Ultimate Guide to MEDDICC: Win More, Win Faster, Improve ASP and Forecast Better

Neil Barlow
25 min readJan 6, 2022

What is MEDDICC?

Video (4 min)

The MEDDICC acronym was developed at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) by renowned sales leaders Richard Dunkel and Jack Napoli. PTC had the reputation of being one of the most successful sales organizations in the tech industry. Upon adoption of the MEDDIC qualification process, revenues drastically increased from $300 million to $1 billion over a period of several years, and PTC met or exceeded their revenue projections for 43 straight quarters with double digit growth. MEDDICC was a huge contributor to their company success, however it also contributed to the growth and career progression of their people.

They liked to joke at PTC that there were two types of sales reps: rich or new. Additionally, many individual contributors and leaders from PTC have gone on to be leaders at great SaaS businesses like AppDynamics, BMC, Datadog, Crowdstrike, Medallia, MongoDB, New Relic, Nutanix, Okta, Qualtrics, Rubrik, Segment, Sprinklr and Zscaler.

For me, being well-versed in MEDDICC is like having a Harvard degree in the art and science of sales. It provides sellers and leaders the opportunity to create unbounded possibility in their pursuit of bookings, target achievement, career progression and sales mastery.

Why Use MEDDICC?

MEDDICC is an opportunity qualification framework that provides a simple formula for managing deals through a complex sales process to increase win rates and more accurately predict what deals are trending to closed won vs. closed lost.

Most sales organization don’t have a shared vocabulary for discussing opportunities or a proven opportunity qualification framework that provides a prescriptive roadmap to consistently win deals. Therefore, many sales reps struggle to achieve quota and accurately predict which deals they believe they will win. Additionally, many sales managers struggle to make an impact coaching reps on how to increase their chances of winning deals because they can’t provide a repeatable formula for replicating success.

Increase Win Rates: MEDDICC will effectively guide a salesperson through the consultative sales process to drive the right activity with the right people based upon a simple and lightweight formula for winning that will transform any good sales rep into an extraordinary one.

Increase Predictability: Forecasting, in its current form, is more of an art versus a structured science because most sales reps are operating off instinct and experience as opposed to a proven framework for predicting opportunities that you’re likely to win.

What Does MEDDICC Stand For?

Video (6 min)

Metrics — Quantifiable measure of the business impact of your solution.

Economic Buyer — Person(s) who must give the final, “Yes,” for your solution to get approval.

Decision Criteria — Requirements which drive the decision to buy a solution.

Decision Process — How a customer will evaluate, select, and purchase a solution.

Identified Pain — What is the compelling and urgent business need.

Champion(s) — Person(s) at the organization you are selling to who supports your solution and sells for you when you’re not around.

Competition — The other vendors that you are up against in the vetting process.

Chapter 2: Metrics 101

Video (3 min)

How well you understand what success looks like determines your ability to achieve success.

Metrics are the outcomes that a prospect wants to achieve with the implementation of a solution that demonstrates value to them and their business.

Every project needs a clear definition of success; however, success means different things to different people. Success shouldn’t be generic. Success is the ability to prove to the customer that X metric gets improved by Y percentage because of your product.

For most organizations success falls into 3categories: make money, save money, and reduce risk.

The M in MEDDICC helps teams and individuals establish a clear and measurable criteria for what defines success.

Metrics should be meaningful, motivational, and measurable.

Meaningful — Does achieving the metric for success matter to the organization?

Motivational — Is it something people want to rally behind?

Measurable — What is the exact success metric?

To uncover the Metrics that define success ask this:

  • If we are sitting here 12 months from now high-fiving each other on how great our product has been for your organization, explain to me what has changed?

Chapter 3: Economic Buyer 101

Video (8 min)

How well you understand who is making the ultimate decision determines your ability to influence the decision.

Big business issues are defined by the most important people in an organization. Big business issues get allocated big dollars to be solved.

If you want to win more, and at higher prices, then you must improve your ability to compete by ensuring you are equipped to have quality conversations about big business problems in a way that’s meaningful to what is top of mind for Economic Buyers.

