Janis Sprenne I run Fulfilli - a business development platform that connects buyers and sellers of specialized/niche digital agency services. Founder and CEO

Digital Agency Business: The Current State and What the Future Holds for Us

3 min read Janis Sprenne

digital agency - Digital Score 2017

I’ve been in online sales and marketing for 17+ years, first started back in 2002 as an account manager doing cold-calling for a leading job-board in the region. I was fortunate to literally be talking with 100s of businessmen about their challenges and what people they need to recruit to solve them. I’ve learned a lot. 

In 2007 I founded my first business – started a digital services company from my kitchen. My first project was to create a flash banner and generated $100 in revenue. I was selling and finding who will design and develop. I was always keen to deliver tangible business results and that’s how my services got more and more sophisticated. I grew my agency to a full-service digital team of 10 people and we were a top5 performance agency in the country working with major banks, telecoms and funded tech-startups. 

We fully automated lead-acquisition and got to a point where we were receiving 100s of leads a year from our website alone. We never did a single cold-call.  

Since I’m a sales guy, I was telling my team to serve all the leads properly, to find out their needs and to present a solution with a proposal. It was a perfect way to find real jewels among our leads but it was also draining our resources since the best of my project managers were doing a lot of non-billable work to see most of it get wasted as the majority of prospects were dropping off after receiving our top of the market proposal. We needed a cost calculator to answer all the inquiries about how much would it cost to work with us. 

Launching Fulfilli

We’ve launched our first website cost-calculator in 2017 and it just took off and landed us 15,000 organic visits the first month. We realized that there is a huge opportunity to help businesses navigate digital services and automatically provide cost-estimates. This is how Fulfilli was born.

We followed our dream to build our own startup/technology company, said goodbye to our agency clients and went all-in to build productivity tools for other digital service providers. We’ve spent a year researching different digital agency services, pricing models and building the first dedicated quoting software for digital agencies. 

The more we talked with agency owners and executives, the more we realized how fortunate and lucky we were as an agency to have been able to start so early and establish a strong portfolio, brand and presence before thousands and thousands of new agencies came to the market. We’ve learned that the majority of digital agencies struggle with positioning, sales process and eventually with financial health.

What are any agency’s biggest pain points?

  1. Finding new clients (60%);
  2. Not enough free time to focus on business development (43%);
  3. Finding employees with the “right fit” (35%);
  4. Profitability (34%);
  5. Maintaining cashflow (29%);
  6. Moving on from bad fit clients (28%);

*data by HubSpot

All this has lead to a situation where agencies compete so fiercely that they are inflicting even more pain upon themselves – expensive marketing, giving away ideas and working for free, staying with bad-fit clients, closing deals just for cash-flow and working in stressful environments. We set ourselves on a mission to change that – to make agencies sexy again!

So, in essence, it shouldn’t be so hard, right? All we need to do is to provide agencies with new business opportunities so they can focus on serving clients without draining money on non-billable business development work and expensive marketing. We need to generate leads for them by creating a B2B marketplace for digital agency services. 

Connecting Buyers and Sellers of Digital Agency Services

It’s not that easy. Behind every buyer and seller, there is a real business at a different stage and real people with different skill-set, experience and expertise. There is one thing in common though, they are all looking for business development value – buyers and sellers of digital services want to skyrocket their business. How can we facilitate that, how can we provide the business development value to both sides of the market?

Business development for digital service buyers

Every online project is at a different stage and they are solving different challenges and need a different solution/service provider. Their challenge is to understand who to ask for what, how long is it going to take and how much does it cost? Should I invest in researching service providers? Do I develop a project brief? Can I trust them?

Today the market strongly relies on personal networks and brand recognition.

Our objective is to help businesses navigate digital agencies and services and to be able to review, compare, connect and buy seamlessly, safely and transparently.  

Business development for digital service providers

There is no magic bullet but we know what the best agencies do differently than others and we’ve come up with a framework that will help any ambitious team to succeed. And we’re building this framework into our software for agencies to be able to understand where to focus, what’s working, what isn’t and how to scale when you’ve found your offer-market-fit.

Our objective is to help digital agencies present their best offer to the right audience at the right time.

How far along are we?

We are generating 100s of leads as of today and growing. 

Today we’re working with around 150+ paying customers on the agency side and we’ve made our first successful B2B connections where real projects got started. 

We’ve learned that we can be the most helpful to agencies who are committed and participate actively in developing their profile and services.

Join us if you’re on either side of this B2B market!

If you’re looking for the best-fit digital agency for your project, explore our digital agencies and their services/offers.

If you’re starting or running a digital agency:

  1. Sign-up for agency account;
  2. Select your Targeting;
  3. Develop your Agency Profile, which is FREE FOREVER;
  4. Develop your best deal/offer;
  5. Analyze performance and run experiments;
  6. Get in touch with us for help.