White Space Analysis: A Complete Guide

White Space Analysis analyzes an existing market to identify which products or services are succeeding, which are failing, and where potential gaps may be. Thus, White Space Analysis leverages your sales data to uncover opportunities for growth. This includes both cross-selling opportunities as well as upselling opportunities. In sales, White Space Analysis ideally helps boost top line revenue growth.

Table of Contents

What is White Space Analysis?

There are actually a few different ideas of what ‘White Space’ means. Some regard White Space as a market that has no competition. Others consider it a whole new market. And lastly, White Space can also be defined as gaps in an already existing market, i.e. gaps between the products and services your customer has already purchased from you and the additional products or services your company offers. The latter definition is the one we’ll be focusing on in the following.

To put it in slightly other words, White Space Analysis is a process businesses use to uncover new opportunities in the market for upselling and cross-selling, but also to recognize deals or accounts in need of nurturing. This process requires leveraging your existing sales data to identify the gap(s) and highlight potential areas of consumer spend that aren’t already attained, and to ultimately scale your business’ revenue.

The White Space Analysis solution is both popular and respected in the world of sales as it can give your business the competitive advantage to compete in a crowded market. Based on existing customer data, White Space Analysis serves as an effective practice to provide you with powerful insights on how to grow your business.

White Space Analysis for Key Account Management

There’s no denying that White Space is intriguing for all stakeholders in the SAM (Strategic Account Management) ecosystem. And to discover White Space, White Space Analysis is the way to go. It serves as a great KAM (Key Account Management) tool as it gives KAMs, Sales reps, as well as Management the insights to make the right strategic decisions on how to move forward and keep growing key accounts.

More specifically, effective White Space Analysis results in a visual representation of the deal pipeline as well as opportunities worth pursuing – both short and long-term. And not only sales opportunities, but also opportunities to add or create value for key accounts, e.g., through innovation, additions or alterations to a product, service or solution, allowing for valuable co-creation with your customers.

Ultimately, you’ll be able to recognize your account’s White Space Analysis square, and then anticipate and create potential to serve them in their future innovation efforts. This is how you become a preferred business partner instead of just another vendor.

ARPEDIO White Space Analysis
Example of ARPEDIO's White Space Analysis tool

What are the benefits of White Space Analysis?

In sales, the next new customer isn’t necessarily the best one. Often, retaining and nurturing your existing customers can turn out to be a much better investment for your company. Studies have shown that the cost of attracting new customers can be up to five times more than to preserve existing ones. Therefore, it makes a whole lot of sense to look into your existing client portfolio and map out where potential White Space is for upselling and cross-selling.

Cross-selling and upselling
Upselling and cross-selling are practices that can help you tap into a multitude of additional business opportunities beyond the first point of sale. Meaning, a customer’s revenue potential doesn’t have to end after initial purchase.

When you encourage customers to purchase anything in conjunction with the primary product, you’re actually cross-selling. It’s a way of offering a separate product that can either complement or enhance the initial purchase. Upselling on the other hand, is when you encourage customers to purchase anything that would make the initial purchase more costly, e.g., with a premium option, or an upgrade or enhancement to the existing product/service. Both cross-selling and upselling are excellent opportunities to generate some extra revenue.

The goal of identifying your business’ White Space is to discover these opportunities for cross-selling and upselling, and ultimately grow key accounts through existing solutions and relationships. Failing to identify these opportunities, will leave a lot of money on the table, not to mention allowing competition to sneak in. Therefore, doing these White Space Analyses (and thus creating visual White Space maps) to identify new business opportunities will undoubtedly benefit your business in more than one way. Expect to drive revenue or reduce costs as well as increase retention or reduce churn. How? We’ll summarize the beneficial outcomes of White Space Analysis below.

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What is White Space in business?

In business, “white space” refers to areas of opportunity, innovation, or unmet needs within a market or industry. It’s the metaphorical space where a company can differentiate itself, innovate, and find new avenues for growth. Just as white space on a page provides breathing room and clarity, white space in business offers room for creativity and exploration.

Identifying white space requires keen observation and understanding of customer needs and market trends. It involves looking beyond existing products or services to find gaps or areas that have been overlooked or underserved. By recognizing white space, businesses can uncover opportunities to develop new products, services, or business models that meet emerging needs or address pain points more effectively than current solutions.

Moreover, white space isn’t limited to product or service innovation; it can also encompass areas such as marketing strategies, distribution channels, customer experiences, and more. Essentially, it’s about finding untapped opportunities for growth and differentiation in the marketplace.

Successfully capitalizing on white space requires strategic thinking, agility, and a willingness to take calculated risks. By identifying and leveraging white space, businesses can stay ahead of the competition, drive innovation, and sustain long-term success in a dynamic business environment.

How can White Space Analysis help your business close deals?