The Economic Buyer is the person who must give the final, “Yes,” to get a signed contract. This person owns the budget and can authorize spending it. Remember, just because someone, “owns,” the budget doesn’t necessarily make them the EB.

EBs typically care about 3 things…

  1. How much does it cost?
  2. How soon until I see value?
  3. How sure are you that it is going to work?

BONUS: Using customer stories really, really, really helps with that 3rd question.

To qualify whether someone is an Economic Buyer or identify who the Economic Buyer might be ask this:

  • This sounds like a big initiative — does this program have executive sponsorship?
  • Who else is involved in making this decision?
  • Whose budget is going to fund this investment?

Chapter 4: Decision Criteria 101

Video (7 min)

How well you understand how a decision is made determines how likely you are to control that decision.

Decision Criteria is how your prospect will decide what solution to select. The criteria is dictated by the required capabilities that your prospect is looking for in whatever solution they choose. Sales reps in competitive situations should focus on the aspects of their solution that make their solution different and try imposing those aspects as required for success.

It’s key to ask, “How are you going to decide,” because it causes the prospect to reveal the formal or informal criteria by which they will decide what solution to pick.

The Decision Criteria is made up of 4 key aspects:

  • Solution Criteria — Business decision — does this do what we want?
  • Commercial Criteria — Money/Sourcing decision — can we afford this?
  • Technical Criteria — Tech/Security decision — does this meet our IT requirements?
  • Legal Criteria — Legal decision — do we agree to the terms?

BONUS: Required Capabilities — Your prospects and customers have a set of required capabilities for whatever purchase they’re considering. These are the minimum solution requirements that are needed to solve the business problem and achieve the positive business outcomes.

Articulating How You Are Different

The best way to increase your win rate as a sales rep is to be good at articulating how your company or product is different. If you can influence the required capabilities to make your solution’s unique differentiators required, then you have effectively set yourself up to be the only viable solution.

Consider, for example, the way in which many credit cards are marketed. Since they all essentially offer the same commodity service — unsecured loans — they must find other forms of differentiation. This usually means alliance with another business: creating airline cards with frequent flier miles, cards with extended warranties, or retail cards offering exclusive access or discounts. The reason you choose one credit over the other is typically because of the brand or the card’s unique differentiators (AMEX Gold and Platinum for the win). A sales process with multiple vendors is the same. How are you different?

Being Good at Qualifying

The other best way to increase your win rate as a sales rep is to be good at qualifying whether an opportunity is worth your time based on how well a prospect’s required capabilities match up with what your solution is good at. Time is a finite resource in sales, so you better make sure you are spending your time on opportunities that you have the highest likelihood of winning.

Another story for you. Your organization might have the greatest food product in the world. People ABSOLUTELY love it. You have millions and millions in sales. Your organization approaches Whole Foods to have them sell your product in stores. Turns out…several of the ingredients in your product are on Whole Food’s unacceptable ingredients list. Doesn’t matter how much people love your product and how much you have in sales…you fail Whole Foods’ required capabilities. They will never sell your product in their stores until you remove those ingredients.

Being good at sales means being good at qualifying. Qualifying in and QUALIFYING OUT.

Customer Improvement

The final best way to increase win rates is a set of activities called customer improvement. Customer improvement requires that sales people provide the customer with a perspective that is not just unique, but also constructively critical of how the customer is currently doing things. However, offering a unique, critical perspective is not sufficient on its own: the seller must also lay out a vision for how the customer can improve their business and provide stories as evidence for doing so.

To qualify the Decision Criteria ask this:

  • Can you describe to me how you’re going to grade the different vendors?
  • Will your team using any sort of scorecard to make this decision? May I see it?
  • If you could build a solution to help solve this problem from scratch — what features would be need to haves?

Chapter 5: Decision Process 101

Video (8 min)

How well you understand how a decision is made determines how likely you are to control that decision.

The Decision Process is simply how your prospect will decide what solution they want to use and how they get a signed agreement. It’s important to uncover the specific steps the prospect(s) and organization will take to evaluate, select, approve, and purchase, and who the key stakeholders involved in each step are.

All sales processes typically have two parts to it:

  1. Selection Process
  2. Contract Process

Be sure to uncover both because this is a fundamental way to qualify whether a deal should be in Best Case or Commit for your forecast.

