In Sales, like any revenue team function, it’s very easy to stumble and get off track. You might think you’re progressing nicely, based on past experience, comfort with your product knowledge and selling tools, and your intuition. Then, just when you think you’re about to close, you discover you’re way off base – your intuition was wrong and your prospect isn’t even qualified!

The adverse impacts are, of course, considerable. You’ve wasted time pursuing an opportunity that wasn’t ready, all the while leaving ripe opportunities to rot on the vine, and your organization’s quarterly forecasts are way off the mark. None of your customers experienced good buying journeys, and at the end of the day, not only are you underachieving in relation to expectations and goals, you’re also starting over at square one.

From the moment prospecting begins, the open manhole covers in which you can potentially stumble into and fall on the road to successfully closing deals are plenty:

  • Are you engaging the decision maker?
  • Do you know how the prospect is defining success and what your solution is being measured against?
  • Are you aware of alternative solutions being considered by the prospect?
  • Do you understand the prospect’s decision-making process?
  • And many, many more

Stepping onto a manhole cover/drain.

My career in Sales has shown me there is a singular process that the very best Sales teams use to engage, develop, qualify and close opportunities. Well, sort of a singular process.

MEDDPICC, which along with MEDDPIC and MEDDICC is a variant on the original MEDDIC framework, is a sales qualification methodology that applies to any B2B enterprise sales process that takes on a degree of complexity. Is it a popular methodology? You bet, particularly in my business, SaaS sales. According to 01consulting, every single one of the companies in the top 10 in the global SaaS/Software market uses the MEDDPICC methodology. 

Every single one. You don’t get to the top 10 in my business without using it. That’s why my entire Sales organization at LeanData uses MEDDPICC. You should consider deploying the methodology internally at your organization too, and here’s why:


Twenty-five years ago, the sales development team at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) created the MEDDIC sales qualification methodology. Richard Dunkel and the team came up with the six original MEDDIC elements while attempting to understand why some sellers won more deals than others, and why some seemingly great opportunities were lost.

Incorporating their new methodology, the revenue team exceeded its number every quarter for over a decade!

As mentioned above, MEDDPICC is a slight variant of MEDDIC. For practical purposes, it is a checklist to guide your activities through the customer journey and sales cycle, allowing a seller to:

  • Acquire all the relevant contextual information needed to move deals forward
  • Discern all the activities that need to be completed in the process
  • Detail each of the individuals and roles you need to engage throughout the customer journey

The MEDDPICC methodology is also a great tool to help troubleshoot stalled deals, allowing one to identify opportunities in both individual deals and an overall process. 

If you and your team can work through the entire MEDDPICC methodology, checking off each component along the way, you will greatly increase the probability of success in winning your deal. 

And, although I refer to MEDDPICC as a checklist of sorts, it is not composed of simple Yes/No fields. Rather, it’s an ongoing quality assessment that highlights a series of indicators as to why you’d lose a deal. It’s a qualification methodology, and is used to to qualify – either in or out – throughout each stage of your process. That’s important. Not qualifying out wastes the time of both the rep and the company! 

What does MEDDPICC stand for?

You’ve undoubtedly noticed that MEDDPICC is an acronym. Below, please find each letter explained.

M is for Metrics. Metrics is all about engaging your lead with hard and fast metrics about value. You’ll benefit from real, honest-to-goodness numbers here, so avoid the temptation to “ballpark.” 

It’s important to communicate your value when prospecting, and gain agreement on their value when selling. Use metrics as the lever to quantify your customer’s measured potential gain and their economic benefit. Ask yourself, “What metrics will translate into specific value that will justify the prospect spending the money for my solution?” If you can’t specify those metrics with your prospect, you have to assess if there is really an opportunity. 

E is for Economic Buyer. The economic buyer is the contact within the account who has discretionary access to funds. It’s important for you to not only know who the economic buyer is, but to also interact and actively engage with them. Many opportunities push or get closed/lost because while they may want a solution, the economic buyer says “no.” A common mistake is assuming a budget holder is the economic buyer, and too many sales professionals get tripped up when they stop at the contact who says, “I own the budget.” 

Budget holders work to explicit budgets. The economic buyer, on the other hand, has both access to discretionary funds and the power to shift budgets for the right investment. MEDDPICC pushes you away from the trap of falling into budgetary situations as part of your qualifying criteria. 

D is for Decision Criteria. Decision criteria are the specific features, guidelines and requirements an organization uses when making a decision about a solution. This criteria may be written out, but more often than not, it’s spread across a number of stakeholders. The seller’s job is to know this criteria. When it comes time for your prospective customer to sign on the dotted line – any dotted line, from any solution provider – they’re going to do so only after careful consideration of how well the solution meets their decision criteria. Here’s the thing: you can, and should, influence the decision criteria. Your competition might just be doing the same thing!

Customers expect vendors to influence their decision criteria with their own perspectives and thought leadership. However, influencing criteria is the most elite activity a seller can perform, and it requires masterful discovery, a strong understanding of the customer’s biggest challenges and opportunities, and precisely what a solution needs to entail.