By performing White Space Analysis on your key accounts, you’ll be able to:

  • Spot opportunities for cross- and upselling.
  • Identify which opportunities to pursue.
  • Meet the unspoken and unmet needs of your existing customers, or even uncover opportunities, like new target audiences or new ways to improve your existing products or services.
  • Make informed decisions during times of market changes or economic uncertainty.
  • Obtain all the customer data information you need in one place, and no need to invest money in acquiring (new) customer data.
  • Uncover the gaps in customer needs by carefully assessing their situation.
  • Navigate through Red Oceans and outperform your competitors in a saturated market.
  • Better retain your existing customers (which we’ve already established is cheaper than attracting new customers).
  • Identify gaps in the market that your competitors might try to close.
  • Find yourself in a position where you are no longer just a vendor, but a trusted partner that co-creates value with your customer.

In short, by performing White Space Analyses, you’ll discover areas for growing your accounts, become aware of deals that need your attention, and all together you’ll be able to align and map your ressources much more effectively.

Now that we’ve established the overall meaning of White Space as well as the beneficial outcomes, let’s continue with the actual process of White Space Analysis.

How does White Space Analysis work?

While it is of course possible to perform a White Space Analysis manually, this is not something we recommend. Most businesses today have turned to their CRMs for help to conduct intelligent and up-to-date White Space analyses. A CRM, e.g., Salesforce, can help gather all of your customer data and analyze it, based on specific selected parameters, to finally curate the data accordingly. Subsequently, the findings from the White Space Analysis can reveal valuable insights into what to prioritize in the near future in order to increase sales and ROI. But, what are the exact steps of a White Space Analysis? We’ll clarify below.

White Space Analysis step-by-step

To discover your business’ White Space opportunities, it’s necessary to have extensive knowledge of both your customer, the industry, future trends, as well as the competition. Only then you can capitalize on the data from your market research to take advantage of your newfound White Space opportunities. Follow the steps below to start mapping out your White Space.

First things first. To create a White Space overview requires that you have a very clear view of your existing customers and a deep understanding of their current investments in your company. Start by identifying the products they have already purchased, and then categorize and list your research into types of opportunities, accounts, industry, product family, time period, etc. to get a better understanding of what your company is currently offering to that specific customer. If you have a large customer base, we recommend prioritizing the customer accounts that offer the biggest potential in future investment.

In this case, buying centers refer to different units in an account that can buy your offering(s) independently, i.e., various divisions, functions, regions, etc. To map out the individual buying centers requires deep understanding of the account, as this will depend on various factors such as decisions-making processes, organizational structures, power centers, budget allocation, and so forth. Explore both open and closed opportunities to draw results based on opportunity type to discover the right account(s) to pursue and identify the right products that would satisfy their additional needs.

Once you have identified both your offerings and the account’s individual buying centers, it’s time to map out your White Space opportunities. You’ll need to list your offerings in columns and the account’s independent buying centers in rows, resulting in a matrix table. In this table you mark all the relevant cells with opportunities data, e.g. opportunities that are ‘Closed-Won’, ‘Closed-Lost’ and of course also active opportunities in progress or pursuit. Depending on the specific setup, these terms will vary. A few preferred terms could be ‘targeting, selling, closing’ or ‘qualify, target, expand, maintain’, just to name a few. Specifying your opportunities data will give you a strong, visual overview for the final steps.

As the final step of the actual analysis, you need to examine each of your offering’s relevance to the specific account and its individual buying centers. Of course, not all of your offerings will be equally relevant to every account and buying center. Keep in mind that it’s important to focus on the competition where the relevance is high. In general, we recommend that you always include a Competitor Analysis when you perform White Space Analyses to keep track of your competitors. ARPEDIO’s White Space Analysis software has a built-in function that allows you to do this easily.

Based on the White Space Analysis you’ve just done and all the insightful data that’s come from it, you’ll have a strong, visual overview of offerings and buying centers, and you should now be able to easily define your competitive position and identify the White Space(s) for business growth.

That’s it. These are the five steps of performing a White Space Analysis. And now it’s time to act on the new opportunities you have discovered. With ARPEDIO’s tool for White Space Analysis you’ll be able to create and add these new opportunities directly to your pipeline in Salesforce. We’ll go into more detail below.

White Space Analysis in Salesforce
See how our White Space Analysis solution seamlessly integrates with Salesforce and adds value to your sales strategy.

How can ARPEDIO's intelligent White Space Analysis tool boost cross-selling and upselling?

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? No worries! At ARPEDIO, we have taken it upon ourselves to make your White Space Analysis a breeze and eliminate all guesswork by building these five steps directly into your current Salesforce setup, letting you focus on what really matters; building great relationships with your customers.

Enter our treasured Key Account Managers. They truly are the heart and soul of any B2B business; their experience, their expertise, their domain knowledge, coupled with their ability to build and maintain strong relationships with clients, is no doubt what drives success with key accounts.

This is why ARPEDIO has dedicated its time to develop and continuously improve the best tools and frameworks to support them in their daily work, making them even better Account Managers. ARPEDIO’s tools aim to give the best possible overview of best practices, making every (next) move strategic, focused and aligned across the organization, ensuring everyone is working together towards the same goal. ARPEDIO’s tools help simplify complex solution selling and transform sales frameworks and sales best practices into digitized, automated processes that increase alignment, transparency and efficiency, ultimately, helping you sell more. And even if a White Space Analysis might (still) seem like a daunting task, we assure you that if performed correctly, these White Space Analyses can be potential goldmines.

