In our 15-step B2B Marketing process, we first covered defining what you’re trying to do, before researching your market. In the third step we start to home in on our target audience, over a series of steps.

You’re not going to be targeting the entire market; it’s too big. You should resist the urge to appear to be all things to all people. The third step, therefore, is to define your addressable market. To do this you call out not only the areas you’re going to address, but also the ones you’re not.

Areas you’re not to purse might be defined by region, vertical, size of company, size of deal, attitude to buying your products and services, and so on. Being strong and not going after business you’ve decided not to pursue is as important as is your focus on the areas you are going to pursue, and it’s important you stay true to this and don’t be tempted by stuff you know is either a poor fit or a tough sale.

For example, if you provide outsourced management services to a certain vertical, you might want to discount those companies who have an in-house manager for those services, or those companies who do not have a culture or a practice of outsourcing services, preferring to do it themselves.

Once you have stripped away the chaff from your market and eliminated the areas you’re not going to pursue, you’re left with the wheat – your addressable market. From then, it’s useful to try and calculate the size of your addressable market, so that you can start to think in realistic terms about what market share is achievable for you over the coming periods.