Example: outlining the buyer journey for CoGrow

03.08.2016 |

Episode #8 of the course Introduction to inbound sales by HubSpot Academy


Now that you’ve learned the Inbound Sales Methodology, let’s put it into practice for a fictitious marketing agency called “CoGrow Marketing.” CoGrow Marketing is a 15-person design and marketing agency. CoGrow provides a full array of marketing services, from digital marketing to traditional advertising. They exclusively work with established professional service firms like consulting, attorneys, and accounting.

Using the inbound sales methodology to give structure to the no-pressure, educational approach they’ve always taken when finding new clients, let’s see how CoGrow defines the Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stages for their clientele.


During the Awareness stage, CoGrow’s potential buyer realizes that the old ways of getting new clients for their professional firms are getting less and less effective. They are realizing that younger, more aggressive companies are beating them online.

Partners at professional services firms have historically relied on their larger clients and other trusted peers to find and hire marketing agencies. As a result, they often go with the agency who’s been around as long as they have, as these agencies have the best relationships with local media outlets. But, more recently, they’ve realized that these firms aren’t digitally savvy.

Because they are getting outranked in Google and out-talked about on LinkedIn and Facebook by smaller competitors, professional service firms are trying to figure out new ways of marketing. They are increasingly relying on younger employees who are digital natives and social media savvy when looking for new ideas or a new agency. These younger employees start and end their searches online.

During the Consideration stage, professional service firms define the solution categories they could use to solve their challenge. Their first step is to usually assign a marketing-savvy associate to go and research options and report back with what they’ve found. The associate usually recommends starting a blog where every partner contributes. The more savvy ones suggest investing in marketing software and online advertising to build traffic and capture and nurture leads. They then weigh the pros and cons of building a team in-house versus distracting the partners with marketing efforts versus hiring an agency to do everything for them. Like any buyer embarking on a new initiative, they weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each solution given the context of their own situation.

During the Decision stage, these professional service firms generate a list of software companies and agencies that might be able to help them. The junior associate starts making inquiries with these companies. After eliminating the ones that don’t seem to understand the challenges of marketing professional firms, they ask a short list of companies to come and present their capabilities to a few of the senior partners. They create a short list of evaluation criteria that encompasses what the associates and senior partners think is important.

With the buying journey in place, we now know what it’s like to become a client of CoGrow. We can measure conversion between these stages and optimize them to make sure we are attracting the right decision-makers, enabling them with helpful information throughout the Consideration stage, and giving them the information they need to make a confident decision. In tomorrow’s class, we’ll review the inbound sales process that CoGrow executes to match this buyer journey.


Recommended book

“Go Pro: 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional” by Eric Worre


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