“You can double your income with this.” This is something my mentor once told me. At the time, I didn’t believe him. But I did what he said. I followed his system, and it changed my life.
He taught me some obvious stuff, like that I needed to prospect more; I needed to build better business cases; and push executives for data, alignment, validation, and change. But most importantly, he taught me a new methodology that changed everything.
That methodology is what I’m going to teach you today — MEDDPICC.
It may sound like nonsense now, but I promise you, by the end of this article, you’ll want these eight letters tattooed on your arm, so you don’t forget them.
My Wakeup Call
Come back in time a few years with me. I was good at Sales, I was the top of my team, and I knew it. I consistently hit my income goals, I exceeded plan every year at every company I had been part of, and I won multiple Presidents’ Clubs to some of the best destinations in the world. I hired and trained people who have gone on to hit their goals, and I personally took on initiatives that helped shape the strategy and culture of multiple organizations.
This isn’t me bragging. This is just how I thought of myself as a top performer in my field. I believe many of us get to this point, where we have spent 10+ years honing a craft and feel good about the results.
We start to think we have things figured out. We stop pushing ourselves to be better because we’ve hit our goals. And we forget that to get where we’ve gotten, we had to earn it, DAILY.
This is dangerous thinking, and it can truly stifle potential. Thankfully, I got the wakeup call I needed.
At this point in my career, it was rare for me to get pushed on my sales ability. After all, I was successful and working in a senior-level sales role at a Fortune 250 company. But along came a leader who flipped my world upside down.
Like often happens in companies, there was a leadership change. I dread most of these, but this guy was different. He came in with a humble, yet very accomplished, approachable, partnership style. Opposed to the I am the big new boss, let me establish myself at the top of the food chain approach so many take and fail at.
For those of you interested, his name was Gregory Donovan. At first, I took the approach of, who is this new guy, and what can he do for me. For years, he had been a successful enterprise salesperson, started his own company, sold it, and was very well connected with heads of sales at some huge companies.
He quickly showed me that I had much more room to grow.
So how did this person shake my foundation? Oddly enough, it was easier than I thought possible. He simply asked me during one of our goal setting meetings, “How much money do you want to make this fiscal?”
I told him, and it was a pretty solid number.
He laughed at me in an encouraging way and said, “You’re better than that.”
I challenged him, of course. I thought the number I had given him was a good number. I remember this moment because a weird emotion hit me when he told me I could do more. It was part anger — how dare you question me/I already do some much, what can I really achieve? And there was also some fear in there — maybe I am not as good as I think I am.
I honestly didn’t believe him. I didn’t know how to do more than I was or see how doing more would translate into more sales.
What followed was almost a discovery session, similar to what we all put our clients through. Again, we were new to our relationship, so he sought to understand everything I was doing (he already had some idea) and understand my process.
At the end, as if he already knew the answer, he said, “You’re good, but you can do more.”
I simply said, “How?”
That’s when he introduced me to 8 letters that would forever change my life in Sales — MEDDPICC. And hopefully, it will change yours too.
MEDDPICC: An Overview
MEDDPICC is a sales qualification methodology that is pretty popular in enterprise sales. Think of it as a checklist for information you need to know, things you need to do, and people you need to be friends with.
It also serves as a great troubleshooting tool to identify gaps or weaknesses in your current deals and in your process.
If you can check off every letter in MEDDPICC, you will be far more likely to win your deal. And if you can’t, then you know what you need to work on.
So let’s look at what each letter stands for, what information you need to gather in each stage, and how you can begin using it to transform your career.
Metrics are all about convincing your prospect with hard numbers. What is your business case? Think of the hard dollars, the real value, and the KPI improvements that your solution brings that justify a change.
You need real numbers here. Don’t guess.
With these numbers, you’ll paint a picture for your prospect that compels them to buy. Imagine a lever on a wall. When you pull that lever, the business machine moves. Your goal with Metrics is to understand the financial impact of those levers being where they are now and show your prospects how your solution can move those levers.
