Scalepath helps B2B companies grow by understanding their market size, growth dynamics, and best opportunities to capture new revenue.
Market sizing brings clarity to your company vision and grounds your go-to-market plans in reality. But getting to an objective, useful model of what that market may look like is as much science as it is art.
It’s a process, but the market research journey to your completed market sizing guide and TAM analysis is as important as the destination. With the right tools, frameworks, and guidance, we believe everyone should feel empowered to understand their market size and best revenue opportunities. The discoveries you make yourself along the way will give you the insights you need to take your project to the next level, better enabling you to weather any challenges or pivots in the future.
Because market forces and the specifics of how products work to address customer needs will vary broadly, you can call on a few tools to help in every stage of the creation process. A note that this guide will help you research and size your market in order to arrive at a quantitative understanding of your market size (vs. a qualitative understanding of your market or prospective customer base).
We’ve created this guide with the following stages of the creation process in mind:
Before you dive into the pieces that make up your market sizing dataset in earnest, it can be helpful to get an initial overall estimate of your opportunity. This first pass will give you a ballpark number in terms of sales or revenue potential to later put against your deeper findings.
Getting a first glance via a top-down analysis for example will help you prepare you to defend your model if the final calculation and initial estimate seem world’s apart. This is useful for established markets, but may not be helpful to directly compare new markets where there isn’t much spending today (but could be in the future).
CB Insights offers a technology insights platform that aggregates research data across markets. Plenty of research is available for free, and you can login to gain access to market size data across regions and segments, and audit those estimates by source, which range from VC financing information and M&A transactions to social media discussions.
In addition, they’re made up of a team of intelligence analysts and a global network of executives and startups that come together to offer their input to the market area you’re researching.
A quick way to get an initial stance on your market is to seek out data that’s already been compiled and researched from a third party. These resources in the form of private research reports can be pricey, but they give you deeper access to figures that may be used by your competition and investors already. These reports offer broad overviews or deeper dives into specific market segments along with expert commentary from analysts that are deeply ingrained in the space.
The downside: it’s often unclear how analysts arrive at their numbers, and they may not have the exact perspective you’re looking for. Reports also may not account for your key market or product nuances. Creating your own bottom-up TAM, like one from Scalepath, will grant you a deeper understanding of the market and better equip you to defend your model.
Our take: look to these resources as guides, but not the final authority in your analysis. Before you buy, do some digging to see if the broader market numbers you’re looking for have been referenced in press releases or trade articles. Beware of research farms that have massive market research reports pushed through news releases: these rarely offer any value.
Once you’ve reached the granular data-gathering stage, you’ll find that there are many tools to choose from. We’ve created a more comprehensive list of market sizing data resources here, but here are a few to get you started.
The US Census Bureau offers free access to census data via their online tools. It’s a good place to start if you need a simple count of businesses by industry, size and state. This very detailed dataset is updated on a regular basis (although the significant updates will follow the census gathering 10-year timeline) and you even have access to some visualizations of the data, giving you a bird’s eye view of regional markets.
For job-specific data, try the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They track employment by job role, state, and industry.
The UN Data gives data on population, education, price and production indices, trade, tourism and transport, and more. The International Trade Center (ITC) is a great resource for small to medium-sized businesses hoping to expand internationally and offers (mostly free) market analysis tools to identify trade opportunities by product type and location.
Your market may have specific needs and data inputs only available through organizations in the space. Think the NRF - National Retail Foundation. If that’s the case, try an advanced search for those data sources. We love WebWire’s comprehensive list of publications by industry, however it will require a bit of digging.
For general market insights, you can also try Nasdaq Data Link which sources, evaluates and productizes undiscovered data assets, giving you a way to take action on the findings you uncover in their tool.
The final stage of your market research: crafting a narrative with a deliverable that sums up your opportunities and potential paths forward.
Scalepath offers B2B TAM software that pulls together reliable data, a strong framework, and easy to use software to build custom market sizing models. By tapping into massive sets of existing data from the sources above (and others), Scalepath helps build custom market sizing models in minutes, unlike the traditional approach that can take weeks or months.
Scalepath also provides a free TAM template framework to create a TAM model that guides readers through your thinking and breaks down each subsegment of your market for company stakeholders and investors.
The Scalepath market sizing template is a clear, easy-to-follow bottoms-up TAM model template. While this one is SaaS-focused, you can adapt it to suit any B2B business. Download the free Excel template that helps guide your research and allows you to customize your TAM model with things like:
And there you have it! While these tools can help you better understand your market, the definition of your market with clear insight from your research efforts is often the hardest piece to pin down.
Check out the Scalepath resources page for plenty of posts that help you navigate those final steps and gain a better overview of the process.