5 Mins Read

Sellers Have To Be Their Own Best Agents. Here’s How To Do It Right.

Brandon Fluharty  |

Brandon Fluharty |

⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️

Today’s edition highlights how to effectively use your own data and insights to maximize your earnings in strategic sales.

Let’s go!

Read time: <5 minutes

If you missed last week, read it here.


Become your own best advocate

Unlike professional sports, entertainment, and media, sellers have to be their own agents.

You can’t rely on others to negotiate your base salary, comp plan, and other perks on your behalf. That responsibility lies squarely on your shoulders. But it doesn’t mean you can’t think like an agent, and there is no better person empowered to do so on your behalf than YOU.

In fact, you can take a page out of Kevin De Bruyne’s book. In a rare move, but an emerging trend occurring in professional sports, he negotiated a multi-million dollar deal on his own without an agent.

In case you’re not familiar with who Kevin is, he’s a top Belgium professional footballer who plays for Manchester City in England’s Premier League. Back in 2021, he and his dad used various analytics platforms to lock in a contract until 2025 with a hefty raise in his wages.

It’s not like sellers don’t already have enough data flying at them on a daily basis, but I’m shocked by how many sellers I speak with who don’t know their numbers intimately well – especially the key ones.

Let’s break down the numbers to hunt down and the various tools you can use to elevate your conversations with new employers or negotiate a better plan with your existing one.

Know your key performance analytics and insights

You’re in strategic sales with access to the world’s largest brands. This is an opportunity to harvest life-changing income so you can write the next chapter of your life on your terms.

But you can’t just be an effective performer; you also need to become your own franchise within the organization, your own data science and analytics firm, and your agent.

Here are the steps to do exactly that.

Step 1: Get organized

The first place to start is you need to get organized and set up specific, strategic check-ins with yourself on an annual, monthly, weekly, and daily basis.

The insights you’ll be able to pull from these regular routines can translate into millions of dollars in personal income within a decade. That could be the difference between needing to work in the corporate world until you’re 55 or calling it quits to do your own thing before 45.

Step 2: Know your numbers

You don’t have to over-complicate it, but there are three numbers that reign supreme in strategic sales that you need to know very well and become hyper-focused on improving:

– Win rate

– Deal size

– Deal cycle

As a part of my monthly update, I would dial in on these numbers to see how I am tracking against my own performance (vs the team or organization’s performance…in which there was no shortage of reports and Slack updates reminding me about that).

Here was my simple two-step system:

1. Pull in all of my Closed/Won opportunities into a single sheet where I could review my overall performance at a single glance.

2. Create a new sheet for each month where I would drill into detailed metrics:

– Start date and how many months I was into my role

– Total quota, bookings (ARR), and achievement

– Number of logos and opportunities won

– Number of logos and opportunities lost

– Win rate, average deal size, and average deal cycle

– My personal earnings and hourly rate

– Other ancillary data

Steal the free Personal Sales Stats Matrix I used

Step 3: Create your narrative

During my annual review and annual strategy planning, I spent a fair amount of time dissecting my wins and losses. I would write out, in a narrative format, what I learned from each opportunity, what I did well (and want to repeat), and what didn’t go well (what I need to eliminate or improve).

For instance, through this practice, I learned that my highest-producing accounts were in the Fortune 100 – 200 segment. That meant I could have an intelligent conversation with my leaders when they were pressing me to pursue Fortune 100+ companies.

Because of the longer sales cycles and smaller ARR I could win out of the gates with these companies, I ended up shifting mammoth accounts like Walmart and Apple off my list. That was a pivotal decision that earned me even more in less time.

This is an example of a retroactive narrative during the annual review. The other piece I would work on during my annual strategy planning, is to write out a narrative for what I was focused on for the upcoming year.

For example, going into my last year of corporate sales with my former employer, I constructed a plan to transition from seller to advisor. Not only was this annual exercise beneficial in leveling up my writing skills with prospects and clients, but it also put me in the driver’s seat by presenting my case on why I deserve what I’m asking for in a very objective way – like Kevin De Bruyne used to win a multi-million dollar contract with Manchester City…and without having to give up a 10% commission to an agent.

That’s a wrap. See you next week!

But before you go…

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