Remember, yes is nothing without how.

Prospect: “Yes I want to move forward with your prospect or service”

Salesperson: “Ok, can you please walk me through how your organization gets agreements signed?”

Think about it. How does a bill become a law in the United States? For our global friends yes, you are about to get a lesson in US politics.

Well, first either the House or the Senate needs to introduce it and approve it. Then the other must introduce it and approve it as well. After both the House and Senate have approved a bill in identical form, the bill is sent to the President. If the President approves of the legislation, it is signed and becomes law. If the President takes no action for ten days while Congress is in session, the bill automatically becomes law.

Getting a contract signed is no different…well except for the whole no action equals automatic approval. There’s an idea for a feature DocuSign. Jokes aside, there are specific steps that an organization must go through to reach agreement and get a contract signed.

The final part of Decision Process (with a side of Identified Pain) is the illusive compelling event.

What is a Compelling Event?

A compelling event has an economic owner, a defined date and is a direct response to a business pressure. The action is expected to deliver a significant business result (either improving opportunity/capability or reducing pain). The compelling event defines the reason for the economic owner to act.

The compelling event, or its absence, is a strong leading indicator for the probability of success regarding the opportunity. The symptoms described above may well be contributing to a risk/reward decision.

If you have a prospect who likes what they see, but just can’t seem to finalize the contract, then you need a compelling event. A compelling event is something that forces a decision. Ask yourself the simple question below on EVERY opportunity you have planned for the quarter.

Do we have a compelling event?

If the answer is no…you must act. Hope is not a strategy. Make a plan!

Most prospects have a compelling event. You might argue that your prospect doesn’t, however I’d argue that maybe we haven’t done an effective job of uncovering it. The compelling event can be a small or large piece of information that has a high impact on the implementation of a negotiated agreement.

A basic “hypothesis” in any negotiation is that each side is in possession of at least 3 potential compelling events, 3 pieces of information that if the other side knew about, would completely change everything. Most people expect that these pieces of information will be highly proprietary or closely guarded information, when in fact the information may be completely innocuous. Either side may be completely oblivious to its importance.

Compelling events are a large part of the value of approaching negotiations as a navigation process. It’s a process of discovering not only what the other side are afraid to share until trust is established, but also what the other side knows, but may not know is important. There are always pieces of information that the other side is holding and does not understand its significance.

Finding & Creating Compelling Events

Some prospects have a process in mind when they are looking to research, evaluate, select, agree the price and purchase. They may have a deadline as to when they need the product or service, or they may want it “as soon as possible”. Everybody likes these prospects; they know what they are doing and don’t waste anybody’s time.

Other prospects are not that organized and may challenge your sales technique. They may not have a deadline. They may not even know what it is they need, or if they want it all. Their budget may be ill-defined. These prospects need help making the final decision to buy — “help” as in “the final push”!

Customer Owned Compelling Event

A customer owned compelling event is a date or event by which the customer needs to have a solution operational due to internal pressure based around their company objectives. These compelling events are the most powerful because the customer is pushing for the completion of the sales process as opposed to the sales rep needing to create artificial pressure to move forward.

What is the consequence of doing nothing? What happens if nothing happens in terms of solving this problem in the next 3 months? Try using these questions in one of your next meetings. Uncovering negative consequences is difficult, but when done right it can dramatically accelerate your deal

New Financial Year: they need (not want) the solution ready, or at least decided, by the beginning of the new financial year.

Management Target: The purchaser has been given a target to get the solution in by a certain date. An EB or Champion might have told the Board that they would take steps before the next Board meeting to improve XYZ process.

Current Issue: The prospect and their business have an ongoing issue which is causing pain and needs to be fixed as soon as possible. This could be something as simple as their existing supplier’s contract expires on a certain date and they need a new solution in place before then. If you can’t identify your customer’s most compelling pain points, you’ll struggle to sell your solutions. Deals are won and lost on effective discovery. If you want to sell on value, you must ask questions that prompt prospects to verbalize their pain, in a way that gives you an opportunity to articulate the value of your solution.

