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December 26, 2022

Sandler vs. MEDDIC

How Buyers Want To Be Sold To (A Salesman’s Opinion)


Blog type
Selling tips
Sales efficiency
Digital Strategy
Remote selling
Shortening the sales cycle

We’ve heard rumors about this vicious debate that takes place during the salespeople’s lunch hour (In our marketing heads, tuna sandwiches are flying around, and flat cola is being passionately flung into faces). So we asked our top salesman, Daniel Ryan, to do our job for us, and write us an article about MEDDIC versus Sandler selling, and how he believes buyers want to be sold to. But before we get into Daniel’s opinion, here is a quick summary of both MEDDIC and Sandler:


MEDDIC is a sales methodology used by many organizations to help them identify and qualify potential customers. It stands for the following six components:

  • Metrics: What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that the customer uses to measure the success of their business?
  • Economic Buyer: Who is the person within the customer organization who has the authority to make purchasing decisions?
  • Decision Criteria: What are the key factors that the customer will use to make a purchasing decision?
  • Decision Process: What is the process that the customer will go through to make a purchasing decision?
  • Identify Pain: What problems or challenges is the customer facing that our product or service can solve?
  • Champion: Who is the person within the customer organization who will be our advocate and help drive the purchasing decision?

By using the MEDDIC methodology, sales teams can better understand the needs of their potential customers and tailor their sales pitch accordingly. This can help increase the chances of closing a sale and improve overall sales performance.


Sandler Sales is a sales training and consulting methodology developed by David Sandler. It is based on the idea that the traditional “hard sell” approach to sales is often ineffective, and that a more consultative, relationship-based approach is more likely to succeed. The Sandler methodology focuses on building trust and rapport with potential customers, and on helping them identify and solve their own problems rather than trying to convince them to buy a product or service.

Sandler Sales training typically includes a mix of classroom-style instruction, one-on-one coaching, and hands-on practice. The goal is to help salespeople develop the skills and mindset they need to effectively use the Sandler methodology in their work. Some of the key principles of Sandler Sales include:

  • Identifying and addressing customer pain points
  • Building trust and rapport through open and honest communication
  • Asking thoughtful, open-ended questions to better understand customer needs
  • Using a consultative, solution-focused approach to sales
  • Avoiding traditional “hard sell” tactics and techniques

Overall, the Sandler Sales methodology is designed to help salespeople improve their performance and increase their success in closing deals.

Over to Daniel:

So now that AI has helped identify what each method involves, let’s get into the big debate about how to help buyers purchase the product rather than us simply selling to them. It’s time to switch up the narrative of which way is better at squeezing our prospects through a process or methodology, and rather focus on enabling buyers to make informed decisions and reducing any obstacles that may prevent them from closing a deal. Because the best of these two methodologies can help sales professionals create more successful and lasting relationships with their customers.

The debate between the popular sales techniques of MEDDIC and Sandler has been ongoing for years. Some believe that MEDDIC is the way to go, while others are passionate about Sandler’s approach. Personally, I don’t believe buyers want to be sold to at all. It’s a cliche line but it holds true – “People love to buy things, but they hate being sold things.”

Prospects are busy doing a job the best way they know how. It is the job of a salesperson to perhaps shine a light on a problem they didn’t know they had, or uncover the reason for their missed goals that they hadn’t thought of or seen before. Buyers want to be “sold” to in a way that is tailored to their needs, and not simply squeezed into a seller’s predetermined mold. This allows the buyer to feel heard and respected, creating a more meaningful sales process.

The Sandler sales technique puts the emphasis on the seller becoming a trusted advisor to the customer. This approach involves the seller asking questions to uncover the customer’s pain points, processes, and decision-makers, as well as mapping out potential solutions before even presenting the product. This allows the seller to build a relationship with the customer and gain their trust, while also demonstrating an understanding of their needs.

MEDDIC takes a different approach. While it can be seen as a great way to sell from the seller’s perspective, this method of “qualifying” buyers can be quite irritating, and make it difficult to simply determine whether the product is right for them without having to play 20 questions. Instead, buyers should be allowed to make their own judgments without feeling as though they are being interrogated.

In my opinion, the best salespeople are adept at jumping back and forth between asking questions to uncover relevant information, and then diving into a demonstration to show how their product can solve their customer’s problems. This method allows the salesperson to gain a better understanding of their customer’s systems and issues, while also giving the buyer what they want: an actual demonstration of the product. This combination of discovery and demonstration creates a meaningful and well-rounded sales process.

Gartner research has demonstrated that vendors are only involved in 17% of a sale, with this figure being divided among all vendors. This indicates that sellers are operating without a clear vision of the buyer’s needs and preferences approximately 95% of the time. Furthermore, buyers are increasingly demonstrating a greater level of knowledge and understanding of the products they are purchasing, making it more difficult for vendors to make a successful sale.

Here’s how I do it:

It’s an age-old truth: people enjoy making purchases, but they don’t like the feeling of being “sold to.” So, how does this affect me, Daniel, and my role as a salesperson?

I think MEDDIC and Sandler serve great purposes but neither really serves the most important party in a sale… the buyer.

Sandler is close but keeping the product demo held back as if hostage is not keeping the buyer front and center of the process. MEDDIC is a great qualification process but let’s be real, Decision Process isn’t necessarily what the person on the other end of your demo cares about.

They either came inbound or were outbound prospected successfully because they have a problem and they think I might be their saving grace. They have given me their time and so I want to accomplish a couple of things in that first call:

  1. Have the prospect leave thinking “Dang, I’m glad I took that. I hadn’t thought about XYZ in that light before.” Educating your prospects puts you in a different light compared to the rest.
  2. Show them the tool. Not a slide, not a word picture… show them the tool they signed up to see… Imagine signing up for a dating app and having to answer 20 questions about your extended family’s medical history and political affiliations before you could see the person on the other end. Buyers feel the same way.

My approach to success is simple: stay focused on the buyer. It’s also really easy to slip in your questions while showing off your product. Remember, if your sales cycle is only overlapping with 5% of your prospects buying cycle, you need to stand out, be memorable and enable them to buy. By focusing on the buyer and reducing the friction of the sales process, I am able to add value and increase the chances of closing the deal.

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