August 22nd, 2018 | by

One of my favorite parts of my job as Chief Growth Officer for DiscoverOrg is the weekly opportunity to talk with our customers about their marketing strategy!

One of the most common questions I get, no matter the size of the company or their industry, is: “How do I allocate resources to support Account-Based Marketing (ABM) efforts?”

Everybody’s trying to figure it out: “How do I resource effectively for ABM? How do I decide whether to abandon my inbound efforts, move to ABM?”

I’ve been through this before. As part of our regular Whiteboard Wednesday series, we’re talking about where resources should come from, for your ABM campaign: Should it replace inbound efforts? Outbound?

Well, I figured out a really simple formula for helping any company decide how many marketing resources you should allocate to your ABM efforts. The first point of truth is that it’s not the same for every company, and the second point of truth is that typically this doesn’t mean abandoning inbound for ABM.

Today we’re going to walk through the four-step formula for deciding how you should allocate your marketing resources for account-based marketing efforts.

Let’s start with the first question: “Do you have a long and complex sales cycle?”

“Do you have a long and complex sales cycle?”

For each of these questions, we’re going to rate them on a scale of 1 – 10. So in my case, I might rate my sales cycle from a complexity standpoint: say, a 6.

The second question: “Do I have a relatively small target market?”

Do you sell just to the Fortune 1,000? Do you sell just to the Global 2,000? Or, do you have an infinitely large target market?”

If I have a relatively small target market that’s going to be a 10 on this scale. If it’s large, it’s going to be a 1.

So in this scenario, let’s say I’m an 8: I have a relatively finite target market. I have about 5,000 to 10,000 companies that I know are the best prospects for my particular product.

Third question: “Do you rely on a few key wins to kit your revenue goal each year?”

Do you have large deals that make or break you? If the answer is yes, you’re going to be closer to 10, if the answer is no, you’re going to be closer to 1.

So in this case, let’s say, “Most of my deals are around $30,000, maybe $40,000, and I do a lot of them every year.” This is probably a 4, on the scale of one to 10.

If I was doing million dollars deals and I was doing 10 a year, that would probably be a 10 on this question.

Finally, fourth question, “Are there lots of decision-makers involved in my sales cycle?

Do you have to go wide and deep into an organization and get everybody involved?

If the answer is yes, again, you’re going to be closer to 10, if the answer is no you’ll be closer to 1.

So in this scenario let’s say I’m about a 6: I have to have about five or six decision-makers, but they happen to all be in the sales and marketing department. So I’ll circle a 6.

Add up the numbers to get your score

So now, it’s time to add up the numbers. I’ve got 6, 8, 4, and 6, which together equals 24. The average score is a 6.

Now calculate the formula by adding a zero and put a percentage next to your average.

In this example, 60% of my resources and effort should be really focused on account-based marketing.

If I had answered 10 on all questions, I would have gotten a 100%. If I had answered 1, I should allocate 10% of my resources to those best-fit target accounts with ABM.

And that’s the simple formula for allocating resources for account-based marketing!

Subscribe to our blog for more sales and marketing tips and tricks in our Whiteboard Wednesday series!

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Katie Bullard
About the author

Katie Bullard

As Chief Growth Officer (CGO), Katie brings 15 years of marketing, product, and strategy experience in global, high-growth technology businesses to her role at DiscoverOrg. She has a bachelor’s and masters degree from the University of Virginia.