The power of simplicity in data visualization
It’s crucial that KAMs and sales reps have a clear and thorough understanding of how to leverage White Space analyses to discover blind spots and boost top line revenue growth for their business. And luckily, this is exactly what ARPEDIO can help you with.

ARPEDIO’s intelligent White Space Analysis software is simple yet powerful, and gives you the framework to identify potential business growth by mapping out your current position within an account: Where have you deployed your different offerings? Where do you face competition? And where do you see open White Space opportunities?

What we’ve done specifically, is take the process of White Space Analysis and reduce it to a both sophisticated and intuitive template that can be used by any company dealing with sales. The layout of the White Space tool is based on your sales best practices and defined by your sales management and sales operations teams, and every component is fully customizable to fit your business needs.

The White Space template is set up like a table, where the horizontal plane represents the individual buying centers within an account, and the vertical plane represents the products and services your company offers.

In the table you can define your competitive position and identify white space(s). Simply click on an option field to switch between your predefined options. For better (data) visualization, the tool allows you to color code your research. You can then quickly identify the status of assessments. Add as many options as you like and define the terminology as you see fit. You can also add details to each of your positions in the White Space map, specifying a potential commercial value, the exact competitor, comments, etc.

Based on your input, you can use the standard Salesforce functionalities to create new opportunities, add and assign tasks, and send chatter messages – all directly from the White Space tool.

Last but not least, you’ll have access to the White Space Report functionality. This will provide you with a complete overview of all assessed accounts, helping sales reps and account managers to prioritize next steps. You can filter and modify the reports as needed, and even download them to an Excel file to share and compare across your business.

All of the reporting possibilities have been exceptional. It has allowed for our Sales Managers to dive into specific product portfolios to estimate and predict future sales opportunities. Something that we weren’t able to do before.
Claus Hansen
Business Manager, TDC Erhverv

ARPEDIO’s White Space Analysis tool is 100 % native to Salesforce and once you have set up and defined your White Space template, it automatically creates a visual overview, mapping where your business is strong, where there’s room for improvements, where your offerings are being sold across your entire customer portfolio, and where it’s not yet managed to penetrate the market.

In other words, this White Space map provides you with the strategic information needed to fill any gaps, letting you pinpoint relevant opportunities for expansion through cross-selling and upselling – all directly in Salesforce. And as everything is all digital and updates in real time, these white space opportunities will be available to everyone across teams and product lines.

In summary, ARPEDIO's White Space Analysis allows you to:

  • Discover new opportunities. By diving into different geographies, product lines or assessment criteria, you can discover opportunities for expansion or deals that need your attention.
  • Develop action plans and go-to-market strategies. Performing White Space Analyses will support KAM and SAM and their teams in reaching the goals they set with effective step-by-step action plans and go-to-market strategies.
  • Make collaboration easier. All data updates in real time, and you’ll have everything you need in one place; no need to jump between different documents and applications. All in all, ARPEDIO’s White Space Analysis tool eliminates duplicate work and improves collaboration by making the portfolio plans shareable and comparable.
  • Get the best visual overview. The color coded setup as well as the intuitive interface brings simplicity to an otherwise challenging process – especially for large accounts and complex solution selling.
  • Customize terminology. Personalize your cross-selling detail fields, tabs, columns, and options in your own terminology to match your business’ specific needs. And add details to individual accounts for valuable and shareable insights.
  • Compare reports. With the White Space Analysis tool comes the ability to use the White Space Report tool to get a full overview across assessed accounts. And you can even download your White Space assessments to an Excel file if needed.
  • Fully integrate your account planning with Salesforce. ARPEDIO has been a Salesforce partner since 2014, and all of our tools, including the White Space Analysis tool, are 100 % native to Salesforce – making Account Managers’ lives a lot easier.

White Space Analysis and Relationship Mapping – Individually powerful, superior together

Combining the ARPEDIO White Space Analysis tool with our recognized Relationship Mapping solution enables you to take your White Space opportunities even further. From identifying what to sell, you’ll also be able to focus on how to sell it. The Relationship Mapping solution focuses on the specific sales opportunity, providing you with critical information about your stakeholders and where to focus your efforts in the actual sales process.

Digital White Space Analysis natively in Salesforce with ARPEDIO

Are you also fed up with spreadsheets and powerpoints that aren’t shareable nor comparable, and account planning that isn’t integrated with Salesforce, making reporting more complex than it needs to be?

ARPEDIO offers world-class, all digital sales tools for B2B sales professionals and Strategic Account Management that align teams, lets you explore hidden sales opportunities, and increase business revenue. And from years of experience, we can say with 100 % confidence that the future of B2B sales doesn’t include spreadsheets or any other ‘offline’ and non-comparable applications that add to your workload instead of bringing actual value.

Are you ready to stop missing out on unexplored business opportunities? And instead start to make a noticeable impact on both your top and bottom line revenue through cross-selling and upselling opportunities?

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