I have learned over the years that a business process can have powerful outcomes if it can be explained in a simple way. But ‘simple’ does not mean ‘easy’. It is often construed that way. Simplicity only makes understanding the problem easily. But arriving at the solution to the problem could still be hard.
Whitespace Analysis helps you to discover areas where you can grow your account, align your resource so that you can identify your farming and mining opportunities.
One of the ways to simplicity is identifying the two variables/parameters and put them on a two-dimensional X & Y axis. Then think of various possibilities at a different position of this grid.
So when I set out to build a software for Key Account Management, one of the basic, but fundamental problem was to understand ‘Account Landscape’ to identify areas of growth in a Key Account.
As usual, I started thinking of two variables – people at both sides, products & services of both parties again, opportunities, strategic initiatives of the customer and of my company, global footprint of the account and ………
Finally, I arrived at ‘Buying Centres’ of the buyer Account & ‘Offerings’ of the seller as two variables to build the Account Landscape. The resulting matrix is a simple and yet powerful tool to understand the Key Account.
Deciding what offerings (products/services/solution) to take to market is not easy? That is the most fundamental aspect of any business. That’s for the management to decide. But an Account Manager has to identify the ‘buying centers’. These are the units in that account where one can take my offerings independently. These are usually divisions/functions and for a global account combined with regions. For example: ‘Retail Banking Europe’ & ‘Merchant Banking’ could be buying centers for a Bank.
Here is an example of that visual, what we call Whitespace Analysis.
This will set the Account Manager thinking, which offering is applicable to which buying center(s). Which of those boxes are easier to penetrate? Maybe because my offering there has a compelling value proposition for that buying center and there seems to be no incumbent competitor either. That is my ‘Whitespace’ of growth.
The following Account Landscape shows the progress in that account over the years.
In my next blog, I will write about customer stories where this Whitespace Analysis – Account Landscape helps them unlock millions of dollars revenue in their Accounts.