Map every lever and the percentage of improvement your solution can bring.
Ask your prospects:
“Can we agree that improving these areas will save you time, increase productivity, and grow revenue?”
“If we make these changes, what % improvement could be seen across the levers?”
“If we improved by that %, how much new revenue would your business save or generate?”
Have you ever gotten to the end of your process and been told, “I need to share this with someone,” or, “I don’t have budget,” and then lost the deal.
We probably all have. The E stage of MEDDPICC is all about solving that by identifying your economic buyer.
Find out who can spend money, who has budget, who can CREATE budget, and who can sign the contract? This is your economic buyer, and this will be the person saying YES to your great idea!
They are the ultimate decision maker.
You want to meet this person early in the process. Make sure you understand their vision and their pain. They are often very busy, but if you understand the challenges they have, clearly state the problem you solve, build trust, demonstrate the ROI, and help them get there, you will get their attention!
This doesn’t mean you ignore everyone else, though. It’s OK to work with several people during an opportunity. In large deals, you may see 6-8 or even more. But as you work with other members of your prospect’s decision team, be sure to share your findings with the economic buyer. And make sure they’re a part of your final presentation, your business case review, and contracting.
This stage is all about understanding the feature functionality your buyer is looking for and how closely your solution aligns with it. Find out what’s on your prospect’s wish list. What items will you be measured on, and what will you need to achieve to earn their business?
“If I could wave a magic wand, what would you want out of a new solution?”
Yeah… it makes me cringe too. Maybe instead ask, “What are you looking to get out of your new solution?” Or even, “If you had a wishlist for your new solution, what would be on it?”
Remember, different buyers have different wish lists and outcomes they’re looking for from your solution.
Think back to the last time you and your significant other had to decide on anything. Last time my wife and I bought a car, I wanted it to go faster, and my wife wanted comfy seats. If the salesperson tried to sell the V8 to my wife, she would have gotten scared. Know your buyer, and know what will get them excited about your product.
This is also your opportunity to call out things your buyer may not have on their wishlist that they should.
This is where differentiation happens.
This is where expansion happens.
The end goal of this stage is simple — to find out what the prospect wants so you can present the RIGHT solution to them.
If I asked you, When does your client want to be live, and why? What is their buying process? When will they be making their decision? Who are all the players, AND what are their personal/professional wins?
Could you answer all those questions?
If not, you have a gap you need to fill. Now, if you really wanted to get fancy with this step, I would ask, “Do you have a mutual action plan that was co-created and agreed-upon?”
The purpose of this stage is to understand the path so you can walk hand-in-hand with your buyer through the purchase. This step gives you permission to hold both sides accountable to the agreed upon journey.
Without clarifying the decision process, you may have a deal, but you’ll have no idea when you’ll actually win it.
You can’t forecast accurately without this step.
Does this sound familiar? “I am totally getting this deal this month,” or, “My forecast is solid, no risk at all.”
Have you ever been wrong?
Yea, me too!
Maybe you left your friend P behind…
The purpose of the paper process step is to understand:
- How long your prospect’s legal process typically takes
- If they have inside or outside council
- Who is reviewing
- What the level of priority is
- If the signature process has changed
This is critical to learn to make sure deals close on time. Because, remember, business process ≠ legal process. The business may be ready to sign, but I have seen legal rewrite an entire agreement or spend months defining terms because outside council was getting paid by the hour.
Remember, if you aren’t getting squeezed, you aren’t getting a deal. Don’t offer any concessions until you’re at this step and understand every ask holistically. You need to understand their priorities and non-negotiables. Have your give-to-gets and trades mapped out beforehand. And remember, that saying no can get you to yes.
This may sound difficult, and it can be. But the good news is that when you nail the paper process, you can often nail the signature date down to the day or even the hour.
Do you know why your prospects might make a change? Do you know why now? What is each function’s challenge with the current environment? What would be their personal/professional win with the change? If they don’t make the change, what happens?
