How to Calculate Call Center Outsourcing Cost: Outbound

Call centers price their services in a myriad of ways, but the two primary cost structures are “per hour” and “per minute”.
call center outsourcing cost

By Angela Garfinkel, President

Call centers price their services in a myriad of ways, but the two primary cost structures are “per hour” and “per minute”. Outbound call programs are typically priced per hour. Inbound call handling programs are priced hourly if the team of call center agents are dedicated to the client, or per minute if the call center agents are shared with other clients. In this article, I’ll share how to calculate call center outsourcing cost for outbound calls.

Outbound call center outsourcing cost

There are typically 4 different components that you will see on a call center invoice.

  • Telemarketing hours
  • Training hours
  • Setup fee
  • Monthly management fee

The telemarketing hours should be an agreed-upon number of hours that the call center will invoice you for in a given period. An experienced call center should be able to accurately forecast the number of telemarketing hours that will be necessary to penetrate your list or achieve your goals. Telemarketing hours pricing will range from $28 to $40 per hour, depending on the size of your program. A larger team will typically be invoiced at a lower rate than a smaller team. Pricing is also dependent on the skills required. More complex programs will require an hourly rate at the higher end of the spectrum.

call center outsourcing cost

Training hours should be an agreed-upon number of hours that the call center will invoice you for the initial training and any required ongoing training to support your outsourced outbound call center program. Training rates are typically 20 to 30% below the hourly telemarketing rate. Easy programs should be trained in as little as a few hours. Difficult programs can take 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the amount of knowledge that is required to place your calls and achieve your goals.

Most outsourced outbound call centers charge a fixed rate for setting up your program in their environment. The setup fee typically ranges from $1,500 to $7,500, depending on the complexity of your program and the resources that will be required to complete the setup. At QCS, our setup fee includes the following components:

  • Script development
  • FAQs development
  • Rebuttals development
  • Training deck development
  • Reports development
  • Data file layout and file transfer process development
  • CRM system access and login testing
  • Client consultation on best practices for implementation

And depending on the program, additional development may be needed for email templates, text messages and custom knowledgebase implementations.

The last line item that you might expect to see on an outsourced call center’s invoice is a monthly management fee. This fee may be charged if your program requires a dedicated Account Manager or if the program is smaller than the company’s typical minimum sized client.

Example: How to calculate call center outsourcing cost for an outbound program

To calculate a “sample” outbound B2B lead generation program for you, here is what it might look like.

Let’s say that your company needs 2,000 B2B appointments in a month. You’ve estimated that it takes 3 outbound telemarketing hours to get an appointment. 2,000 appointments x 3 hours = 6,000 outbound telemarketing hours. You will need a team of about 40 telemarketing agents to do this volume of hours on a monthly basis. The training takes 20 hours initially.

Telemarketing cost per month: 6,000 hours x $35 per hour = $210,000

Training hours (initial): 40 telemarketing agents x 20 hours x $30 per hour = $24,000

Setup Fee: $7,500 (one time)

Monthly Management Fee (dedicated account manager): $7,500

In the next article, I’ll share how to calculate inbound call center outsourcing cost.

Other Articles You Might Find Interesting:
5 Keys to Writing a Successful B2B Telemarketing Script

Angela Garfinkel
is the President and Founder of Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing services organization serving the healthcare, financial services, automotive, market research, professional associations and numerous other B2B focused verticals. Angela has the pleasure of leading a talented team that runs thousands of outbound telemarketing program hours daily. Angela is also a certified Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) auditor with the Professional Association for Customer Engagement and she is a designated Customer Engagement Compliance Professional (CECP). Angela can be reached at or 516.656.5118


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