Can you grow sales and lose market share? Can you lose sales and grow market share? You bet! Sales gives a simple idea of how business is doing, but share gives an idea of how well a business is doing compared to its competition. Looking at both can tell you a lot about the market, current opportunities or potential threats.
Exhibit A is an example of looking at total market sales, a specific business’s sales and that same business’s market share. As you follow the trends you should be able to notice that a sales increase doesn’t always translate into an increase in market share or that a decline in sales doesn’t always equal a decline in share. In fact, you should be able to see years where sales didn’t change, yet share either declined or increased. Some of it can make one’s head spin, but this should demonstrate the importance of looking at sales and share. They are definitely not one in the same.
As the market expands and contracts, beating one’s competitors should be the first priority. I’ve created a grid to better understand the differences that can occur between sales and share (see Exhibit C).