To build on what we’ve learned in part 1, we’ll be diving deeper into how you can operationalize MEDDIC in your sales team! In part 2 of this series, we’ll be sharing with you more on how you can use MEDDIC to fuel fact-based discussions about the status of an opportunity and define meaningful next steps to progress your deals – creating a more effective and efficient deal review.
I’m sure you’ve experienced being in countless deal reviews where endless hours were spent talking through deals in a manner which was unstructured, confusing, difficult to follow and full of assumptions. This not only leaves room for interpretation by each person in the deal review, but also creates misunderstanding. As a result, apart from the stakeholders who are directly involved in the deal, nobody else is able to follow or participate, making the deal review quite frankly, a useless exercise.
This often happens as there is no standardized and structured manner of approaching each opportunity. The absence of fact-based discussions results in drawing conclusions which are simply based on gut feeling.
Here’s where a sales methodology like MEDD(P)ICC would provide some structure through a list of qualification items/questions that will enable fact-based discussions around the opportunities ie. pain points, business implications, quantifiable metrics and consequences of not addressing the pain points. MEDD(P)ICC allows every team member to look at the opportunities through the same lens, making deal reviews much easier to understand and follow. This in turn will encourage participation and knowledge transfer, which will enable all team members to contribute and learn from each other.
Conducting Deal Reviews
Deal reviews are a great way to look under the hood of sales opportunities and campaigns. In a regular deal review, you’d invite the account team, some peers, and ideally members from the sales supporting team to jointly qualify and discuss the deals.
The owner of the opportunity should first present the deal. They should discuss the customer buying cycles and the qualification criteria by using MEDD(P)ICC as a guiding framework.
This gives great insight into how well a deal or an opportunity has been qualified, and informs you of what needs to be done next in order to drive this deal to closure. This enables the sales team and especially the sales leaders to make a judgment call on whether the deal should go into the forecast.
Listen to Keno Helmi, CRO a Espressive, as he talks about why MEDDIC is so crucial for accurate forecasting
I have personally experienced deal reviews that were actually exciting as everyone in the meeting could follow and understand the status of the deal that was being presented. It facilitated open sharing, allowing all attendees to understand how issues are addressed and what had to be done to progress the deal.
On the flipside, I have also experienced deal reviews that wound up being an interrogation for the sales rep, which not only caused them to feel humiliated, but also created an uncomfortable atmosphere for the rest of the attendees. Humiliating the sales rep is definitely NOT the objective of a deal review.
So, how can you set up and conduct a deal review that would create a meaningful experience for all stakeholders? Here are 3 simple steps:
Always make sure that the opportunity owner is well prepared on how to qualify using MEDDIC. While reading a book on MEDDIC might help to lay the groundwork, the person presenting should actually know how to apply MEDDIC by connecting the dots of the qualifiers. For example, how the pain points are related to the business implication, or how the champions identified should have a personal interest and the power and influence to solve the pain.
The sales rep must realize that it’s not about reporting on a deal, but more about understanding how their clients will make the decision.
Have your sales reps prepare the current state of the opportunity by using MEDDIC/MEDD(P)ICC. It’s absolutely fine if not all the facts are known. However, note that all facts that are represented should be based on evidence, which should have been documented or confirmed by the client.
Remember to include the account team and any other team member(s) who may be supporting your rep, so that they too can contribute. It might be a bit awkward for the opportunity owners to present to the rest of the team in the beginning, so it’s important to get them used to it in order to set the ground for success.
Listen to Brendan Walsh, EVP of Sales at Mirakl, as he shares why MEDDIC is beneficial for all stakeholders who are directly or indirectly involved in a deal
2. Create a Safe and Creative Environment
To have an effective deal review, setting the expectations and the tone of the session is of utmost importance. The full attention of ALL attendees should be on the presenter. This means no emails, and phones should be turned off or on silent.
Make sure all attendees understand that the aim of the deal review is to enable the opportunity owner to use MEDD(P)ICC to qualify their deal. The common goal for all should be to uncover potential risks and blind spots, find ways to mitigate them and drive meaningful next steps.
To make it easier for everyone to follow, a visual aid (eg. the iSEEit dashboard, powerpoint slides, etc.) should be pulled up so that all members can be brought up to speed quicker on the deal in question.
The iSEEit dashboard gives you an instant overview of your sales organization. Drill down to any opportunity any time to reference it
The iSEEit Deal Overview enables you to follow the MEDDIC qualifiers, milestones and checklists, ensuring that you stay on track with every deal.
Understand your key buying circle and drive meaningful discussions with the built-in Org Chart
3. Conduct the deal review using MEDDIC/MEDD(P)ICC
After the salesperson has presented the current state of the deal, it’s now time to ask the qualifying questions. Ideally, the sales leader should start with the MEDD(P)ICC fundamentals of the deal around pain, potential implications for the business, quantifying the pain, identifying metrics, decision criteria, process and how to get the Economic Buyer to sponsor the project. The other attendees can then actively contribute and ask questions.
*NOTE: The questions should be open-ended. Some examples are:
- What makes you think your contact is THE champion?
- How would the business be impacted?
- Who would suffer from the pain?
- How would they quantify and measure the business implication?
You will be surprised at how many of these questions will not be answered by responses which are backed by facts. Oftentimes, reps will start feeling uneasy with the myriad of questions, and will answer based on assumptions. At this point, they might become defensive, especially when their peers seemingly dismantle their opportunity. In this moment, it is crucial to remind your team that the main goal of the deal review is not to judge the sales rep, but to jointly uncover the flaws in the campaign. I like to say “Let’s make sure we attack the facts and not the presenter“.
This is the best opportunity to turn the uncovered gaps into actionable items. If the rep can’t come up with the appropriate next steps, look to the rest of your attendees and get them to contribute.
This is where the beauty happens. The rep will get different points of view, creative workarounds and ideas to overcome hurdles.
If deal reviews are run well, the sales reps will get more and more acquainted with getting their opportunities analyzed using MEDD(P)ICC. Plugging the brains of their peers to not only secure their deals but to get into a position where they can start actively driving their sales campaigns will become second nature to them.
Make sure the action points are documented either by the rep or even better, by another attendee, so that the discovered items don’t get lost.
Deal reviews are the perfect way to enable your sales teams using real-life examples, allowing them to connect the dots in a specific customer buying cycle with MEDDIC as a guiding framework. It fuels discussions on how to qualify against MEDDIC, allowing peers to learn from each other on criteria concerning pain points, developing champions, and how reps can actively drive their campaigns.
It also gives the sales leaders good insight into the deals in their pipeline, allowing them to make better calls regarding which opportunities to focus on and add to the forecast. This also gives sales leaders the opportunity to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their team in order to continue developing and nurturing them.
Here are some parting words from Rob Desmond, VP North America at Quinyx, on why having a framework such as MEDDIC will enable you to ask the right questions about a deal, empowering sales reps to uncover next steps to close more deals.