What the Frack: How to Mine Your (Sales) Pipeline and Break Into New Markets in 3 Easy Steps


The pandemic has unearthed new markets for almost every industry that are just waiting to be tapped.

But with quota looming, sales professionals need a solid plan in place to quickly and efficiently identify and sell to new and existing audiences.

This is where fracking comes in.

If you’re wondering what fracking has to do with increasing your sales, don’t worry. I’ll (hydraulically) break it down for you in three easy steps, so you can mine your sales pipeline for all it’s worth.

What Does Fracking Have to do With Sales?

Fracking is a technique used to extract natural gas and oil from tight rock formations that would ordinarily make extraction very difficult.

These formations are blasted with water and sand at an ultra-high pressure that eventually cracks the rock and allows the gas and oil to rise to the surface.

What does this have to do with Sales?


Because by applying the right pressure to the right places in your pipeline, you can break into difficult new markets and bring valuable new opportunities to the surface.

And just like searching for oil, sometimes, in sales, you’re right next to your next big opportunity and have no idea or don’t take advantage of it because it seems like it’s too difficult.

Instead of exhausting energy digging a brand new trench, sales fracking allows you to identify the opportunities hidden in your current deals and get the maximum value from every opportunity.

Pro tip: Learn how to conduct killer pipeline reviews with your team.

Step 1: Find New Markets With Your Closed-Won Deals

The deals you and your team have closed over the past few months are the key to being able to identify your next opportunity.

Think of your closed-won deals as your dowsing rod, and every question you ask yourself will bring you one step closer to striking the motherload.

The beauty of mining your current sales pipeline is that whether you have new opportunities or old, you can still use them to identify new opportunities with the right technique.

Chances are some new personas and markets have already snuck themselves into your deals due to the pandemic. But if your recently closed-won deals look like they just belong to the usual suspects, that’s ok too.

Not every company will be handed new markets on a silver platter.

You can also review closed-lost opportunities that made it to late-stage negotiations. Deals that make it that far still show buying intent. It may have just been pricing or service that was the failure point.

These are all healthy places to begin to frack.

Take stock of what went wrong and what went right in your recent deals to gain insight into how you can better identify and approach these new opportunities with a higher chance of closing.

Look at your past deals and ask yourself:

What industry are they in?

Who was the decision-maker?

Were there multiple decision-makers?

What was their budget?

How long did it take to close?

And most importantly, “What was their biggest pain point?

This analysis will tell you who to talk to and exactly which problems to dig into for the best results. Hello, shorter sales cycle.

Step 2: Find Your Customer’s Competitors

The resource-rich motherload of new business and markets you’ll find by reviewing your closed-won deals is, (oil) drum roll please — their competitors.

If you closed a deal during the pandemic with a business in a particular industry, you can do it again. You just need to find the right company to reach out to next.

And luckily, you won’t need a map or an oil rig for this step, just Google. Search for businesses that have industry overlap with your recent closed-won deals.

You can even straight-up Google “[closed-won account] competitors.

But don’t forget about other search engines, like Bing. Pay-per-click (PPC), and Keyword SEO targeting means there are varying sources of content out there. So, an omnichannel search approach is strongly advised.

If you want to step your game up, use LinkedIn to connect directly with these companies’ decision-makers.

Other sophisticated solutions, such as ZoomInfo, Clearbit, or business directories (like franchise owners), can also help augment your fracking efforts to help you find more information about your prospects fast.

Step 3: Get Frackin’

Now that we’ve found our oil field, we can finally begin fracking. This is where you blast your new prospects with emails and dials.

Bonus: 4 Surprising Places to Find Warm Leads

It’s the time to put on the pressure and drill into your new prospects with questions about their pain until you hit oil.

Use the information you gathered from your closed-won deals to identify what questions are most likely to get to the meat of your prospect’s problem. That’s what really makes this step high-pressure fracking and not your regular prospecting.

Liz Heiman has a fantastic talk from Saleshacker’s Success Summit last year that goes in-depth about these kinds of hard-hitting questions. You can check it out here.

Find something you can work with, and let it rise to the top of the conversation.

And don’t be afraid to share your strategy with prospects, either. Saying something on your call like, “Businesses like yours, competition even, are using [your product] — would you like to learn more about why and how?

By asking questions like this, you position your product as an advantage the other team already has, which your prospect now feels they need.

Don’t be abrasive

I know we said real-life fracking involves sand, but that’s something you should leave out of the sales version. When we say, ask high-pressure questions, we don’t mean, be insensitive.

Don’t forget. We are still in the middle of a global pandemic. Even if the timing worked for a competitor in the same space, it might not be the right time for your new prospect to buy.

Be empathetic, and be customer-centric. Remember, the goal of these hard-hitting questions is to identify the true pain that is driving your customer so you can HELP them.

Don’t push too hard.

It can be a difficult balance to strike, but if you do it right, you’ll stand out and win yourself some new business.

It’s time to Close

After completing the three steps of mining your sales pipeline, there’s still the negotiating, pricing, etc.

Fracking exists to help you get started and dredge up new business by evaluating your existing closed-won deals.

But, there’s only so much fracking can do.

At the end of the day, you’ve got to hustle (as always) to get your deals closed. So, be sure to employ all of your other sales-related talents. Check your CRM data regularly for accuracy, create sales documents that are polished and professional-looking, and never, ever take your eyes off the prize.

If you’re looking to break into new markets, try fracking.

If the pandemic has you stuck in a sales rut, try fracking.

And if sales isn’t for you, try for-real fracking?

Let us know in the comments below if you were able to strike gold by following our steps.

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