BANT to MIC (from MEDDIC)

Whether you like it or not, the MEDDIC framework has proven to provide valuable insights to many organizations and is becoming increasingly popular. Yet, many companies that have adopted MEDDIC for their Sales Representative have chosen to continue using the BANT methodology as a qualifying framework for their Sales Development representatives team.
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These two frameworks could not be more opposite and tend to create a discrepancy in the sales funnel.

In the following lines, we will review how to include MEDDIC from the earliest stages of the deal and the path to implement MIC by moving away from BANT.

B: Budget transforms into I: Implicate the Pain

The risk of talking about Budget too early in the qualification process is that there might not be any! And more so if you are in the situation of disrupting a market. These companies do not even know they have a problem, so why would they have a line of budget ready for the solution?

Instead, we are looking for the following:

A good understanding of the company's (prospect) corporate objective, business strategies, and - what - in their execution prevents them from achieving it.

In essence, you seek the big problems you can latch onto (often, there is more than one initiative) and then take a part of the budget from it.

There is almost always a discretionary budget to solve significant issues. All you need is to be part of the solution. 

What does it mean in your CRM? 

Ask for the Implicated tech pain: What can the customer not do?

And how is that technical pain attached to noteworthy business consequences?

A: Authority transforms into C: Champion(s)

If you ask the person you are talking to whether they have the authority, they can lie. They can tell you everything they want, including that they are the decision maker. Another possibility is that they could feel uncomfortable with the direct question, especially if it is the first time you speak to them. 

Instead, we are looking for the following: 

How does the person we talk to attach to the identified technical/operational problem? Is there a personal interest from that person in fixing the issue? For example, they may want to implement a program and become an expert, get a promotion, or keep/save their job. Here, we are also looking for signs of power and influence: are they enthusiastic about introducing you to other people in the organization? Or are they nervous?

What does it mean in your CRM?

Understand how many people we are talking to. If we are talking to only one person, it is a sign of a weak deal. 

After the first conversation with one person only, if you need to qualify the lead, ask the following questions and give them weight/probability: 

Does this person have direct reports?

Does this person report to a VP or C level?

Does this person have a mandate? Have we identified from whom (name)?

How does the issue impact this person? 

Is this person working on other initiatives to fix the issue?

Is this person moving forward with a next step involving other people in the organization?

N: Need transforms into I: implicate the pain - to match our differentiators 

People believe that Inbounds are more straightforward to deal with than outbound. They need more intensity in the qualifying phase. 

Why do I believe dealing with inbounds requires at least as many skills as managing Outbounds? Because of the internet, prospects can find anything and everything about solutions: features, functions, prices, and reviews. When someone contacts you, they have made up their minds, and the risk is that they give us a request for a proposal that is not matching our value proposition. 

Instead, we are looking for the following: 

Why have they taken the time to do the research? What were they looking for? Are they solving a technical issue? Who in the organization is sharing their vision of the problem? Who in the organization is supporting them in resolving the issue? How have they come to their current requirements conclusion? And how are these requirements matching their problem and solving them? What resources will they be given to implement the solution? How do these requirements fit into the company's business strategies and initiatives?

Finally, let's put numbers on their current situation. If they say 'not enough’, or ‘too much’, or ‘inefficient’, or ‘too long, or ‘too many,’ then ask what it means in #numbers: these will be your metrics.

What does it mean in your CRM?

Understand pain and champions, and leverage the metrics associated with their current situation.

T: Timeline transforms into I: Implicate the pain/ Compelling Event 

In the cases of inbound leads, your prospect may have a timeline. Yet, more than a defined timeline, what we are interested in identifying is their urgency to act. The compelling event is rooted in a problem that needs solving because it impacts the business, aka the business pain.

Instead, what we are looking for is the following: 

We want to teach our teams to qualify the value for the customer. We want them to share the control as a partner, not just be a vendor in the sales process. To achieve this, it is essential to understand how and why the timeline was defined and by whom. Going through the flow of problems: technical problems (can you fix it?), the business impact (cost, revenue, reputation), and personal interest (does the person see the value in resolving the issue?) is essential to determine whether the timeline is accurate or not.

What does it mean in your CRM?

Divide the I section into three pods: tech problem, business impact, and personal interest (champion).

In essence, it is possible to onboard your entire customer-facing team with MEDDIC, whether SDRs, BDRs, AEs, AMs, or even Customer Success focusing on what matters for each role. In the case of qualification, a framework oriented towards bringing value to the customer is not only developing your team to develop their skills, but also supporting a people-buy-from-people approach. 

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