Budget Year End: They need to spend the money by the end of the fiscal year, as it is in this year’s budget but may not be in next year’s. Large companies have this issue, if they don’t spend the money before the end of the financial year, they lose it.

Commercially Created Compelling Event

A commercially created compelling event is an artificially created event driving the client to sign by a certain date.

Discounting: Discounting is often viewed with negative connotations in sales. People feel that if they discount, they are in some way, shape or form losing. Discounting for discounting’s sake is not ideal, however strategic discounting isn’t. For example, what if by discounting your agreement from $102,500 to $98,500 you entered the signing threshold of your champion? Discounting in this case would allow you to get the deal done quicker without having to get approval from additional stakeholders. Discounting in this example is a no brainer. To strategically discount though you must understand two things concretely; what is the Decision Process and who is the Economic Buyer. Without an understanding of these two elements, you are putting yourself in a position where you are offering a discount to someone that might not control the budget or understand how a contract gets signed at their organization. Beware of offering discounts without knowing exactly how they buy and who specifically is buying.

The Resource Calendar: If you sell solutions that have professional services attached (custom configurations, implementation, consulting services, etc.) many organizations will use the resourcing calendar to drive prospects to sign. “In order to book you in with our professional services team, I need to understand what date you need to be operational by that way I can effectively resource plan with our plan.”

The Personal Favor: I’ve said many times that we must focus on the prospect and frame them needing to sign by a particular date through the lens of what they gain, however that is not always true. If you have a very good relationship with your champion. Big if. I’ve personally leveraged the below in the past and it has worked wonders…

“Hey [insert name], I know this is a tad bit selfish, however we have a big sales contest going on at [insert your company name] right now and if I can secure this opportunity by end of quarter it will put me in a position to win. Any chance we can secure signature by end of month?”

Compelling events accelerate your sales cycle and cause decisive action to be taken.

Sometimes, your customer has a clear vision and lays out why they are looking to buy. More often, it is up to the sales executive to ask terrific questions, work with the customer and understand exactly what is causing that customer to engage with you. Identify the pain and you will reveal why they are looking for a solution — if there is no pain, you need to step back and re-evaluate whether this is truly an opportunity. Remember, asking great questions during the sales cycle will help both you and your customer figure out whether you have something that can truly solve their need!

Chapter 6: Identified Pain 101

Video (7 min)

How well you understand a problem determines how well you solve it.

“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.” — Albert Einstein

Einstein believed the quality of the solution you generate is in direct proportion to your ability to identify the problem you hope to solve. With that in mind, he believed a key to productivity was to invest your time in defining the problem as opposed to jumping right into dreaming up solutions to it.

Ask yourself: What is the problem your prospect is facing? How can you help solve that problem?

The I in MEDDICC stands for Identified Pain. Identified Pain is all about finding a measurable problem that is impacting your prospect’s business.

Early in the sales cycle, your prospects are simply trying to figure out whether they have a problem that merits attention and action. It’s our job to help them understand the true business pain — if we’re able to help them understand their problem, then we win the right to compete for the solution.

The key is to be specific! You can’t solve a pain the customer doesn’t realize is there. If a prospect believes they’re losing money, it’s your job to first help them quantify how much money they’re losing and then it’s your job to show them how they can fix it (by implementing your solution).

Forming a Pain Hypothesis

Use your knowledge of the industry, your research, and your category expertise to form a hypothesis as to what you think the pain might be before you speak with someone. The pain must impact the prospect and most importantly the Economic Buyer, in one of three key areas.

  1. Money — Your prospect needs to increase sales or decrease costs (increase revenue and/or profitability)
  2. Time — Your prospect needs to do things faster or more efficiently (improve operational efficiency)
  3. Risk — Better manage compliance and risk

Remember at this point in the sales process, this is 100% about the customer and 0% about you!

How To become a “Must Have” Instead of a “Nice to Have”

In every buying cycle, you must answer four simple questions for your prospect.

  • Why do anything?
  • Why you?
  • Why now?
  • Who decides?

Why Do Anything?

This is the first question someone needs to answer before they can evaluate other options. This is the first goal of your discovery process and one that needs to be continually revisited throughout your sales cycle.

