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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Telemarketing Company?


Telemarketing is an important part of the sales process. The goal is to reach the right people at the right time, garnering interest for your product or service and, if all goes well, making a sale.

If you don’t have the in-house resources for telemarketing, or the task is taking up too much valuable staff time, consider outsourcing. A good telemarketing service knows who to call and when, and how to effectively communicate and negotiate with people who are anxious to get off the phone.

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About Telemarketing Services

There are many different types of telemarketing, including outbound sales, lead generation, appointment setting, market research, fundraising and political telemarketing. There’s business-to-consumer telemarketing and business-to-business telemarketing.

Businesses use telemarketing to sell products, create leads or book appointments for the sales staff. Charitable groups, alumni associations and political parties use telemarketing to collect donations. Pollsters use telemarketing gauge voter sentiment.

When you hire an outside telemarketing service, you can rely on the company to create a prospect list or you can provide one. Most telemarketing services charge for use of a prospect less, and most companies find better success with using their own prospect lists, if available. These lists can be compile through purchase history, request for information forms and the like.

Cost of Telemarketing Services

Most telemarketing services charge by the hour:

  • Budget anywhere from $20-$75 per hour for U.S.-based telemarketing services.
  • Offshore options are much cheaper at $12-$20 per hour.

In addition to the hourly fee, there are several other fees and charges that can be assessed:

  • Most services have monthly minimums and require some kind of upfront payment - at least $300-$500 - to start working on your script and training employees.
  • Prospect lists usually cost up to $300 per 1,000 names.

Despite the cost, keep in mind that outsourcing telemarketing is almost always far cheaper than hiring an-house telemarketing staff. You don’t have to pay salaries, benefits or training costs.

Choosing a Telemarketing Service

Not all telemarketing services are alike. Some are highly successful; others are not. Here are tips for hiring the a successful and reputable service.

  • Choose a company that compensates employees well. There will be less turnover, meaning employees will be more familiar with your script. Services that offer commission usually have high success rates because employees are motivated, but they’re also more expensive.
  • Find a company whose employees speak fluent English. Even if the service is offshore, telemarketers must be able to communicate with your customers. If you’re concerned about language barriers, ask to listen in on calls before hiring the service.
  • Choose a company that details its services in writing, specifically exactly what you’re getting for the money. How many hours per week will be spent on your company’s account and how much training do employees undergo? Will you receive regular progress updates?
  • Do some background research on any telemarketing service you’re thinking of hiring. Ask for references and read former client testimonials. Find out how long the company has been in business. Do a quick Google search to uncover past complaints or violations.

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