Let me guess…
Hitting your quotas for the number of meetings set, or SQLs delivered, can be such an unpredictable process. Even when working with outsourced SDRs, and per per appointment providers, you might find the quality of leads falling short of your expectations, or them struggling to meet your lead goals too.
You’re not alone. 25% of organizations fell below their targets for marketing generated meetings for sales in 2022.
Finding time on someone’s calendar can feel stressful – let alone meeting the right decision-makers.
If you’re thinking, “Yes, this!!” You need a solution that consistently puts you in front of decision-making, tech professionals with high purchase intent. You need B2B appointment setting services — and specifically those with a pay per lead model which can help you get guaranteed leads, with up to a 82.5% lead to opportunity conversion rate.
I’m here with the step-by-step on how to see these results for yourself.
In this blog, I’ll talk about what the pay per appointment model means, and the various types of pricing subsets.
More importantly, I’ll also share the 5 best appointment setting companies — and whether they adopt a pay per appointment model — that you can get started with. If you’re familiar with the pricing concept, jump straight to the review section using the menu bar.
What is pay per appointment lead generation?
Pay per appointment setting services are a middle-of-funnel lead generation service where a third party helps set up valuable appointments with professionals in your target market, and with a performance guarantee model.
“Pay-per-appointment” isn’t there for looks — this type of appointment setting pricing model ensures you only pay for appointments successfully held or successfully scheduled (depending on whether or not they guarantee MQL, marketing-qualified leads).
❓Need more information on what B2B appointment setting is and how to navigate this tactic? Get tips on how to evaluate and collaborate with providers in the guide: 5 Strategies to Improve Your Pipeline Performance with B2B Appointment Setting.
Understanding the flipside: fee for service
For a little more context, the standard pricing model for B2B appointment setting and outsourced SDRs is the fees-for-service model.
Typically, this means that the lead generation partner is charging either a monthly retainer or per service provided. All of which are priced at a flat rate.
Why do marketers cringe at this thought?
A high-risk investment to the company, flat rate models mitigate all the risk for the lead gen company, taking performance out of the equation and leading to a quantity over quality mentality. Most who take up this model don’t have a nurtured network and depend on cold-calling, cold-emailing, and being overly “salesy” and pushy to get your brand noticed.
Isn’t that the very thing we marketers loathe? Yikes.
Keep reading below to understand the different models and what makes some better than others.👇
3 B2B appointment setting pay-per-appointment models
Just because pay-per-appointment setting services are regarded as one of the highest ROI lead generation services out there, doesn’t mean every model will give you just that.
Success is dependent on your partner and their model. And, let us remind you, not all models are the same!
If your partner’s model is geared toward quantity over quality, chances are you’ll miss out on valuable, high-converting leads. Let’s take a look at the different models and their potential benefits and pitfalls.
➡️ Check out our guide on this topic: What Sales Leaders Must Know to Evaluate the Pay-Per-Lead Model in B2B Appointment Setting
1. Pay per appointment scheduled
Also known as stacking the calendar. The pay per appointment scheduled model focuses primarily on setting up meetings between you and potential customers.
What are some pros to this model?
This model saves companies money by only paying for leads who are agreeable to meet. Unlike fee-for-service models, you’ll get an assured number of appointments with leads who are interested enough to meet you. That’s also why the leads that do turn into scheduled meetings tend to have a higher conversion rate.
What are some cons to this model?
Although the leads tend to be higher quality, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee they’re SQLs. Pay per appointment scheduled models still involve a level of risk on the company’s part because the success of your campaign depends on leads showing up for the meetings. Regardless of whether or not they show up, your company may still be charged.
2. Pay per appointment held
Another type of performance model is pay per appointment held, where a company pays only for the leads that show up to their scheduled face-to-face meetings.
Essentially, this model goes a step further than the pay per appointment scheduled model.
What are some pros to this model?
With business risk for buyers being low and the increased likelihood of conversion, meeting held models are coveted by many marketing professionals. Oftentimes, this model will lead to a lower CPL (cost per lead) because you’re only paying for quality over quantity.
What are some cons to this model?
Although the risk is low, there’s still some risk involved. One issue marketers face when working within this model is over-targeting. Booking meetings with the low man on the totem pole doesn’t always get you closer to a decision, does it?
Providers may have generalized databases, meaning you could be meeting with someone looking for IT services instead of your niche cybersecurity services. If your partner doesn’t educate the lead on who you are and what you’re offering, you could end up losing time from talking to leads beyond your ideal customer segment.
3. Pay per qualified appointment held
The 5-star, creme de la creme of appointment setting services — the pay-per-qualified appointment held model (wow is that a mouthful).
Take everything we loved about the pay-per-appointment held and remove nearly all the risk involved. The PPQA (pay per qualified appointment) held model is where a company only pays for meetings held with qualified leads.
There’s a threshold of acceptance that’s contractually agreed upon as part of this model, to guarantee the buyer the provider is getting in front of you has the highest likelihood of conversion.
For example, qualification requirements include only accepting leads who:
- Are decision-makers or influencers, or have relevant job titles (e.g. cybersecurity engineers and analysts)
- Are from companies based in relevant geographies (e.g. NAM and EMEA)
- Are from sufficiently large companies (e.g. annual revenue >$50 million)
- Have strong purchase intent (e.g. are looking for your products or services)
- Are from your target account list
- Have a long-term, trusted relationship with your partner
Sounds too good to be true?
If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably because few partners offer this model. (If that doesn’t tell you something!)
