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Transform MEDDIC with Mutual Success Plans

Shankar Ganapathy
December 9, 2021
Meddic and Mutual Success Plans

While MEDDIC is a great methodology and quite relevant even in today’s business, the fundamental changes in B2B buying behaviors have forced us to rethink how we use MEDDIC.

For today's complex enterprise deals, MEDDIC is actually rather easy (yeah, we said it!).

While MEDDIC is primarily used as a sales methodology, Mutual Success Plans transform buyer engagement from a manual, siloed, and disconnected experience to a data-rich, collaborative, and outcome-driven approach. 

In our last blog we covered the three major areas of gaps when MEDDIC deployments meet today’s enterprise sales deals:

#1 It helps qualify, but fails to support with developing an opportunity 

#2 Most often than not, it suffers from Garbage In – Garbage Out

#3 It is not designed to support the growing complexity of stakeholder management in enterprise sales.

With BuyerAssist, revenue teams leverage Mutual Success Plans as a customer facing tool to discover, align and collaborate with their buyers on all aspects of MEDDIC and ensures B2B relationships are digital first and value driven.

Mutual Success Plans: a step up from Close Plans and Mutual Action Plans

A lot of experienced sellers already use Close Plans or Mutual Action Plans (MAP) to plan through the decision and paper processes with their buyers.

Close Plans are designed to help a seller win deals without any explicit need to include the buyer in the process of creating it. MAPs are an improvement from Close Plans in the sense that they are buyer facing, but because the focus is on project management alone, they are usually abandoned after the contract is signed and do not get used for any meaningful buyer value delivery. To that extent, MAPs are Close Plans that get occasionally reviewed with a buyer 2-3 times in the entire sales cycle.

Todays’ buyers are under incredible pressure to show measurable value in a timely manner. They also expect the various teams on the vendor side to deliver an integrated buyer and customer experience. No more lousy handoffs and no delay in time to value (else expansion is at risk of slipping).

Mutual Success Plan (MSP) is a new way of buyer engagement that is focused on two key concepts - ‘Mutual Success’ and ‘Success Plan’. ‘Mutual Success’ is about establishing a shared understanding of what success means for you and your buyers. ‘Success Plan’ is the shared path that you and your buyer need to take in order to reach the mutually desired outcomes.

MSPs start with value discovery and go all the way through to value realization for the buyers (contract signing is just one step in this process). MSPs are co-developed with the buyers and continuously reviewed with them throughout the relationship to ensure that both parties are always directing their efforts in the joint pursuit of buyer outcomes and make necessary course- corrections in cases of any deviation.

This new way of buyer engagement aligns with modern buyer expectations around self-service and outcome-driven vendor relationships. 

Why Mutual Success Plan Works 

#1 It is Buyer focused: 

  • Written in buyers’ language 
  • Helps first-time buyers clearly understand the steps to  purchase, deploy, and realize value from your solution
  •  All activities oriented towards jointly discussed buyer  goals, and timelines mapped backward from the buyer’s  go-live date 

#2 It is about ‘Mutual’ MEDDIC: 

  • No more poker. Win deals through radical transparency and synergy. 
  • Help buyers understand their own problems better and  ‘why now’ from an outside-in perspective, also bringing  in your own institutional thought leadership 
  • A shared understanding of MEDDIC that gets constantly  reviewed and updated 

#3 It is one-stop destination for Buyers: 

  • All assets are in one place, in context, and designed for buyers to use in the flow of their work. 
  • Make it easy for buyers to get their questions answered,  find content or information needed to move things along, and ultimately onboard new stakeholders 
  • It eliminates unnecessary demos 

#4 It is collaborative: 

  • Project manage the complexity of enterprise selling and  buying efficiently and systematically 
  • Drive urgency based on buyers’ critical project timelines  (and not your end of the quarter) 
  • Onboard new stakeholders from both sides in a seamless,  consistent and efficient way 

#5 It makes Sales to CS handoff seamless: 

  • Seamless handoff from sales to CS without any experience change for buyers. Significantly accelerates time to value 

#6 It increases forecasting accuracy: 

  • Use buyer engagement to help validate commit and upside  deals 
  • Identify risks proactively and solve them 
  • Digital buyer experience as your competitive  advantage 

Transforming MEDDIC with BuyerAssist Mutual Success Plans

Before/After Comparison 

M: Metrics 

BEFORE 

  • Do your Buyers have a clear understanding of the business impact they want to drive? Do you know if your sellers were able to effectively help their Buyers interpret value? 
  • How do you leverage metrics as your strategic advantage for creating competitive advantage,  especially when it comes to technical evaluation? 
  • How do you transform metrics from one-time qualification criteria into a continuous, milestone-based approach to build trust at each step in the relationship? 

