‘champions’) who can influence the buying decision in your favor - especially if you’re competing against larger firms whose solutions might be too generic, pricey, or hard to implement.
Champions don’t always have purchasing power, but their influence over the key players might be more useful than their direct involvement.
For example, say you’re pitching a solution to a national tourism board. Your champion within the company might be someone from Sales or Marketing who has used your competitor’s product and knows yours is better. They might not have the final say over which solution their company will pick, but they still sit in the weekly meetings where these discussions happen and can sway the real decision-maker(s) in your favor.
Using the MEDDIC sales process separates the leads that are worth pursuing from those that aren’t. The insights you gain can help your team prepare tailored pitches and reach out to the right champions within your target companies. All of this leads to higher sales efficiency and faster closed deals.
Improving lead qualification: Questions for sales leaders
While the MEDDIC methodology focuses on asking the right questions about your prospects, sales leaders should also identify areas of their own lead qualification processes that could be improved. The following questions serve as a starting point for such introspection.
#1 Do we have a structured process for prospecting?
The better organized your sales team is, the more efficient they can find and close new deals. The first step is providing them with a clearly defined process for prospecting, messaging, and qualifying potential customers. This can help them understand what they should and shouldn’t do when communicating with new prospects.
#2 How do we prioritize our prospects?
Are your sales reps presented with a targeted list of leads they can take action on, or are they bombarded with a generic list of prospects who may or may not be ready to buy? Just because you have a long list of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) doesn’t mean they all hold the same weight.
If you’re struggling to prioritize leads for your sales team to work with, one solution is to introduce lead scoring. A lead score is a metric that evaluates the quality of each lead, making it easier for sales reps to determine which leads to focus on.
You can develop your own lead scoring system based on the factors you believe are most important, such as the ideal size of a company, the credibility of the contact person, or their timing. You can also use an existing solution like Leadspace or MadKudu to automate and accelerate the process.
#3 How are we tracking prospecting activities?
Each time a sales rep reaches out to a potential lead, they should record the details in your CRM. This helps your team track which prospect has been contacted and how often, and ensures that reps don’t contact the same leads repeatedly.
#4 Are we customizing our messaging for each prospect?
While standard templates can be useful for breezing past the introductory phase of pitching, adapting messages to your prospects’ specific needs and challenges is essential to delivering a more relevant pitch. For example, if you’re pitching to a business in the telecommunications industry, you can address common pain points that companies in that sector have (like data privacy and IT security) in your emails, LinkedIn outreach, and sales calls. Doing so makes them more likely to respond to your outreach and subsequent offer.
#5 Do we have a process for identifying champions within our target companies?
No matter how advanced your product is, it can’t sell itself. You need people inside your target companies to champion your product and its benefits. These champions are incredibly valuable, and a structured and repeatable process of identifying and engaging them will save your team time and make your pitches more effective.
You can find these champions in two ways:
- Identify individuals within your target companies who have already been exposed to your product. This could be a customer who has been using your software for five years, an employee whose friend works at one of your prospect companies, or a business partner you’ve worked with in the past. These people will be more open to the idea of buying from you and already understand how you can help them - saving you a lot of time and effort.
- Note any interesting engagement across your marketing channels. If you’re trying to sell a CRM solution to Company X and you notice their Sales Analyst has been engaging, sharing, and commenting on your company’s LinkedIn content, that may be your way in. Reach out and start a conversation about what they need and how you can help.
#6 Are our reps equipped with the right tools?
A streamlined sales process requires the right tools for maximum efficiency. For instance, are your reps able to access relevant data and reports easily? If not, consider getting a CRM and automating these tasks. This helps sales reps spend more time selling and less on admin.
Momentum helps sales teams in this area by providing critical deal desk data to your sales reps and account executives. By syncing your Salesforce data to Slack, your team can cut down on the time it takes to access vital information while engaging prospects or structuring complex deals.
The MEDDIC sales process helps your sales team close more deals
The MEDDIC sales methodology is relevant no matter what industry you work in. From hospitals and law firms to software and pharmaceutical companies, purchasing decisions in each of these companies always involve several moving parts that you need to take into account.
These decisions involve more than just hard numbers from your sales team - they require a holistic approach to understanding every aspect of the buying process so you can better qualify leads and close new deals. By implementing the MEDDIC lead qualification framework, your sales team can move from a random sales approach to a more focused, methodical strategy.