Smarter Inspection is Mission-Critical Today
In a world of abundance, a few botched deals are simply speed bumps. But today, they’re complete derailers. Lackluster earnings calls, layoffs, corporate restructuring, and tightening margins mean softening demand.
We’ve seen these patterns before (e.g., the 2008 financial crisis). But the scale and speed of disruption are unparalleled. Executives are coming to us with their biggest challenges to tackle – here’s what we’re hearing:
- From a $200M ARR SaaS: “We just lost a contract with a large, multinational financial corporation, even AFTER a successful pilot period. Turns out, our platform didn’t meet all the IT security requirements for a global rollout.”
- From a $1B healthcare service organization: “Our sellers work hard to find their way through all the procurement hoops of hospitals, especially public ones. Once they win the deal, they turn the relationship over to our implementation team – uptake drags out, and they never fully use the agreed-upon solution. Time-to-revenue is way too long.”
- From a $2B data cloud provider: “In a full implementation, we quickly become a significant spend in the IT budget. Technical folks love us – we make their job easier. But we can’t just rely on IT to sing our praises. We need to do a better job of justifying spend by linking to business metrics.”
What do these scenarios have in common? Sellers failing to align the broader value of their deal, leading to customers not realizing that value. That translates into churn and lost revenue.
That’s why more and more sales organizations are doubling down on tried-and-true deal review frameworks like MEDDIC and its variations (i.e., MEDDICC or our preferred MEDDPICC).
MEDDPICC: 3 Must-Haves Right Now
We’re big proponents of MEDDPICC and how it helps sellers drive business value. But we consistently see sales organizations making critical mistakes when implementing MEDDPICC. Here are 3 things your teams must start doing as we navigate the current environment:
- Build on Foundational Awareness with Specificity
The big selling points for MEDDPICC with CROs are the ‘universal’ relevance and common acceptance. There’s a good chance that your team has already been exposed to the fundamentals at some point in their career. The familiarity accelerates adoption. We see it applied across industries, roles, and selling motions.
MEDDPICC includes the critical concepts of every complex B2B deal:
- Metrics: Quantifiable measures of value that your solution can provide
- Economic Buyer: The person with “yes” or “no” authority in the buying decision
- Decision Criteria: How a decision to purchase your solution will be judged
- Decision Process: Series of steps a buyer will take to make a decision
- Paper Process: Series of steps to move from decision to signature
- Implicated Pain: A customer’s business problem serious enough to require a solution
- Champion: The person who has the power and credibility to influence stakeholders
- Competition: Any vendor or initiative competing for the same funds or resources
Unfortunately, sellers often just know the concepts and definitions. Too many fail to effectively apply it to their specific situation.
MEDDPICC needs situational depth that’s unique to your organization, use cases, and deal structure. The key here is to get as specific as possible and translate MEDDPICC concepts into your company’s context.
You must define each of the elements and enable what makes your sales experience and solution unique. Successful enablement teams turn generic concepts into practical inspection points. For example:
- Instead of “Have you identified the key performance metrics that drive value?”, ask, “Have you defined and baselined their current total cost of ownership over the last three years?”
- Instead of “Do you have a champion?”, ask, “Have you developed the Product Manager leading the implementation to be our champion?”
- Instead of “Do you know when IT should be involved?”, try, “Have you identified all the info security/process documentation requirements? Have you confirmed our alignment before engaging Legal?”
- Activate MEDDPICC with Sales Plays
We often hear MEDDPICC mistakenly referred to as a sales methodology or process. But it’s neither. It’s a deal qualification, inspection, and coaching framework. To fully activate it, it must be tied to a series of practical actions (or sales plays). These sales plays guide sellers to execute based on the situation.
As sellers put sales plays into action, they uncover additional information to sharpen their pursuit. But it’s more than just “checking items off a list”… telling a seller to simply uncover the KPIs a customer will use to measure success isn’t enough.
Truly implementing MEDDPICC requires providing sellers with a playbook to address the key aspects of a deal. Consider the key components of a winning sales play:
- Targeted Actions: What must a seller do to uncover information, position solutions, align stakeholders, and provide more value than the competition?
- Value Messages: What are the high-impact questions to ask and compelling insights to share in the process?
- Knowledge: What does the seller need to know about the customer’s business, industry, and challenges? What about our solutions and customer success process?
- Tools: How can sellers use tools to accelerate the sales process?
Done right, sales plays combine the experiences and strategies of top-performing sellers with the rigor and precision of deal inspection.
Let’s take Champion, for example. It’s a component of all the MEDDIC variations because it’s the most critical part of any B2B deal. What’s your organization’s sales play to develop and support your advocate or do you simply just tell your teams ‘find a Champion’?
- Operationalize MEDDPICC and Hold Teams Accountable
MEDDPICC is a way to infuse more rigor into deal reviews and coaching. But this shouldn’t be a one-and-done or a check-the-box activity. It must become core to your sales management cadence and how sellers execute the sales process.
There are a few key actions enablement teams must take to embed MEDDPICC into a seller’s daily routine:
- Add custom CRM fields to the opportunity record to capture a greater level of detail
- Develop a deal scorecard that highlights information gaps and areas to hone-in
- Leverage CRM integrations to visualize key deal factors, like relationship maps (e.g., People.ai)
- Build MEDDPICC criteria and questions into front-line manager coaching guides
- Anchor forecasting and deal conversations to customer evidence – ‘gut feelings’ are not evidence
The goal is to create consistency and a common language across the organization. Sellers become aware of what to look for in their deals. And they learn the patterns of what their managers expect and inspect. More importantly, sellers put the right behaviors into practice when they see results within their wallets.
Doubling Down on Deal Coaching Using a Deal Review Framework
Implemented correctly, MEDDPICC provides sellers with the deal factors to focus on and the sales plays to run. It also infuses greater precision into the inspection process – enabling a manager to direct sellers on the right actions. Zooming out, it even helps leaders to “manage up”, using evidence to drive forecasting and pipeline decisions.
Contact us to learn how we’re helping companies get results in a tough selling environment through the customization of MEDDPICC.
About The Author
Ralph is a partner with The Brevet Group, and for 20 years he has led sales performance teams in the United States and Asia. Recently he also served as a sales leader in both the media and technology industries. Ralph’s work has focused on a unique blend of management consulting and sales enablement to help companies execute their sales strategies. Prior to this role, Ralph was the APAC sales effectiveness leader at Mercer.