AFTER

  • BuyerAssist helps tie the Metrics with the succession plan to drive urgency. Both parties know the cost of the slip. 
  • Buyers can also educate themselves on potential business impact possibilities with easy access to case studies that are like their own business. 
  • Each milestone in the buyer journey has ‘goals’,  ‘success criteria’, and ‘risks and dependencies’ to help capture the ‘metrics’ at a micro-level. 

E: Economic Buyer 

BEFORE 

  • While there might be an ultimate Economic Buyer, what is the approach to identify how they make decisions and whose inputs influence them? 
  • On average, a deal today is likely to have more than ten decision-makers. How do you bring them all on the same page and get them to vouch for you? 

AFTER

  • Mutual Success Plans give you a simple way to uncover the decision-making team and their priorities and make the process most efficient for each of them. 
  • All stakeholders are automatically captured and their engagement on the Mutual Success Plan is leveraged to drive further personalization.  

D: Decision Criteria 

BEFORE 

  • For the most part, modern Buyers must navigate a  highly complex buying process. Their decision criteria also evolve as the buying process progresses. The classical way of asking ‘What's your evaluation criteria’  won’t work anymore. 
  • How do your sellers uncover both the strategic decision criteria (what they look for in a partner, what business impact) as well as the tactical ones (features and benefits)? 
  • How do you also need to uncover decision criteria for all key stages in the buying journey, for example, pilot success decision criteria? 

AFTER

  •  BuyerAssist enables you to collaborate with your Buyer to align and document overall buying decision criteria. At the same time, you can also work with the evaluation team to align and document pilot success decision criteria or the IT team to define Info-security review success criteria. 
  • A clearly articulated overview and executive summary keep all discussions focused on the highest order decision criteria and the proven path to business outcomes.

D: Decision Process 

BEFORE 

  • You are expected to uncover the Buyer’s decision process. But you probably have a better sense of how the buyers should buy from you since you have had hundreds of companies to who you have sold. How do you transfer this knowledge to your next Buyer and build credibility? 
  • How do you ensure that every stakeholder's objective from the buying process is met? 
  • How do you ensure that even the most granular aspect of the decision and sign-off process is discussed and nailed down, to avoid any last-minute surprise? 

AFTER

  • The success plan lists down all milestones, key tasks, and due dates and enables the two sides to collaborate on the decision process. 
  • High investment milestones like POCs, customer  references also have ‘decision criteria’ mapped in the context of the particular milestone 
  • You can provide templates based on different customer segments and their buying behavior.

I: Identified Pain 

BEFORE 

  • Pain discovery is a continuous, iterative process as you speak with multiple people. How can you ensure that all this comes together into a bigger picture? 
  • What is the right way to answer questions like 'Why now and why not in another 3 months?

AFTER

  • By showing the desired value, cost of pain, and value prop every time your buyers come to a Mutual Success Plan, you maintain urgency and focus.
  • MSP also intelligently shows the cost of slip to ensure buyers are also making progress based on potential delay in value realization

C: Champion

BEFORE 

  • How to leverage a champion to drive a competitive advantage in a deal?
  • If your champion must sell for you more than 80% of the time, how do you enable them to articulate why you, why now?
  • How do you enable your champion to bring in all the other stakeholders into the process, and leverage best practices to make them successful?

AFTER

  • Your champion or other buyers can seamlessly onboard new stakeholders to the evaluation, progress, and next steps.
  • With BuyerAssist, you can map out all the stakeholders, their engagement score over time, their engagement with content, what questions they are asking, and how they engage with the plan.

BuyerAssist is a buyer engagement platform that sales teams utilize to engage, collaborate, and align with their buyers across the entire sales process. It digitizes 'Mutual Success Plans' in order to increase transparency and visibility, resulting in more engaged buyers and consumers.

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