Remember, the most likely scenario is that your prospect maintains the status quo, so it’s your job to convince them that they need to do something. If the prospect is doing a fine job today, the building isn’t on fire, they’re going to come in tomorrow and be fine again, then why do they need to do anything at all?

The goal in the early stages of the sales process is simply to help your prospect realize that there is a problem worth solving. It is your job to help uncover their pain points and solve them.

When you’re answering, ‘Why do anything’, the key is to pretend like your company doesn’t exist. The prospect must decide that there is a problem worth solving before they can begin to evaluate solutions to that problem. You don’t want to be a ‘nice to have’, be a ‘must have’. If a problem is truly worth solving, the prospect MUST HAVE a solution. If it’s a small problem, having a solution would be nice to have.

Why You?

Once your prospect has recognized, “Ok, this is a problem worth solving”, now it’s time to show them there is a better way! Now we can start to talk about all the amazing ways that you’re going to change their life. Now you can start to distance yourself from the competition.

Now is the time to educate your prospect that you’re the only one who can fix the problem. Don’t worry we’ll spend a lot more time on this during the competitive section.

Why Now?

Congratulations, your prospect has identified there is a problem worth solving, and that you’re the right one for the job. Now you’ve got the hardest part, you need to convince them to do it now! Creating urgency is one of the most challenging parts of a complex sales cycle, when you add in 5 or 10 people on the buying committee, creating urgency gets even harder! We call this urgency the illusive compelling event.

Who Decides?

B2B sales purchases are made by committee therefore you need to understand the key stakeholders involved in the decision-making process, however most importantly you need to identify the Economic Buyer — the person who can say yes and has signing authority.

How to Get Better at Uncovering Pains or Opportunities

  1. Natural Curiosity
  2. Directional Discovery
  3. TED — Open Ended Questions
  4. Commercial Insights and Storytelling

1. Natural Curiosity

Force Management wrote, “one of the most succinct pieces of advice experts often share with reps is to go in curious. If you’re curious, you’re listening to your customer, you’re asking great questions and you’re more likely to uncover pain points and the negative consequences that are resulting from them.” If you want to be interesting, be interested!

2. Directional Discovery

Start Broad:

Good discovery involves asking challenging questions that effectively uncover business pains. However, to do this, you must earn the right to ask those types of questions. Don’t just go straight into the conversation with the tough questions or else your prospect will shut down. Start with general, warm-up questions or statements that get your prospect talking about the area that’s relevant to your software or solution.

Then Hone in on the Positives:

Human beings naturally want to talk about the positives. As you start to understand your prospect’s world, their challenges, and their achievements first hone in on the positives and their achievements. Asking about the positives earns you the right to then transition to the challenges the prospect may be experiencing.

Transition to the Negatives:

By first discussing what is working well for your prospect you create a natural turning point in the conversation to ask about what is not working well. Starting with the good will make your prospect more inclined to share about the bad. Good discovery means getting your prospect to open-up.

  • Data from Gong.io shows that discussing 3–4 problems during discovery has the highest likelihood of moving the deal to the next step
  • The way in which you ask questions about the negatives is very important as well. You want to ask questions with empathy. What do I mean by that?Phrases like, “I’ve talked to several other customers who are in that same situation…” helps turn the spotlight away from just the person you are speaking to, to make them feel as though they aren’t alone in this supposed negative state.

Tie the Negatives to Other Key Stakeholders:

- Who else is involved in trying to solve this problem?

- Who else would be involved in deciding on how to fix this problem?

- How would we get their perspective on the problem, so that we can make sure that anything we talk about considers what they care about?

Questions like these will help you get beyond the current person you are speaking to and expand the business implications beyond just one person or department, uncovering more value for the proposed solution. Remember, you very rarely get everything you need in a single conversation with a single stakeholder. You want to leverage your initial discovery to identify other potential key players.

3. Open Ended Questions

Discovery is an ongoing process. Not an event. According to data from Gong.io there’s a strong link between buyer’s response lengths and closed deals. So, how do we get prospects to speak more?

The most powerful discovery questions are open ended. Limit the use of questions that need a simple yes or no response because it prevents your prospect from elaborating. Use your best friend, TED.

