B2B - Telemarketing pricing options

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B2B - Telemarketing pricing options

This article will look at the various pricing options we have seen used in the telemarketing sector and is part of the "back to basics" series which looks at various aspects of telemarketing.

So you have won a customer but what pricing should you use?

Per call

For this type of pricing a rate based on a "price per call" is agreed. In its purest form, this type of pricing is very rare for telemarketing agencies, however we see a variant of this type "per 100 calls" quite a lot when we look at people in the freelance economy. The risk is for this model is entirely with the client, as all they are buying is for someone to call. For the person making the calls, voice mail and other non-contact reasons can be quite high, getting through 100 calls can be quite quick and so make this pricing model quite attractive for freelancers. However, for agencies where resource planning is much more important, this model isn't very good.

Per hour/day/week

For the hourly rate, we only see this being used in the freelance market, with daily and weekly rates being used quite extensively within the agency market. This type of pricing we see usually associated with a duration or a limit, so we see pricing terms such as 2 days per week for the next 5 weeks with a total of 10 days agreed. The price would be based on the 10 days. Again, the risk is with the client as essentially what they are buying is for someone to call. This type of pricing model seems to be the one with the most traction in the telemarketing sector as it allows a fair degree of resource planning to be done. The client can mitigate the risk by using telemarketing agencies that are specialised or have success in the areas the client operates.

Per appointment/lead set

With this type of pricing the telemarketing agency will set a price based on the value of the lead/appointment to the client. So "widgets" would be priced less then say a financial product. As the telemarketing company will have overheads for staff, data and other areas, this will also have to be factored into the price per lead. In this case much more of the risk is transferred to the telemarketing agency as they can only charge once a lead is handed over. The key risk for the telemarketing agency is that the lead will be rejected, so the qualifying criteria will need to be detailed very carefully. This is also a risk for the client. For a general agency looking at a new area, the inherent risk might be too high for them to use this type of pricing, however if a company specialises in an area (printers, schools, care homes etc) then the risk will be significantly reduced, but resource planning will be much more difficult than the per day/week type.

Per appointment attended

As there may well be dropout of people not wanting to attend appointments due to changing circumstances, the next level of transfer of risk to the telemarketing agency is to only charge for appointments attended. It puts the onus onto the telemarketing agency to confirm that appointments are going ahead, but unfortunately means that they are start to become reliant on client sales staff, which will need to be reflected in the price. Beyond this, the agency should have a deep understanding of the market that this pricing is going to be used in, otherwise the costs might be prohibitive. As with the appointment set method, resource planning is much more difficult than the per day/week option.

On final sales price

This option is where the telemarketing agency acts like a completely outsources sales department and are getting commission based on the final sale of a product/service. In this option almost all the risk of the sales process has been moved to the telemarketing company.

While the above gives a snapshot of the basic types of pricing we have seen in the telemarketing sector, the reality is more nuanced with elements such as setup charges, retainers and other pricing elements being used.