Why White Space Analysis is Critical to Account Growth

3 Jun 24

Boost revenue by using white space analysis to identify unmet demand in existing accounts. Selling to current customers has a 60-70% success rate.

Growing business in existing accounts is critical to achieving your team’s long-term sales success.

According to Forbes research, the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is dramatically higher: 60 – 70%. Additionally, research by Forrester indicates that upselling and cross-selling within current accounts can increase revenue by 10-30%.

In most sales organizations, the account manager is responsible for growing revenue in current accounts. Unfortunately, many account managers take a reactive approach to managing their accounts, often missing significant growth opportunities.

A white space analysis is essential to proactively growing revenue from current accounts. In the simplest terms, account white space analysis refers to analyzing customer accounts to find areas of unmet demand. It is the process through which account managers identify the opportunities and growth potentials within the existing customer accounts by thoroughly analyzing the data.

What type of information can help identify whitespace within an account? First, examine the account's industry, company, and people within that company.

Conduct Research


How do you research an industry? Where do you start? Consider conducting a PEST Analysis. PEST stands for Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors that can impact an industry. It is a powerful analytical framework for understanding strategic issues influencing your account’s industry.

When investigating how the political arena impacts an industry, consider, for example, recent potential changes in governmental leadership, regulations, and tax policies. Any of these can alter a company’s business environment and influence its strategic priorities.

Next, consider the current and future economic conditions that impact the key executive’s business. These might include economic growth rates, interest rates, unemployment rates, and inflation.

Social changes can significantly impact a company, its products and services, and how it does business. Are there critical social changes impacting your account’s industry? Consider trends in demographics, social attitudes, cultural changes, and consumer attitudes.

Finally, emerging technological trends can have an enormous impact on an industry.


Once you have a firm grasp of the trends in your account’s industry, narrow your focus and research the account itself. Your research should give you a solid understanding of the company’s growth trends, recent news, key initiatives, organizational changes, and competitors. These topics will help you better define your value to their enterprise.

The good news is that a tremendous amount of information about most companies on their websites is available. If the company you’re researching is public, you’re in luck. In the United States, public companies must file a 10-K, a comprehensive annual report about their financial performance. You can generally find a company’s 10-K on its website in the “Investor Relations” section. The “Management Discussion & Analysis” section of the 10-K can be particularly helpful. You should also read the company’s press releases to understand recent developments.

Of course, the best source of information is to talk to your contacts at the company, including any customer coaches you may have. A customer coach is someone within the organization with a personal or professional vested interest in your success. Customer coaches are willing to share important information about the company, important initiatives, and key players. See (Pay it Forward to Develop Great Customer Coaches) to learn how to develop customer coaches.


The final area to research is the people within the company. You should understand who the other players are and how they relate to each other. More importantly, what is their level of commitment towards you, your company, and your solution? And how much influence do they have over important strategic initiatives or buying decisions? Here are four personas to consider:

  • Champion: Someone with high influence who actively supports you, your company, or your solution.
  • Supporter: Someone who likes your solution but has limited influence over the buying decision.
  • Doubter: Someone who isn’t a supporter of your solution but also has limited influence is not too much of a threat.
  • Obstructionist: This person is the most dangerous. They have high levels of influence but don’t support your solution. They may support one of your competitors or prefer the status quo. Obstructionists may also negatively influence others.

Your customer coach can be an essential resource as you research the organizational dynamics of the company.

Look for the White Space

Now that you have researched, you can look for the white space. Components of white space analysis consist of the following:

  • Solution: List all the solutions you offer.
  • Current Utilization: Which solutions are currently utilized within the account, and how?
  • Relevance: Based on your research, assess the applicability of un/under-utilized solutions to the account.
  • Potential Volume: To quantify the white space, multiply your solutions available by the number of possible instances.

Once you have identified the white space in an account, here are four account management tactics you can use to grow the account:

  • Expand: Increase the usage of your solution within the account.
  • Up-sell: offer an upgraded version of a solution currently utilized by the account.
  • Cross-sell: broaden the number or types of solutions within the account.
  • Retain: Extend the length of time the account utilizes your solution(s).

Effective account managers need numerous skills to increase revenue within existing accounts, including deepening relationships within accounts, conducting effective customer business, and securing renewals. One essential skill that account managers must master to achieve revenue goals is finding the white space within an account.

Are you seeking strategies to boost growth within your current accounts? We are here to help. Contact us today to discover how our expertise can drive expansion and maximize your existing relationships.


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