  • Tell me
  • Explain to me
  • Describe to me

4. Commercial Insights and Storytelling

It’s interesting that you’re experiencing that challenge. One of our current customers was also experiencing that challenge and here’s how we helped them overcome it…” is a great way to use effective storytelling in the sales process.

Pre-frame: “One of the biggest challenges we are seeing… [Insert industry challenge that they are likely experiencing and significantly impacted by]

Frame: “Some of the typical ways customers like you have tried to address this is…

Reframe: “What may surprise you is that… [Insert your insight that controverts conventional wisdom and gets them to think differently about their problem]

In conclusion, Discovery is one of the most crucial aspects of the entire sales process. When done well you will be able to…

  • Charge more money — Reduce discounting
  • Come to an agreement much faster — Improve deal velocity
  • Sell higher in the org — Gain access to the Economic Buyer

Stay in the Pain

The single biggest mistake sellers make on discovery calls is this: Sellers hear a problem they can solve, and they can’t wait to tell the customer how much easier life is going to be once they buy their solution. Stop and STAY IN THE PAIN.

Every time your prospect touches on something that you can fix — ALARM BELLS. That is not your time to talk, that is your time to dig deeper as you need to get thorough understanding of how big that problem is. In these situations, if you listen well, you are likely are about to understand how much they need you and the negative consequences of them remaining in their current state!

Chapter 7: Champion 101

Video (4 min)

How well you understand someone’s motivations determines how likely you are to work with them.

Champions are integral to us being successful in our endless pursuit of bookings. I would argue that they are THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. When you look at the formula that drives the MEDDICC Grading Spreadsheet (message me if you want to learn more about this), Champions are weighted the highest out of everything. And you can only achieve the highest score if you have more than one champion in your opportunity.

So, first things first. Let’s define what a champion is…Champions feel the pain and a have personal interest in getting it solved. They give you access to your Economic Buyer (when the time is right), they want and need you to win, they truthfully answer all your questions, and they have enough power and influence inside an organization to make things happen. Cultivating a champion is necessary to any deal getting closed and often you’ll need multiple champions.

Reflect for a second on an existing opportunity that you have out there. The person that you are talking too — would you say they check all three of the boxes above?

  • Do they have power & influence?
  • Is buying your software or service a personal win for them?
  • Most selling happens when you aren’t in the room, so are they actively selling on your behalf?

If the answer is no…. you got work to do. Either that person might be a champion you just have to test them a bit OR you need to find someone else within the business to attach yourself too.

So, how do you test whether someone is a champion?

  • The Assignment Test — This one is simple, give them an assignment that takes a small amount of work. If they can’t or if they won’t get it done, it’s a sign that this person isn’t your champion. Signing an NDA for example, “Can you please help me get this NDA done so I can share some case studies?” Strategy documents, “Can you send over those strategy docs we talked about so our team can prepare for the next demo?” Process documents, “If you’re able to share that workflow then our team can take a look to find the best option for you.”
  • The Busy Test — How easy is it to get this person on the phone? Are they always available for meetings or coffees? Most people that have power and influence, due to their ability to be great operators and execute well, do not have an abundance of free time. If they’re often able to take meetings in the same day, they likely aren’t highly powerful in the organization. Not always true, but mostly true.
  • The Happy Hour Test — If this person was throwing a party, would anyone show up? When that one friend asks us to a party, we go! Ask your target champion to set up a meeting or happy hour with other stakeholders and pay attention to who shows up. If they can only get a small room with one other team member, that person isn’t your champion. Don’t be the only one at their party!
  • The Roundtable Test — Next time you have one of those rare in person meetings notice who everyone looks at when you ask a question. They likely wield a lot of power and credibility amongst the people in that room.
  • The EB Access Test — When the time is right, challenge your champion. Ask them to set up a meeting with the economic buyer. This is typically a big test on whether your deal is real or not!

Here are a few power questions for qualifying a Champion.

  • It sounds like this is important to you — why do you care so much about solving this problem?
  • It sounds like you have a lot on your plate — do you mind if I ask what else you’re responsible for besides this?
  • Who else would benefit from a solution like this? Can we get them involved?
  • How does everyone else on the team feel about our solution? Is your boss on board?

