Bernard van de Weert

Bernard van de Weert

Boardroom Advisor

Focus Structuring and reorganizing (sales) organizations with the aim of increasing effectiveness and performance. Middle (sales) management provides the leverage for the organization.
Expertise General and sales management, change management, implementing change, advising and supporting C-level executives.
Markets IT, telecom, business services, non-profit.
Motto ‘Do more with fewer people,’ where focus and leadership are core factors.


  • With fewer FTEs realizing more turnover

The biggest sales organization of a publicly listed telecommunications company in the Netherlands is focusing on fixed and mobile telephony, Internet and online services for the business market. Based on international benchmarks and competitive pressure, the cost of sales and customer satisfaction needed to be significantly improved. The approach aimed primarily on an increasing focus of THE primary task: maintaining sales, generating new business with existing and new customers, and securing or improving customer satisfaction. All activities that did not contribute to these 3 main areas were phased out.

  1. Building a ‘real’ sales culture where performance is rewarded and where ’target is target’ and ‘a deal is a deal’ is honoured.
  2. Clear dedication to customer satisfaction, sales objectives and related reward systems.
  3. Selling from a customer’s perspective and visualizing the value which a solution brings to the customer, rather than just listing the ‘features’ and ‘functions’ of its services.

This approach has resulted in: reduction of the number of FTEs from 3,500 to 1,000 with increasing sales, reducing the cost of sales from 11% to 4.5% and an increase in customer satisfaction from 5.3 to 7.8.

  • Transforming a sales organization: from advertising to online media sales

An online media company with a sales organization of over 330 FTEs focuses on its customers, selling findability on the Internet and generating leads. As a result of Internet developments an adaptation of its business model was necessary, away from traditional printed advertisements to online concepts. The change of the business model had major consequences for its portfolio, market approach and the method of sale.
The approach focused on identifying customer needs and pain points per sector, and from this knowledge, pooling of customer propositions, allowing a limited number of packages to enter the market. Subsequently it was determined which type of customer could best be approached through which sales channel (personal, telephone, Internet). Through training and coaching the sales staff went through a change process, and is now focused on the customer rather than the product.
Realized results: reduction sales organization by 15% FTEs, transformation away from personal sales to 60% telephone sales and more than 50% turnover via online media.

  • Creating strategy and team spirit in the Board of a non-profit organization

A teaching hospital deals with various tasks on patient care, education, research and training. Patient needs and delivering care are core values. Patients no longer choose the nearest hospital, but the best care and service combined with the shortest waiting time. Based on these developments the strategy should be more specifically defined and the Board of Directors (BoD) should operate as a team to implement this strategy.
[/twocol_one][twocol_one_last]The approach began with identifying the motives of the Board members and discussing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Purpose: To optimize team unity and obtain clarity about the different roles that people can fulfil on the basis of their motives. Starting from a Business Balance Score Card, the strategy and goals were conceptualized, including the measurement criteria.
Results realized: the Board has insight into the strategy to be followed, objectives are defined with clear measurement and calibration points and the cooperation between Board members has improved.

  • Developing the strategy of a services company

Facility management of a university focuses on providing audiovisual services. Based on a change in customer needs a new strategy needed to be developed.
The approach began with an analysis of the skills and motivation of the staff. Subsequently, using interviews with both staff and customers, the gap between supply of the services company and the services required by the customer, was closed. In the next step a new vision, direction and service portfolio was defined together with the management. Finally, through a skills and motivations analysis, strengths and weaknesses of each person were determined.
Results realized: a new portfolio was established for the facility management, based on the wishes of its customers.

  • Developing a sales organization to realize a transformation

A publicly listed IT company is engaged in sales, development and implementation of standard software packages for SMEs. A new marketing strategy from a customer’s perspective rather than placing the product in the centre requires different skills. Based on the new sales strategy, existing skills and needed skills were compared. In interviews with the sales staff, the following was measured: customer knowledge, customer expectations, value to be delivered, the extent to which a sales person can develop and influence a DMU, their leadership qualities and focus on result. Based on the interviews the GAP between the current and desired new skills was defined and the desired learning objectives established for each sales person. The result is a development and coaching plan for each individual sales person where the organization is now selling much more from a customer rather than product-based perspective.

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