Railroad tracks, with one diverting to the left.

D is also for the Decision Process. Your prospect’s decision process is a series of steps that will dictate how they will make their purchase decision. The superstar seller will clearly know the following:

  • What are the steps to making a decision?
  • Who needs to approve this deal?
  • Who else needs to weigh in; who can say “No”?
  • Are there any committees or formal boards?
  • How long does each step, with each person involved, take? 
  • Who, or what, has slowed the process down in the past?

The critical purpose of this second ‘D’ stage is to understand the customer’s decision path and MAP it out using a Mutual Action Plan, so you can walk hand-in-hand together with your buyer through the purchase journey. 

P is for Paper Process. Okay, so we may not work with paper much anymore, but don’t let the name fool you. This stage is all about the approval process the purchase order request needs to flow through in the account. It includes all the steps and actions that lie in place ahead of a contract being agreed upon and signed. It’s important to understand that the paper process is different from the “decision process.” Prospects may complete their decision process and then take several weeks more to complete their paper process. 

Believing it’s too early in the overall sales process to understand what the steps are in a prospect’s paper process is a common mistake sellers make. Understanding the paper process early ensures you at least get a general idea of what needs to happen to get final signatures on the contract. This will help you pin down your close date and thus make your forecast much more accurate.

I is for Identify Pain. This ‘I’ stage also includes both “indicate pain” and “implicate pain,” and it refers to the pain(s) at the account which are serious enough to require your solution to be relieved. Generally speaking, there are three types of pain: 1) financial, 2) time/efficiency, and 3) people/productivity.

Implicating pain identifies and confirms the pain felt by the account without your differentiated solution. The pain identified should directly tie to the value your solution provides and it needs to be big enough to justify the purchase price. If the pain isn’t clear, you need to question whether there is really an opportunity for your solution. Through identifying and indicating the pain to your prospective customer, you prompt them to feel responsible for the negative consequences, and inspire them to take corrective action.

C is for your Champion. Your champions at an account are the contacts with credibility, power and influence who are favorable to your solution. Champions essentially (and effectively) sell for you publicly, privately and on the competitive front.

It’s not good enough to simply find a champion. Rather, you need to go further and nurture the relationship through a healthy dose of mutual respect to make it – and your opportunity – stronger. An elite seller brings a preliminary go-live plan to the very first meeting, not only testing the champion, but also introducing ground rules and obtaining guidance for a subsequent evaluation. It’s important to understand the difference between a coach and a champion. Coaches can provide you valuable information needed during a sales cycle. Champion provide valuable information but are also helping you win the deal. 

One chess piece knocking over an opponent's piece, signifying a victory.

C  is also for Competition. In any single deal, your competition can be defined as any person, vendor or initiative competing for the very same resources and/or funds as you. It might be difficult to ascertain competing internal initiatives, but make sure you inquire. As for alternative vendors in your space, there’s no excuse for a lack of knowledge of competitors in the account, along with their strengths, their pain points and their champion(s). It is important to understand your competition early in the sales process as this will help you determine how you approach presenting your solution, and also help determine which features and strengths you should emphasize. 

Putting the MEDDPICC methodology to use

The framework of the MEDDPICC methodology is a scorecard for you to use with your accounts. As you work through each stage of MEDDPICC, you evaluate each stage and assign it a color.

Red indicates information you don’t know. Yellow indicates information you think you might know, maybe, but it’s not 100 percent validated. Finally, green indicates information you are 100 percent confident is complete.

But, here’s the thing: You don’t assign a color to a stage in isolation, independent of your prospect. Instead, you gain their validation in your assessment and collaborate in assigning a color.

Any stage you have that is colored red or yellow represents blind spots, and thus represents risk in your opportunity. Your to-do list immediately becomes eliminating the risk by getting the information, engagement and buy-in you need to turn each stage to green. The seller who gets the complete information to score each stage green first wins more often than not!


Using the MEDDPICC sales qualification methodology puts your prospects first while gathering detailed information about accounts. From there, it’s only natural for your Sales team to better its close rate performance. MEDDPICC forces your team to ask the difficult questions of customers to attain a true qualification, and over time, it prevents reps from focusing on potential deals that are not going to close. 

I’ve known of and used versions of MEDDICC/MEDDPICC for years. Recently, I read Andy Whyte’s book, MEDDICC: The ultimate guide to staying one step ahead in the complex sale. It is fantastic. Andy does such a great job describing why MEDDICC is so valuable and helpful throughout the sales cycle, and he does it in terms that all levels of Sales professionals can understand and apply. I shared the book with my entire sales team, and I encourage you to pick it up and do the same.

Steve De Marco
Chief Revenue Officer at LeanData

Steve De Marco is the Chief Revenue Officer at LeanData, where he drives revenue team success by combining his extensive experience and broad skill set to build a world-class revenue team and help team members grow and achieve their personal and professional goals. Connect with Steve on LinkedIn.