Top MEDDICC Questions I Am Asked

Jacob Karp
Jacob Karp Guest Posts: 6

Awesome MEDDICC webinar on 10/20!

I get a ton of messages in my inbox around MEDDICC so I wanted to share the biggest questions I get asked and my answers as a follow-up.

Where do I start with MEDDICC?

While MEDDICC is the acronym, that doesn’t mean that it needs to be addressed in that order in a cycle. As you begin a cycle, instead focus on Identifying Pain and a Champion as the two major things you should be looking for early. You always want to be understanding if the pain is deep enough and needs to be solved for and if so, who is your potential champion who will be advocating for this to be solved using your solution. Once you have pain and a champion identified, you can set further meetings to continue to expand on the different components of MEDDICC in your discovery. Start with Identify Pain and a Champion and build from there. 

What is the difference between a champion and a coach?

Champions are people who possess the big 3:

1) power and influence inside an organization who can get you to the EB

2) is actively selling on your behalf when you are not in the room and

3)  invested in the long term success of the project. 

A coach will differentiate from a champion in that they don’t possess the 3 major areas we just mentioned, though they may check the box on 1 or 2. That said, coaches are still very important and valuable in a sales process as they can help provide you with inside information that you might not have access to, connect you with others who need to be involved in the buying process and also guide throughout your sales process.

What is the difference between decision process and decision criteria?

Because of the naming of these two, I find that many people get confused across them. Let's clear that up:

Decision Process: The process by which the customer will evaluate, select and purchase a solution. This includes things like:

Who will be involved? What is the timeline? What is the actual step-by-step process of the evaluation? Who is on the buying committee and how deeply do we need to align with each of them? What paper process needs to be followed and what documents need to be signed off on? Who ultimately signs off on this?

Decision Criteria: The formal solution requirements against which each person in the decision process will evaluate. This sometimes coincides with the “required capabilities”, as these are the actual things that will be evaluated in the process and are essential to make a decision for those evaluating. In this area you should be looking to not only fully understand their "shopping list", build in your unique differentiators against your competition and also prepare your champion to influence and defend for these.

How do I get to the EB?

Early on, come into the opportunity with an idea or hypothesis of who the EB might be. As you progress in the opportunity, work with your champion to continue to validate who the EB is and also what their priorities are. As you build your relationship with your champion and continue to present value that is mapped to the EB’s priorities, you earn the right to ask for access to the EB. A strong champion who has been properly built and enabled should provide you with access to the EB when the time is right.

What other questions do you have?

Jacob #ascenderpartner


  • Rachel Clapp Miller
    Rachel Clapp Miller Member [Pro], Administrator, Moderator, Super User group (not at launch) Posts: 53

    Getting to the EB is a big one that sparks a lot of questions from our community. It's also important sometimes to focus on identifying the EB - people often confuse a budget holder with an EB and that's not always the same person.

  • John Kaplan
    John Kaplan Member [Pro], Member [Plus] Posts: 22

    Great post Jacob!

    One common question I get is, "What do I do when my Champion refuses or hesitates to share the Decision Process? Decision Process is, oftentimes, the silent killer of forecast accuracy and the leading cause of slipped deals. Jacob did a great job of outlining the qualification of a Champion with his "Big 3". To make this harder, let's say we have a Champion (based upon the qualification) and they still refuse or hesitate to share the Decision Process. Could it be they don't know it? Could it be they don't trust you to know it? Could it be that they are overconfident in their abilities to make a decision happen within a timeframe? All of these are qreat questions that we must consider.

    I had a tough situation early in my selling career. My Champion downplayed the Decision Process in our conversations. He kept reminding me that he had purchased our software, implemented it and achieved great outcomes multiple times. There was only one problem. He had never done this in his new company. This was a difficult situation for me. I did not want to pressure or argue with him. Our job is to constantly add value for our buyers. In fact, many times buyers don't believe that we can add value in the Decision Process so they keep us at arms length.

    Begin with the "Why?" This will always put a seller on a good path.

    In my example, my Champion was so strong that he wanted to use his experience with us to create value for himself within his new company. Great, that does not mean that he has to do it without me. So what's our value? In this case I said to the Champion, "If I do my job right, you are going to want to make this happen as badly as I do. In fact, I believe that is where we are at right now, but that is only 50% of the equation. The other 50% is getting this done inside your new company. I am not going over you or around you, I am trying to understand that remaining 50%. I sell this software everyday for a living. I have a lot of experience in this last 50%. In fact it is my job to add value to you here. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?"

    We wound up mapping out his last Decision Process so we could identify similarities and differences in his current one (See the great examples of questions in Jacob's post). One big area we identified was financial criteria for the CFO (The structure of the budgets - capital vs operational). He was not sure about the criteria but he was sure he needed to understand it. Tip: always go to the CFO as early as you can. The earlier you go the more advice you get, the later you go the more critique. My Champion understood this. Not only did he set up a meeting with the CFO, he allowed me to go with him. He told me my job was to keep my mouth shut unless specific questions come up (that he can't answer) about my company and my solution. By the time our requisition was presented, finance was already informed and ready to execute.

    There are all kinds of additional scenarios for this topic, so please feel to comment or ask.

    One final thought: Begin with the end in mind.

    When I think about Decision Process I always try to construct a "Reverse Timeline" with my Champion. Begin with a great business outcome for your scenario with your customer. "Before that great business outcome can happen, what has to be in place?". Keep asking all the way to the beginning. In my experience it never fails that SOMEONE and/or SOMETHING is identified that we have not talked about. #MinimizeSlippedDeals.

    Be a voracious qualifier.