Debunking the Myth: Why Big Markets Don’t Guarantee Big Success

Entrepreneurs mistakenly think big markets ensure success. Real success requires understanding sales channels, lead generation, and solid sales strategies, not just aiming for a small market share.

Mike Blake


In the entrepreneurial world, I often hear statements like, "If we capture just 3% of the market, we'll hit our targets." This kind of thinking, reminiscent of an overzealous spin on "The Price Is Right" wheel, usually elicits a collective groan. Why? It oversimplifies the complex journey to success and implies that a large market alone will do the heavy lifting.

The Fallacy of Automatic Market Capture

Believing that a vast market equates to automatic success ignores the monumental effort, discipline, and diligence required to make a mark. It's not uncommon in this journey to see a turnover of sales and marketing personnel as part of the struggle to harness market potential.

The Overcrowded Race for Market Share

Consider this: what if 40 companies are vying for the same 3% of the market? Suddenly, that small percentage becomes a battleground. And why limit ambitions to 3%? What would it take to capture 10% or 20%?

A Practical Approach to Market Share

Success lies not in throwing around market share numbers but in a thorough understanding of sales channels, lead generation, conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs. It’s about understanding the sales cycle in detail.

I've developed a spreadsheet that helps reverse engineer the sales and marketing model to achieve targeted market shares. This tool might find its way to my website soon – would anyone be interested in this practical Excel model?

The Importance of a Solid Sales Plan

There’s often a misconception that sales success is a random, viral phenomenon. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Competent sales are a result of repeatable and scalable processes, though admittedly challenging to master.

In my business appraisals, I delve deep into the sales process, as any astute buyer would. A company targeting a specific market share without a clear sales strategy significantly lowers its valuation in my eyes. Without a solid sales process, a company's worth might not extend far beyond its intellectual property and customer lists.


The takeaway here is clear: a large addressable market is a mere starting point, not a guarantee of success. The real differentiator is how well a company understands and implements sales processes to tap into that market effectively. It’s time to move beyond the allure of big market percentages and focus on the gritty realities of achieving sustainable sales growth.

Join the convo about this on this post on LinkedIn discussing sales strategy for entrepreneurs.