Do you know the stakeholders?

Blog, Monday 24 July 2017

What is the challenge?

It’s already quite com­mon in the con­sumer mar­ket: offer­ing new prod­ucts based on needs and pre­vi­ous­ly-made pur­chas­es. Take the week­ly bonus and dis­count offers you receive by e‑mail, for instance, sim­ply because you have allowed your buy­ing behav­iour to be reg­is­tered with a cus­tomer card. Or the adver­tise­ments on web­sites, cus­tomised on the basis of the sites and prod­ucts you have pre­vi­ous­ly viewed. While this is increas­ing­ly work­ing its way into the B2B mar­ket as well, the con­cept has yet to crys­tallise ful­ly in this set­ting: there are plen­ty of names for it, includ­ing social sell­ing, customer’s jour­ney of buyer’s jour­ney. Tak­en along with the fact that the num­ber of peo­ple involved in deci­sion-mak­ing is increas­ing, the result is that you are expect­ed to have greater insight into the busi­ness, cur­rent issues in the mar­ket and the client’s ambi­tions. One way or anoth­er, you must be able to iden­ti­fy the clien­t’s needs and know who to talk to about meet­ing them.

Keep it simple

Obstacles in a number of areas can make it more difficult for a Sales department to do their jobs. It doesn’t make things easier that the amount of available data is only increasing: it can be hard to see the forest through the trees! What information do you need? And how can you be sure that the information is reliable? How much time will it cost you?

Keeping things simple, reliable and affordable needn’t be a complicated undertaking. There are three main points:

1. What is going on in my particular market?

2. What is the situation like for my existing and prospective clients?

3. When it comes to specific issues in the market and the business, who are my conversation partners: the stakeholders?

The answers to these questions can be found in government sources such as Statistic Netherlands, branch organisations and the publications of the individual companies. Private individuals also publish a great deal more information than you might think; this can be used to your advantage as well. Depending on the size of the Sales department, you could choose for a close examination of more or fewer businesses or sectors.


Can I give you one last tip? While the one-off time expenditure needed to gain a full picture may be great, it is crucial in order to remain relevant in the future. Maintaining the overview you’ve made, on the other hand, takes little effort. So: lay a solid foundation and do your best to keep it up-to-date.

I would happy to work with you in this area, to come up with the best approach for your specific business.

Frank Op den Kamp

Service in the digital era
How to win after losing?

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