Chapter 8: Competition 101

Video (4 min)

How well you understand alternative options determines your ability to win against them.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

Competition are the other solutions up against yours as viable options. These could be other vendors, but they could also be do nothing.

For 51% of B2B SaaS sellers, your biggest competition usually isn’t another person or vendor you’re actively selling against. It’s the status quo. AKA, doing nothing. Your buyers are most likely going to do nothing. They are not going to make any new purchase, they are not going to make a change, they will keep things how they are. They are going to stay the same.

However, do nothing only wins if the Identified Pain isn’t strong enough. Remember the very first question we need to convince our prospect to answer is why do anything? If we answer why do anything, then we earn the right to compete against other options.

Most reps know they need to talk about the competition; however, they don’t know when they should talk about the competition and how. According to Gong when you talk about the competition early in the sales cycle, you’re 49% more likely to win the deal than if you never talk about the competition at all.

If you wait to mention the competition in the middle or at the end of the sales cycle, your odds of closing the deal decrease compared to if your competitors were absent altogether.

A lot of sellers don’t like to talk about the competition early in the sales process…

“But what if the prospect isn’t looking at any other options?” Wishful thinking. Do you really believe that a prospect is going to spend months and six-figures without looking at other options?

“But the prospect didn’t bring it up, so they must not be looking at anyone else” Again, wishful thinking. They don’t bring up what they ate for lunch, but I assure you, they ate that day too.

Benefits for Talking About the Competition Early and Often

Control the narrative — By being the first ones to talk openly about the competitive landscape, we get to plant seeds of how we’re different and how we’re better. If we trap-set early in the process, the competition then must do the extra work to overcome the preconceived notions we planted.

Consultative sale — You earn the trust of your prospects because you are an expert in our category. You know the strengths and weaknesses of each company and we know why the other ones won’t work for them.

Competitive intel — By having an open dialogue about the competition early, our champions will tell us what aspects of each company they value. This allows you to better trap-set down the road.

The next question is how to talk about the competition?

Never knock the competition because as Jim Rohn wrote, “there are two ways to have the tallest building in town. One is to tear everyone else’s building down, and the other is to build your building taller.”

Reps must use trap-setting questions that help them steer a discovery session toward their differentiators. PTC called these “trap setting” questions because they trap your competition. They highlight the value that a customer will receive with your solution and the components they won’t have if they choose your competitor.

There are three types of differentiators:

  • Unique Differentiators — Something that only your solution can do (and competition can’t)
  • Comparative Differentiators — Something you and the competition both do.
  • Holistic Differentiators — Something not related to your product (the size of your company, the big, amazing clients with shiny logos that you have, your funding and investors)

To differentiate from the competition, it is important to focus on presenting the relevant, “why,” to distinguish from the “how,” features. Make sure you clearly articulate why a particular unique differentiator will be so impactful for their business. Don’t just explain how it works.

Finally, if you’ve done your part building a champion, it’s important to remember this person wants you to win. One of the simplest questions that most sellers never even bother to ask during the sales process is — “Are we winning?” The answer to that question is either Yes, Yes — but, or No. If the answer is door #2 or #3 you will likely immediately uncover what is holding you back from winning. For example, “Yes, but your price is 3x higher than the other vendor who we are looking at.” Or, “No, because your software can’t integrate with X vendor.”

Conclusion

MEDDICC will help you win more, win faster, improve ASP and forecast better. Implementing MEDDICC will positively impact your bank account, your sense of accomplishment, the respect you earn from your peers and leaders and your ability to gain more autonomy with increased trust from your leaders due to your deal control.

Last piece of advice I’ll leave you with is that MEDDICC is not a linear process. Metrics won’t be uncovered first, then Economic Buyer and so on. As an initial guideline, in first meetings focus on Identified Pain and Champion. Then turn your attention to Metrics, Decision Criteria, and Competition. From there, Economic Buyer and Decision Process.

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Neil Barlow

VP of Sales @ Diligent // creator of NEOW! Spotify playlist // Soccer aficionado