Niels van den Brink

Niels van den Brink

Senior Principal

Focus Assisting clients in the development and coordination of product management at both market and customer levels and increase sales effectiveness.
Expertise Product development and management, increase customer loyalty, develop customer contact strategy, go-to-market strategy, forecast and funnel management, opportunity management, business process reengineering (BPR) and customer relationship management (CRM).
Markets IT, automotive, online media, finance and business services.
Motivation ´Creating value for customers is an interplay between marketing, sales and operations. The success is thereby determined by making people work together in a targeted way.´


  • An international publicly listed IT company wants to market the developed expertise and solutions as projects and outsourcing services with a high added value. With a core team a phased methodology had been followed to develop value propositions. Firstly, business critical issues were defined in the market with a number of customers. Then the developed expertise and solutions were inventoried and productized into a portfolio of competencies, products and services. For each issue a business case driven value proposition was developed. A sales toolkit was developed by Sales to identify these issues with customers and address them with business and IT stakeholders. Within six months, Sales has defined specific projects at various customers and the order pipeline was doubled.
  • An international organization wants to increase both forecast reliability and sales effectiveness. At the start of the project there’s only insight in the opportunities that follow the bid management process. The purchasing behaviour of the customer is the leading edge. To gain insight into the opportunities and sales efforts, well before the start of the procurement process, a methodology has been implemented which allows sellers to better identify critical business issues with clients and develop them into opportunities. Based on this sales method a qualifying method has been developed which gives sales management a better insight into the quality, status and feasibility of opportunities. Definition of which process customer issues and solutions should be identified has been made together with Sales, and suppliers have been selected. For each purchase phase, the methodology was translated into critical success factors, qualification criteria and actions for sales. In the second step, the internal roles and responsibilities were defined for each sales stage including the internal decision process prior to the bid management process. In the third phase a sales support system has been designed. It supports the sellers to identify the problem and solution, and then to determine a sales strategy based on the DMU and decision analysis. The throughput is thus decreased, while the success rate is increased. Management is gaining insight into the opportunity quality. As a result, the reliability of the sales forecast has increased. Operations become involved at an early stage in defining the solution. Consequently, the reliability has improved while costs have gone down.
  • The Dutch market leader in multimedia advertising wants to simplify the portfolio and improve coordination between Marketing and Sales. With internal focus groups within Marketing and Sales a value statement has been defined. Subsequently, based on database analysis, four primary client segments were defined which cover 80% of the business. For each client segment two basic propositions for a media mix were developed complementing the value statement for the client segment. The value statement and basic propositions (including pricing) are then assessed externally and internally through interviews. A value pitch was then developed with Sales in which customers recognize their needs. The value statement clearly indicates the solution offered. The value pitch is translated to sales supporting materials. To ‘go live’ the customer segmentation, basic proposition and value pitch were rolled out using knowledge and skills training. After one quarter 50% of the loose product sale was converted into basic propositions. Both customers and vendors indicate they need less time to explain products and more talk time can be spent on assessing needs and providing media advice.[/twocol_one][twocol_one_last]
  • An online media consulting agency has concentrated new business sales in a single channel for phone sales. The sales effectiveness however remains low. As campaign manager, Niels first significantly simplified the portfolio to implement focus into the sales effort. A generic sales methodology was then introduced for targeting the sales needs. Along with the vendors thematic scripts were developed creating a joint learning experience. Subsequently, during one quarter the sales managers were coached intensively on sales and call quality. During that quarter the sales target was achieved for the first time and more new products were sold than in the preceding quarters.
  • One of the world’s largest car manufacturers wants to improve the showroom customer experience in its dealer network of over 250 branches. Goal: achieve higher customer loyalty. It is viewed important that the dealer network can develop a brand position and identity similar to the vehicle brand. Together with its European headquarters, Niels has developed a multiannual program where the dealerships will implement, in a phased way, an increased recognition of both sales and service and perform both tasks with the same level of service quality. For this purpose, along with customer groups, critical success factors in the purchasing process were defined. These success factors were translated into 50 truth moments in which customers are lead to a purchase decision. These ’50 moments’ are then elaborated into seven stages of the sales process. For each stage a number of regular activities are identified that characterize the service quality. For each dealership the sales and service methodology is first deployed by nominating 10 champions who will develop the new method within their discipline for their own specific situation. Hereafter sales and service staff are jointly trained. To monitor progress, a monthly survey is held among customers to appreciate their experience of the ’50 truth moments’. In order to share experiences among dealerships best practices are exchanged each quarter in regional meetings.

Follow Niels on LinkedIn

Logo LinkedInNiels van den Brink