We’re often asked, what’s the difference between Gap Selling Sales Training and MEDDIC Sales Training.
In many cases when comparing two different methodologies or approaches it can be pretty complicated, but in this case, it’s pretty easy. To illustrate the point, I simply ask you to put yourself in the BUYER’S shoes for the rest of this post.
Imagine you’re a buyer. You’re looking to buy some new software and one of your salespeople has taken the MEDDIC sales training and subscribes to the MEDDIC sales methodology, and the other to Gap Selling. With this in mind, I will break down the acronym MEDDIC.
The MEDDIC sales process and/or qualifying criteria is based around 7 pieces of data:
- Metrics – What is the economic impact of the solution?
- Economic Buyer – Who has profit and loss responsibility for this?
- Decision Criteria – What are their technical, vendor and financial criteria?
- Decision Process – Then what happens, define validation and approval?
- Identify Pain – What are the primary business objectives?
- Champion – Who will sell on your behalf internally?
- Competition – Who are we competing against and why?
Now these aren’t bad criteria unto themselves, but I want you stay in that buyer or prospect mode. Imagine, you’re a buyer and this is how they view you and your organization. Imagine they are asking you these questions. How many of these 7 criteria actually provide value to YOU the buyer vs. how many are designed to assist the salesperson in getting the sale done, RATHER than help you the buyer make sound decision? Imagine being on the other end of the phone as a salesperson peppers you with questions about who the economic buyer is, or what your decision criteria are, or who the champion is going to be, etc.
If you’re viewing this from the buyer’s perspective, I’m sure it’s becoming pretty clear. The MEDDIC sales training/approach isn’t very buyer or prospect-centric. It doesn’t focus on you. It’s all about the salesperson. Only 1 1/2 or 2 elements of MEDDIC actually offer you, the buyer any value.
MEDDIC Sales Training is too Sales-Centric
The MEDDIC sales methodology, as with BANT, was designed to push the sale through, not help the buyer decide. Much of the underlying tenants are designed through the perspective of the sales person. They offer little value to the buyer.
Sales or the act of true selling is rooted in the process of helping buyers decide to change. Salespeople are change influencers. If a buyer is unwilling or unable to change, the rest of the sales process is moot. MEDDIC sales training, like other sales methods, over-indexes on the salesperson-centric selling processes and under-indexes on the buyer-centric element.
MEDDIC acts almost as if the buyer doesn’t matter
MEDDIC isn’t all wrong. Eventually, a seller is going to need to understand the decision criteria, the decision process, who the champion is, who the economic buyer is and who the competition is, but all this can come over time ONLY after the real problems, impact, root causes and desired outcomes have been uncovered.
Gap Selling Sales Training is Buyer-Centric:
Gap Selling understands this and is built on a problem-centric, buyer-centric model. It keenly focuses 80% of the selling process on understanding the buyers “gap.” Their current state and future state.
Gap Selling is rooted in the psychology of selling and understands that until a buyer knows why they need to change and why staying with the status-quo is NOT an option, no sale will happen. It’s for this reason that Gap Selling uses a Problem-Centric™ selling model that puts the buyer at the center of the entire process.
Gap Selling does not address decision criteria, decision process, who the champion is, the competition, or the economic buyer until the “gap” has been identified and the buyer has agreed they can not continue with the status quo and that achieving their desire outcomes requires change.
Focusing on information that offers little to no value to the buyer before they are ready to change, undermines the sale.
The MEDDIC sales process, like BANT, puts too much emphasis on the selling elements important to the seller and “closing” the sale, and not enough emphasis on solving the buyer’s problems, why they exist, and what impact they are having on the company. Because of this, buyers become frustrated. They don’t believe the rep understands their world and therefore don’t understand how the rep can help them. This lack of understanding then devolves the sale into a simple product feature comparison and price war.
To avoid devolving into a feature dump, product-centric selling environment, Gap Selling offers a current state, future state, gap method that drives sales people towards a problem-centric model. This minimizes the emphasis on non-value add elements that don’t benefit the buyers.
Gap Selling breaks it down like this:
Current State (the buyers):
- Physical Literal
- Root Cause
Future State (the buyers):
- New Physical
- Problems to be solved
- Desired Outcomes
- Desired Emotions
- Potential Solutions
The space between the two. The is where the value lives. The bigger distance between current state and future state, the greater the value. No gap, no sale.
Gap Selling Sales Training emphasizes the importance of NOT talking about your product or asking seller-centric questions until the gap has been defined. It forces salespeople to remain in diagnosis mode and look to understand the problems their buyers are having and how it’s impacting them. This approach increases trust and engagement and positions the seller as a true consultant or trusted advisor. It also shortens the sales cycle and ferrets out deals that won’t close or do not have a compelling reason to close, allowing salespeople to focus on the deals that matter.
The MEDDIC sales process isn’t bad, but if you’ve put yourself in the buyer’s shoes, it’s easy to see. It’s not about you. MEDDIC sales methodology is about the salesperson. It’s based in the concept of “How do I close this deal?”
Gap Selling sales training puts the buyer first and they can feel it. It’s all about them. Gap Selling is all about “How can I help my buyer?”
See the difference?
If you were a buyer, how would you want to be sold?