That was a BIG job! In your case, as you stated, is to collect as much water as possible and carry it away. I did fail to recommend how Dan might go about getting the water away from the foundation and getting it OUT of there.
Yes, sealing a wall that is actually 'dribbling' water won't work. Over time, the 'pressure' behind that water will force the water into the basement. The sealers that one applies to the wall will keep 'dampness' out of the basement assuming that's all the basement is experiencing.
If one is going to dig up the ground to seal the wall, it would be advantageous to consider doing a little more work to install a french drain. This is assuming the drain can be installed AND the water can be drained out of there. At my house, the back is relatively flat so installing a foundation drain was not practical. So, I regraded and created a 'gradually sloping' surface drain parallel to the house, out towards the front of the house, so the water would run 'downhill' (as it traveled parallel to the foundation), then empty onto the front lawn (which IS sloped.) My 'drain' starts at a depth of about 4" and is eventually 24" deep over a distance of about 40'. That's a sloping of about 1/2" per foot. I laid gravel that is level with the grade so if there's any SURFACE water running away from the foundation, I'm able to catch it. The gravel is wrapped in 2 layers of filter fabric to keep any dirt from 'contaminating' the gravel. The grass kinda grows over the fabric (along the sides) so you don't really see the fabric. For me, it was the only solution aside from putting in a sump pump. The sump pump WOULD have worked but if I put one in, I was kinda 'inviting' the water to continue to enter the basement and crawlspace. (The water is NOT a wanted-guest!) Besides, who knows what the passing of water through and under the foundation over the years would do to the foundation. (Case closed.)
Hopefully, your 'fix' will do its job and Dan's fix will give him a dry basement as well.