Author and podcaster Brian Burns found us on twitter @salesmeddic. so we bought his book “How and Why Large Companies Make Product Selections: You know How to Sell, Now Learn How Companies Buy” on amazon to see if he addressed the elements of the MEDDIC qualification process in a way that could help our workshop clients or improve our follow up MEDDIC coaching sessions. We recommend this book highly. Here is what we learned in the specific context of MEDDIC:
METRIC Insights – These are addressed in Brian’s excellent description of a business justification. Specifically in the ROI section on detailing cost reductions or revenue increases:
SMG: We include risk (mitigation) as another component to our Metrics. We also include performance increases or quality improvements, but try to tie everything back to revenue,cost and risk if possible as that is the language of the economic buyer.
ECONOMIC BUYER Insights – Brian discusses the “executives” in his book and has the following excellent insights regarding economic buyers:
BB: Selling directly to the EB’s is almost dead. Executives know that if they rule against their staff on a product selection, their staff will be able to blame any problems on the executives’ product selection
BB: All the executives care about is that due diligence was done and how it will affect them as individuals and then as a company as a whole. They have no interest in the product.
SMG: We know that including an EB early in the process to inform them of Metric Proof points and get direction from them at a high level is a path to shorter sales cycles and larger deal sizes. You must speak their language in order to secure a meeting or you will not be heard.A poorly executed meeting could cause more harm than good.
DECISION PROCESS Insights – Does your sales model match the prospects’ Decision Process:
BB: Not matching your sales model to the prospects’ decision process was the #1 obstacle identified in his research when talking to sales reps.
SMG: Our take on Decision process is more straightforward. Matching sales models can be complex and may require a complete sales transformation adjusting your inside and outside sales teams. This is something our partner Force Management does better than anyone else we know about.
DECISION CRITERIA Insights – This is covered quite well in the book:
BB: If you set the rules, then the other sales people have to unravel what you did. The prospect still has to go thru their due diligence.
BB: Discuss the competition and why they did not meet the decision criteria in the business justification. It is very important that a detailed and fair evaluation was completed.
SMG: We help clients set the playing field by assisting in the creation of decision criteria templates. At the very least, this provides a common language for clients and prospects to define solution capabilities. We link the decision criteria capabilities to positive business outcomes.
IDENTIFY PAIN Insights – Another topic covered quite well and we learned something new too:
BB: There are two types of pain: Active pain and Latent pain.
SMG: We suggest buying Brian’s book for the full definitions and his suggestions on how to address these two concepts. With Brian’s permission, we will be incorporating the active and latent pain definitions in our next workshop.
CHAMPION Insights – Brian uses the term “change agent” but we are talking about the same persona and as luck would have it, they both start with a C:
BB: Who has the most to gain from the benefits of your product?- The change agent
BB: Need and ability are not in the same hands in large companies. The person who wants something does not have the ability to buy it. They create committees. However, the real decision maker on the product is someone in the group rather than the group as a whole. That person will have a very personal stake in the decision.
SMG: We are in complete agreement with Brian on this subject and its importance in winning the complex B2B sale. One of our favorite quotes is “No champion, no deal. Big champion, big deal!" We teach how to identify, develop , and test champions in our MEDDIC workshops.
In summary, we strongly recommend buying Brian’s book. We are going to continue to follow Brian on twitter @BrianBurns because at the Sales MEDDIC Group, we love to learn new things that will help us better serve our clients and improve their sales performance.