SaaS Metrics: Total Addressable Market Definition

Britt Fracolli

Content Specialist at ProductLed

Britt Fracolli

Content Specialist at ProductLed

Last Updated
June 18, 2024
Estimated Reading Time
5 minutes

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Total addressable market (or TAM) is a crucial metric for businesses to determine the revenue potential and market opportunity for their products or services. It represents the overall revenue opportunity that can be achieved if a company captures 100% market share.

How to Calculate Total Addressable Market (TAM)

Here's the total addressable market formula:

TAM = Total number of potential users (or Target market size) * Average revenue per user

The formula to calculate TAM involves identifying the total number of potential users or companies that could purchase the product or service, and multiplying it by the average revenue per customer. 

This provides an estimate of the total revenue opportunity in the market.

TAM Formula Example

Let's consider a software company that offers a project management tool for small businesses. They estimate that there are 10,000 small businesses in their target market, and the average revenue per customer is $200 per month.

TAM = 10,000 small businesses * $200 monthly average revenue per user 

So, TAM for this SaaS company would be $2 million per month.

The Importance of Total Addressable Market for Businesses

By understanding the TAM, businesses can make informed decisions and maximize their potential for success.

Here's why total addressable market is crucial:

Validating Business Opportunities

TAM provides essential information to validate any business opportunity. It gives a sense of how many potential customers or companies could purchase a product or service. 

Without this understanding, it becomes difficult to make accurate assumptions about revenue, growth, and usage.

Determining Investment and Resource Allocation

TAM helps companies determine the level of funding and resources they should invest in a new product or business line. 

By calculating the potential revenue opportunity, businesses can make informed decisions about the amount of effort and funding required to capture a significant market share.

Guiding Business Strategy

TAM serves as a guiding metric for business strategy. It provides insights into the overall revenue potential offered by a product or service. 

By understanding the size of the market, businesses can align their strategies to target specific customer segments and optimize their marketing and sales efforts.

Attracting Investors

Investors often look at the TAM when evaluating business opportunities. A large TAM indicates a significant market opportunity, which can attract potential investors. 

By showcasing a clear understanding of the TAM, businesses can demonstrate their potential for growth and attract the necessary funding to support their expansion plans.

Benchmarking Performance

TAM can be used as a benchmark to assess a company's performance in relation to the overall market opportunity. 

By comparing their market share to the TAM, businesses can identify areas of growth and potential market gaps that they can capitalize on.

The Difference Between Total Addressable Market and Total Available Market

Total addressable market and total available market share the same acronym, and both metrics are used in market analysis and business strategy

However, how they assess the potential market for a product or service is the key distinction between both. 

The chart below summarizes the differences between these metrics and when to use them. 

Total Available Market and Total Addressable Market

Metric What It RepresentsRevenue Potential When Its Useful
Total Addressable Market (TAM)Total market demand assuming there are no limitations or constraints.Theoretical maximum revenue that a company could generate if it captured 100% of the market share within its chosen industry.TAM is helpful for evaluating long-term growth potential, assessing market trends, or planning strategic expansion, in some instances. 
Total Available Market (TAM)A more realistic estimate of the market opportunity that accounts for account factors such as geographical limitations, regulatory constraints,  the presence of competitors, and more factors.A portion of the total addressable market that is realistically reachable by a business given the current market conditions and constraints.Total Available Market is more relatable in most operational and short-term business decisions.  

Understanding TAM, SAM, and SOM

TAM, SAM, and SOM are essential metrics that help businesses quantify their market opportunities.

Let's break down what each acronym represents and how they differ:

  •  TAM is Total Addressable Market: TAM represents the total revenue opportunity in a given market, assuming the company has 100% market share and no competition exists. It is the broadest view of the market size and potential.
  • SAM is Serviceable Available Market: SAM is a subset of TAM and represents the portion of the market that a company's products or services can serve. It takes into account factors such as the company's target audience, geographical reach, and capabilities.
  • SOM is Serviceable Obtainable Market: SOM is a further subset of SAM and represents the portion of the market that a company can realistically capture and serve. The metric considers factors like competition, market penetration, and the company's resources and capabilities.

By calculating TAM, SAM, and SOM, businesses can gain insights into their market potential, identify growth opportunities, and make informed decisions about resource allocation and market strategies.

TAM SAM SOM Example 

To better understand these concepts, let's consider a project management software company.

  • The TAM would be the total revenue opportunity in the entire software market, assuming the company has no competition.
  • The SAM would be the portion of the software market that the company's project management software can serve, considering factors like target audience and geographical reach.
  • The SOM would be the portion of the SAM that the company can realistically capture and serve, considering factors like competition and available resources.

FAQs About Total Addressable Market

What does total addressable market mean?

Total addressable market refers to the overall revenue opportunity that a product or service can potentially achieve if it captures 100% market share. It is an essential metric for businesses to estimate the potential scale of the market in terms of sales and revenues.

Calculating TAM helps companies determine the level of funding and resources they should invest in a new product or business line. It also provides insights into the potential outcome and returns on the endeavor.

To learn more about TAM and how to calculate it, check out our comprehensive guide on Total Addressable Market (TAM).

What is TAM? 

TAM is an acronym for total addressable market, a business term used to represent the total potential revenue opportunity that exists for a product or service within a specific market or industry. TAM is a crucial concept in market research, business planning, and investment analysis, as it helps companies and investors estimate the maximum potential size of the market they are targeting.

Recap on Total Addressable Market

By understanding your TAM, you can better allocate resources, prioritize market segments, and identify growth opportunities. It provides a foundation for strategic decision-making and helps businesses focus their efforts on the most promising areas.

Check out our “Ultimate Guide to Key SaaS Metrics” and then learn more about applying product-led growth to scale your SaaS company. 

Alternatively, if you’d like to work with a coach to implement these components into your business, check out ProductLed Academy.

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What’s unique about this program is we’ll work with you and your team to implement the proven ProductLed Method so that you can scale faster with less stress.

We’ll go through everything we went through today with your team to ensure everyone is working on building out solutions that will have an outsized impact.

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