The mechanical and functional responses of shape memory alloys (SMAs), which are often used in small volume applications, can be evaluated using instrumented indentation tests. However, deciphering the indentation test results in SMAs can be complicated due to the combined effects of the non-uniform state of stress underneath the indenter and stress-induced phase transformation. To address this issue, an expanding cavity model (ECM) applicable to spherical indentation of SMAs is developed in this work based on an analytical solution for an internally pressurized hollow sphere. Analytical expressions for key indentation parameters such as the mean contact pressure and size of the transforming zone are obtained, whose validity is evaluated by recourse to finite element simulations and published experimental data for a Ni–Ti alloy. It is shown that the ECM predicts the above parameters reasonably well for indentation strains varying from 0.01 to 0.04. Also, a method is proposed to determine the critical stress required to initiate phase transformation under uniaxial compression based on the application of the ECM to interpret the indentation stress–strain response.