meddic vs challenger

MEDDIC vs Challenger: What’s the Difference?

Explore the distinctions between MEDDIC & Challenger sales methodologies. Dive deep into their unique approaches and determine which fits your sales strategy best

Hitting targets is one of the topmost goals for any sales rep. Understandably, all sales teams want to perform consistently well and achieve their goals. 

But if you’ve seen your teams struggle in the last few years, you’re certainly not alone. 

A recent crowdsourced survey by SaaStr shows that only 18% of sales teams hit a 70%+ quota attainment level. Average quota attainment for reps is down 5 points in 2023 from 2021. Quota attainment is also down for 5 out of 7 such teams. 

To change the narrative, you’re probably digging into different sales methods that more successful businesses use. Or, you may simply want to level up your sales game as organizational growth becomes stagnant. 

The first few methods popping up will undoubtedly be the MEDDIC and Challenger Sale. Both are useful with proven results for different companies. But confusion may persist on MEDDIC vs Challenger Sale and which one’s the best for you. 

MEDDIC vs Challenger

We’ve put together a quick overview of both methods that could help you make a decision. 

Understanding the MEDDIC Academy Sales Method

For 71.4% of sales professionals, only 50% or less of their initial leads are a good fit for their ICP. Reps blame poor qualification of potential customers before taking them through the entire sales process for 67% of lost deals.  

There’s one method that shines in these situations. 

MEDDIC is a B2B sales qualification methodology used to understand the customer at each stage of the buyer journey. The process drives revenue and business growth by qualifying buyers more accurately. 

Here’s how the MEDDIC Academy explains what the process stands for:

1. Metrics

What is the quantifiable value of your product for the customer? 

2. Economic Buyer

Who has the final word on the financial decision at the buyer’s end? 

3. Decision Criteria

What factors or criteria influence the purchase decision? 

4. Decision Process

How does the buyer reach a decision? 

5. Implicate Pain

What is a problem serious enough for the buyer to seek an external solution? 

6. Champion

Who is the stakeholder most invested in onboarding your solution? 

challenger sales

MEDDIC places the focus on customer experience instead of selling with the sole objective of making money.

It works because 56% of sales leaders consider engaging and paying attention to gain a client’s trust as the best approach. 

With the MEDDIC Academy method, you can:

  • Find leads that are the right fit for you
  • Access critical stakeholders in the buyer committee 
  • Build better forecasts 
  • Boost winning rates 

Over time, the MEDDIC Academy has included more steps, such as MEDDPICC, where P stands for paper process and C is competition. 

Understanding the Challenger Sale Method

Today, 32% of B2B buyers use more sources to research and evaluate processes than before. And 31% spend more time on social media to check out vendors and their solutions. 

This means customers enter into a sales transaction with preconceived notions about the product. Reps need to develop an experience going beyond features and benefits.

Instead, sellers could challenge the buyer and disrupt their current thinking. This is the Challenger Sale Method.

You’re a challenge seller if you:

  • Have a unique perspective of the world
  • Understand the customer’s business in and out
  • Create constructive tension using a casual debate
  • Intentionally dispute the customer’s thinking
  • Push the customer to get out of their comfort zone 

Here’s what the Challenger Sale process looks like:

1. Warm-up

First up, you build credibility with prospects by researching and investigating their pain points, challenges, and needs. Then, you describe these issues to the buyer in a way they agree. 

2. Reframe

You reframe the problem as a growth opportunity. This switch is made by sharing an insight that the buyer may not have considered before.

3. Rational drowning

You back your reframing with quantitative data and the latest statistics. Numbers illustrate the risk of leaving the problem unresolved. It uses rational thinking to appeal to the customer’s emotions. 

4. Value proposition

Show the buyer possibilities of a better future. Tie their value drivers with your solution’s capabilities (without explicitly introducing the product). 

5. Introducing the solution

After the building blocks are in place, you can introduce your product. This is when you explain exactly how it solves the buyer’s problem. With Challenger Sale, you deliver insights into an unknown problem or opportunity in the buyer’s business. Your product is uniquely positioned to solve this problem.

By encouraging the buyer to consider new opportunities, a Challenger Seller offers alternative ways forward. But they need three essential skills to succeed: 

  • Teach by providing insights on new or better ways to solve the buyer’s problem 
  • Tailor the message to the buyer’s needs
  • Take control of the sale and guide the customer to closure

MEDDIC vs Challenger Sale: How Do They Compare?

Some sales experts consider MEDDIC as a sales methodology and Challenger Sale as simply an approach. But there’s more to it. 

We’ve listed each MEDDIC vs Challenger Sale comparison below. 

challenger sales

Despite the long list of MEDDIC vs Challenger Sale differences, both methods have three things in common:

1. Buyer evolution

Both methods take into account the evolving buyer. MEDDIC considers the transformation from the individual buyer to a buying committee with multiple members. 

Similarly, Challenger Sale knows that buyers are gathering more information online and contacting the seller later during their journey. 

2. Buyer’s drivers

Both MEDDIC and Challenger Sale identify the buyer’s value and economic drivers for the selling process. 

3. Cross-functional alignment 

MEDDIC and Challenger Sale need alignment between revenue teams and leadership buy-in. Marketing managers and leaders provide training and resources for all reps. 

Challenger vs MEDDIC Academy Process: What’s the Verdict?

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind when considering MEDDIC vs Challenger Sale.  


Use the MEDDIC Academy sales process to determine if a prospect is the right fit for your company. It helps teams that are struggling to keep up with the existing sales process and want to improve. 

MEDDIC can intervene to help you:

Regardless of so many positives to go on, MEDDIC may not be enough to account for all the complexities of a sale. There’s no 100% guarantee that you’ll win a deal even if you have all the items on the MEDDIC checklist. 

Avoid MEDDIC if:

✖ You have a short sales cycle or cater to transactional deals. The MEDDIC Academy process slows down the process. 

Challenger Sale

Use the Challenger Sale for complex sales processes when your sellers want to level up. It can effectively guide buyers to your solution’s unique capabilities. It also makes the purchase experience easier by changing the buyer’s mindset. 

The process is particularly helpful for sales teams with advanced skills. Usually, they’re highly experienced with immense knowledge of the industry in which they operate. 

One major shortcoming of the Challenger Sale is that not all buyers need to be challenged. Its assumption that the seller knows more about the buyer than the buyer may not always be correct. 

Avoid Challenger Sale if:

✖ Your buyers have clearly defined needs

✖ You operate in an industry with specific technical products or services

To Sum Up

After looking at the Challenger vs MEDDIC Academy processes thoroughly, you’ll find that both methods are pretty different. Yet, they can complement each other perfectly. You can use MEDDIC as a qualification framework that helps during the Challenger Sale. 

Whichever method you choose to deploy (or even if it’s a combination of both), Nektar backs you up. 

You can seamlessly qualify leads in MEDDIC using Nektar’s:

  • Buyer committee maps
  • Unified contacts
  • Automated and accurate contact capture
  • Nektar Buzz for deal and engagement alerts

Use Nektar for Challenger Sale to:

  • Capture data across multiple touchpoints
  • Trigger engagements with buyer intelligence 
  • Accurately sync contact data
  • Capture in-depth and clean CRM data 
  • Have more time to sell (and spend less time on mundane tasks)

Get in touch with us to level up your sales process. 

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