B2B Hourly Telemarketing Campaign or Pay Per Lead?

We get a persistent stream of questions about pay-per-lead campaigns from people who are embarking on a telemarketing campaign. At a first glance, it seems great. A low risk investment, you only pay for success. But is it really the best model for reaching out to your potential clients?

Often described as a penny-wise, pound-foolish approach. It appeals to businesses due to the perceived lower cost and 'guaranteed' results. However, it will never compare to a bespoke telemarketing campaign that's tailored to fit your business and drive results specifically engineered for you. 

B2B telemarketing | Pay per Lead vs Hourly campaigns

Is it really going to be cheaper for you?

The truth is, a low risk investment for you means it's a high risk campaign for the agency.  You'll only be paying for what you get, but there is potentially unlimited revenue for the company if they generate you hundreds of leads. It's likely they will throw all available resources at your campaign, focussing on getting as many leads as possible in order to cover their costs. Naturally, when quantity is the priority, the quality of the leads will be lower (even if you have a predefined criteria), and the focus will be on qualifying the leads to a minimal standard - instead of nurturing your prospects and passing you over sales-ready opportunities. 

Companies charge up to £300 for a single lead,  but even with costs much lower than this you'll end up paying more than you would a fixed rate campaign for lower quality leads and business opportunities. A common objection at this point is that the upfront fee is very high with hourly rate based companies - and you wouldn't be wrong to say that there are some companies that charge the earth for the same premium service that we can offer at a far lower rate.

You could actually be damaging your brand

During the campaign, the agents are obviously only getting paid when they secure you a lead. As a result of this, they tend to be more aggressive in their approach and focus efforts on securing a 'yes' during the call, rather than having a lengthy conversation which would collect some valuable market information that can be applied to the rest of the campaign. 

One of the lasting benefits of an outbound telemarketing campaign is that we can have a consultative conversation with a prospect who is not ready to buy at that point, then we can either follow up with them several months later - or they remember a business they had an in-depth conversation with and choose you over your competitors when they are ready to buy. Pay-per-lead campaigns will either push these prospects into qualifying as a lead even though they have no intention of buying just yet (which wastes you time and money), or more likely they will leave the call without the nurturing process or follow-up, meaning you'll likely lose that prospect to a competitor when the time comes. 

There's no market intelligence

You only hear about the leads that get generated is great, right? Not quite. Hearing about the calls that didnt turn into leads is at least as important as hearing about those that did. If there's an issue in the pitch or we're getting the same objections, we can work with you to fix it and prevent any further leads slipping through our fingers. It can also benefit you to know if there are certain industries that have more success than others - and we'll take the time during our weekly catch-up to tweak anything to drive optimal results. 

Telemarketing should work as an extension of your business

A good relationship and trust are phenomenally important when another company is representing you to your potential clients. In a pay-per-lead campaign, the agency is carrying the risk and must deliver a certain number of leads to cover their costs. If the campaign is difficult and not enough leads are being generated, the agency may feel they're not being rewarded for the resources that have been applied to the campaign. Equally, if the quality of leads does not meet your standards, you will not want to pay for them (and rightly so). This can damage the working relationship between you and the agency, which will undoubtedly lead to poor communication and poor results. 

When we speak  to our potential clients, many will say they've tried telemarketing before and it didn't work. With some further questions, 9 times out of 10 they had tried a pay-per-lead campaign. The main issues that come up is that they had a poor relationship with their agency, and that the leads that were supplied didn't convert into sales sufficient to cover the high cost of the campaign.

Before your campaign starts (and before you've even paid us a penny) we invest a great deal of time learning every detail of your business and how you work in order to be able to deliver a compelling pitch. It's important for us to learn the things that make you unique, and how we can replicate all of those things at scale to your potential customers. We'll do research together and define a data set of the people you want to be working with and where you'll have success. 

we don't believe in offering guarantees

In our experience, anyone offering a money back guarantee or any form of 'you only pay for success' model is already pre-empting doing a poor job and clearly has the need to sweeten unhappy clients. Our hourly rate telemarketing model runs far more cost effective than any other high-end telemarketing company, whilst offering the same level of expertise and skill in the B2B telemarketing industry. We are confident that we can drive enough results for you to see a return on investment, and any campaign failure is simply not an option here.

You may find there are not that many telemarketing companies that operate solely on a pay per lead basis, compared to the number that offer an hourly or day rate model. This just highlights the fact that the business model is not sustainable. Client retention is poor with pay per lead agencies, due to the reasons mentioned above by people who have tried it in the past. If a company can't sustain their own business model in a way that allows them to grow, how could you expect (and trust) them to sustain the growth of your business? 

so, why use an hourly rate telemarketing campaign? 

An hourly rate is the perfect balance between a day rate and pay per lead B2B campaign. You pay upfront for a fixed number of hours, and you pay the same regardless of how many opportunities we generate. We won't stop once we've reached a certain number that we set as a target, we'll continue to improve our pitch and deliver until the final minute of the hours you've paid for. Mediocrity has absolutely no place here. Our business grows when we retain clients for further campaigns, so this is where our performance markers lie.  

With a day rate, there is little flexibility about when your campaign is dialled. In many industries, there is a time of day which may have a very low (or high) contact rate - so we can simply make the schedules to ensure we don't waste your hours during periods we know there will be no success. 


If you still have any questions about deciding between an hourly rate campaign vs. pay per lead, give one of our experts a call on 0161 504 0608 to have a more in depth conversation in the context of your business and requirements. Alternatively, get in touch using the link below to talk to us about how we can help you!