Do you ever demo without knowing these things? I hope your answer is no because this stuff is vital. If you don’t know their true pain point, how can you connect their problem to your solution without making an assumption?
This is where I see people get lazy. We see surface pain, and we connect the dots from past conversations.
And then we make recommendations — big recommendations — for massive change without really understanding…
Stop doing that!
Dig deep here! Keep asking, “Then what happens?” And “What else?”
You are only free to recommend a solution only once this step is complete — once you know what their real issues are, what their goals are, and what their outcomes will be. This, along with Metrics, will solidify your “why change” message.
This step is Metric’s best friend — identifying pain is how you sell emotionally, whereas, metrics are about justifying rationally. Identifying pain connects you back to the Decision criteria and allows you to demo to their exact problem.
Don’t present without identifying their pain.
Have you ever wished you knew what was really going on internally? Wanted to understand what they like about your solution? Prayed for hints on when decisions were being made?
Well, all the wishing, wanting, and praying won’t help you…
But your champion will!
OK, David, we get it… Now, how do we find this person? Ask yourself these three questions:
Who has the most to gain by the change?
Who is the end-user that is getting the biggest benefits?
Who is leaning in and giving all the verbal cues in your presentations?
That is your champion in waiting, and if you haven’t built a relationship with this person, do that now.
Foster this relationship, nurture it, and watch your opportunity grow stronger. There are several things you can do to build these relationships. For instance,
- Ask for a separate meeting to discuss, understand, and empower your champion
- Educate them, and have them present information back to you
- Ask them to prep for meetings with you
- Send them communications or information to vet out and cascade on your behalf
If you have done all this well, your wishes, wants, and prayers should all get answered.
Who are they? What differentiates you from them? What landmines can you set? Ask questions like:
“I know this is important to you. How do we compare? Have you looked into…”
“Many companies are looking for X in a solution, and this is what sets us apart. You may want to explore that with other solutions.”
Stories also come into play.
“Companies that made changes here saw this type of improvement.“
“We heard from our clients that they needed ABC, so we built it, and these were the results our clients saw.“
When talking about competition, focus on unbiased honesty when it comes to the pros and cons. It’s tempting to talk up your own solution and talk bad about your competition, but don’t get caught in a lie (or even an exaggeration). Always take the high road.
And remember that there is more than just outside competition. We all have one competitor in common — the status quo.
Metrics and Identifying pain are two of your best tools to beat the status quo. The second thing that can help you beat the competition is being an expert. You know what you are solving for. You know what’s important to the buyer. And you know how to differentiate yourself. So be the expert you already are.
Be an advisor, and push for deeper exploration where needed.
Getting to Green
As you go through these criteria, you’ll color code everything red, yellow, or green. Red is information you don’t know. Yellow is information you know some of, but it may not be 100% validated. And green means you are 100% confident it’s complete and validated by the client.
Your job during the sales process is to get all of these to green as fast as possible.
Now you may be saying to yourself, “David, this stuff is obvious.” And yes, yes it is. It was obvious to me when I first saw it.
But then I went back and applied it to the deals I was working, the ones I had lost, and the ones I had won. And let’s just say, my mind was blown.
I challenge you, as I was challenged, pick a deal you are working on, write out the eight letters, and be honest with filling in the information. I bet you anything you have red and yellow all over it.
I am going to pause here. Seriously, go do this…
Go do it on the last deal you lost…
Now, go do it on the last deal you won…
Now Put It to Use
Again, we are all at different stages of our sales development. But this here will change your life if you let it. It will show you your blind spots. It will help you prepare for meetings. It WILL help you win more.
Scoring a deal is a race to get each step to green faster than your competition. Whoever gets all this information the fastest — and in a complete fashion — will often win.
Now, nothing is guaranteed in this world. You could do everything right and still lose. But using MEDDPICC will increase your chance of winning dramatically and potentially double your income.
To wrap this up, seek out people who can make you better (Shout out to Gregory Donovan again here. Thanks for everything, Greg. You forever changed my life). Be coachable. Don’t be lazy. And use MEDDPICC.