Business Pursuit Manager Benelux

Date: 25-Jul-2022

Location: Amsterdam, European Union, NL, 1016 XK

Company: British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.


Role purpose


The purpose of this role to actively develop the Examinations business in Benelux sub-cluster, converting opportunities into business. This includes all aspects of examinations, but with a strong focus on business development across various products and services.


The post will also be responsible for supporting the scoping of the Benelux market and working with partner / independent test centres to develop business opportunities within that sub-region.


This post is a part of a sub-cluster Business Development team, consisting of Business Pursuit and Account Management functions, mainly focusing on the business streams in the Netherlands but also in Belgium and Luxembourg.  


Role context


The British Council is the UK’s organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.  We create trust and understanding between the UK and the 100+ countries in which we have a presence. We have been operating in the Netherlands for 77 years and currently have a strong focus on examinations, arts and education. 


The English and Examinations Strategic Business Unit (E&E) is one of three strategic business units in the British Council (the others being Arts and Education) all of which have the remit to build trust for the people of the UK by building relationships through aspects of our language and culture.  E&E achieves this by enabling people across the world to access the life-changing education and work opportunities that are created by learning English or gaining valuable UK qualifications.  Promoting the English language also provides a medium for communication, helping break down barriers of misunderstanding or mistrust between cultures. The British Council’s 2020 vision for English & Examinations is to be the world authority in high quality English language teaching, learning and assessment, as well as the International distributor of choice for UK professional and school qualifications.


The Examinations business makes a significant contribution to British Council financial sustainability, and as such, it is essential that the business evolves in order to maintain its position in a fast-changing operating context. There is a need to standardise and automate activities across the globe to deliver efficiencies, and there is also a requirement to develop new digital products and services to meet changing customer demands and competitive pressures. In a cost and resource-constrained environment, balancing the on-going requirements and allocation of funds will be critical, as will the integration and planning of the implementation of the different changes across a global network of 100+ countries charged with the on-going delivery of impact and income whilst changing key elements of the supporting operational platform.


Main accountabilities


Commercial planning

▪    Carries out routine monitoring and standard reporting on commercial data involving sales, profitability and/or co-funding and sponsorship opportunities using an agreed set of corporate processes, techniques and report templates


Market & customer intelligence

▪    Uses local market expertise to collect customer and market intelligence both formally and informally, in liaison with relevant marketing colleagues, to inform and refine sales and marketing strategies
▪    Inputs into innovation and BD plan/targets
▪    Supports local marketing activity, complementing the regional marketing team’s support, including B2C & digital events as agreed and as relevant with sub-cluster Head of Business Development Manager


Winning business

▪    Identifies business opportunities and converts them into business wins
▪    Generates new leads through networking/relationship development
▪    Analyses customer needs and ensures that the customer is informed and engaged throughout the process
▪    Develops value propositions with support from Cluster Commercial Manager with input from Region 
▪    Manages tender submissions
▪    Manages relations with partner IELTS independent test centres (ITCs), with support provided by the regional team for developing with them business opportunities within the cluster
▪    Supports Head of Exams Business Development in managing relations with key stakeholders in the cluster including examination awarding bodies
▪    Coordinates communication between key institutional clients (Addvantage partnership scheme schools) and local operational team (B2B Operations Support function) to ensure smooth and effective delivery of exams sessions as per clients’ needs
▪    Supports delivery of the agreed account management plan 
▪    Supports / leads as agreed, delivery of partnership schemes  
▪    Supports relationship-management of partner test centres, including development with them of business opportunities  


Analysis and Reporting

▪    Uses standard procedures and templates, regularly records, analyses and reports on operational activity levels and performance data, to support senior exams managers in making timely and effective business decisions that respond to operational needs
▪    Conducts research to identify business activities, market challenges and key stakeholders within target client groups and partner or sponsor organisations to support developing new business and cultural relations opportunities
▪    Creates relationships and generates opportunities with stakeholders in key client / partner / sponsor organisations (e.g. meetings, conference slots), providing targeted marketing or thought leadership materials as appropriate


Brand/product knowledge & promotion

▪    Maintains an up-to-date and sound overview of the suite of British Council products, programmes and services to enable the provision of informed business development support to internal colleagues
▪    Ensures the British Council brand is promoted accurately and professionally in all communications with current and prospective customers and partners
▪    Within agreed corporate processes, contributes data and/or administrative support, as required, to enable the development and distribution of high quality, customer and market-focused marketing collateral (via a range of channels) to promote the BC’s offer externally


Leadership & management

▪    Prioritises own work activities, from long terms plans into day to day activities
▪    Builds relationships and uses influence to work with others internally to grow the business


Test Day Support

▪    Where appropriate this role will be part of a team carrying out Duty Officer duties on a rotational basis supporting test day delivery. The test day roster will include some early morning and weekend cover


The main opportunities and challenges of this role:

▪    Use country/sub-region insights and knowledge of current economic and market context, to identify and act on exams business opportunities
▪    Remain up to date with market changes and provide timely feedback to ensure business development plans and commercial propositions are realistic and achievable 
▪    Achieve agreed sales / account targets and ensure high levels of customer satisfaction
▪    Delivering business through a network of partner test centres (where relevant)





▪    The British Council works with a wide range of external partners and stakeholders in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, our systems and global processes operate in English.  Therefore, written and verbal proficiency in English and Dutch (to a C1 level) is required.
▪    Degree in any subject or relevant qualification
▪    Business Development / Business pursuit
▪    Market research / customer insight
▪    Building and maintaining stakeholder relationships
▪    Relevant work experience in a supervisory or managerial role
▪    Knowledge of the Dutch exams market and sector



▪    Contract management
▪    Experience of working with regulatory bodies


Pay band: G (Grade 6)

Location: Netherlands

Contract type: Indefinite

Starting salary: Euro 3150 gross per month

Closing Date:  28 August 2022 application will close 23.59 Central European Time (CET)


A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.


Equality , Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement


The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do. We support all staff to make sure their behaviour is consistent with this commitment.  We want to address under representation and encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability.  All disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria are guaranteed an interview and we have Disability Confident Employer Status. We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.


The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.


We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.


Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.


If you have any problems with your application please email


Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website. Our ‘ASK HR’ email is only to be used in case of a technical issue encountered when applying through the careers website. Emails with supporting statements and CV/Resumes sent to this email address will not be reviewed and will be deleted.