ViB, a leading B2B demand generation partner, offers PPQA services because of our commitment to your customers’ growth. We understand that your success is our progress too.
That’s why most of our demand generation solutions have a performance guarantee, to help ensure you are receiving the highest quality leads that put you in the best position to improve your sales pipeline and bottom line.
5 best B2B appointment-setting companies
We’ve all seen those marketers that over-promise and underdeliver.
Our solutions integrate seamlessly with your legacy solutions!
100+ hours later, they realize that your program is the ONE program that doesn’t integrate.
Raise your hand if you’re with me. 🙋♀️ And, it’s no different when it comes to finding a reputable lead generation partner.
So, start scrolling to check out our list of reputable appointment-setting companies to find one that works for you.👇
1 - ViB Appointments
ViB Appointments takes an innovative approach to demand generation and appointment setting. With a pay per qualified meeting held model, you only pay for leads you meet who fit your precise targeting requirements.
Apart from the PPQA model, what makes ViB’s appointment setting approach different?
The ViB Community — a network of millions of tech professionals that we’ve been growing and nurturing for over 10 years.
Unlike traditional appointment setting services that may involve teams of SDRs who conduct cold calling, ViB Appointments uses its community platform to engage with potential buyers who willingly seek to connect with you.
On the community portal, prospects voluntarily explore various solution providers and take the first step.
Here’s how ViB Appointments works:
- Decision makers join our community to discover emerging technologies.
- We introduce your solution on our community portal to target members.
- members voluntarily opt-in to meet you if they’re interested in your solution — so there’s no need for intrusive pitches or uncomfortable cold calls.
- ViB manually vets each lead against the qualification threshold before the handoff.
- Only qualified and successful meetings held are counted towards your lead fulfillment.
ViB is also firmly planted in the tech and SaaS industries. We’ve been helping some of the biggest tech conglomerates, like Google, IBM, and Palo Alto, and emerging startups, like Abnormal and Ermetic, guarantee sales results.
- Pay per qualified appointment held model, to remove risk for clients
- Proven track record of success in appointment setting
- Opt-in model which generates self-qualified leads with strong interest
- Highly curated target audience and wide access to industry leaders & decision-makers in tech
- Exceptional customer service and white-glove touch
- Values Transparency
- Affordable pricing
Put all these benefits together, and you get a repeatable demand-generation process.
💡 Want more info? Watch this on-demand walkthrough of ViB Appointments’ approach and three success stories from demand generation leaders.
Hear how 3 B2B marketers leaders from Google, Automation Anywhere and Ermetic are leveraging ViB Appointments to drive sales results, through this bite-sized video walkthrough.
2 - Nerdy Joe
Nerdy Joe is a subscription-based B2B lead generation company that offers appointment-setting services with an email marketing approach.
Together, they’ll help you define your ICP (ideal customer profile), and they’ll deliver an agreed-upon number of leads that fit within the parameters you’ve set. Their bread and butter? Cold email campaigns.
They believe in highly personalized, small-batch cold emailing to increase your pipeline and conversion rates.
- Pay per appointment scheduled model
- Guaranteed number of delivered leads
- Research heavily for each client’s campaign
- Proven track record of success
- Free tools that help you fine-tune your email marketing strategy
While a less-known provider, they’re transparent about the pricing and have a low-risk pay per appointment scheduled appointment — score.
One potential concern would be their lead quality though, judging by their comparatively lower rates and slimmer repertoire of case studies. While cold emailing is great at introducing leads into your funnel, prospects might not be as sales-ready, meaning conversions won’t come easy.
3 - Greenleads
Greenleads is a B2B lead generation company that leverages all techniques to generate pipeline for their customers.
Their clients rely on them to fill their top-of-funnel with opt-in content syndication leads. By focusing on outbound calling techniques, they’re able to generate leads through a persona-based outreach approach.
- Pay for performance model
- Experience in a multitude of verticals
- Filter prospects to fit your parameters
- Offer a range of lead generation services
A tip I’d give if you’ve decided to further explore them: remember to double down on their approach, pricing, qualification threshold, and more. Here’s a checklist that will help!
4 - Cience
Cience is a well-respected B2B lead generation company firmly planted in the IT service space. With millions of contacts spanning the globe, they bring their expertise and perspective from companies like HubSpot, Salesforce, and IBM to all clients.
Their AI-based all-in-one platform is priced out on a monthly or yearly basis and gives your team access to their tools and services to easily configure audiences and obtain contacts based on your specifications.
- AI-based audience-building platform
- You retain full control over your lead-generation efforts
- Proven track record of success with industry leaders
- Great customer service
The main caveat — while they’re reputable, they charge by the hour, meaning there will be some risk on your part as the client.
5 - Jump Crew
Jump Crew is an outsourced sales team that increases your pipeline revenue. Different from traditional lead generation models, Jump Crew’s team focuses on running and maintaining a full-funnel marketing strategy for you.
Their goal is to mitigate stress and employee overload by acting as a member of your team carrying out sales and marketing functions like:
- Collecting thorough information
- Implementing various marketing techniques
- Utilizing different tools to identify and target leads
- Save money by getting rid of excessive resources
- Access to sales automation tools
- Increased employee and team efficiency
- Expand your reach/target market
While their pricing isn’t public — working with a partner like Jump Crew could be a great addition to filling employee gaps without hiring full-time employees if your company is looking for services outside the scope of a hyper-focused lead generation strategy.
Are pay-per-lead generation companies different from pay per appointment companies?
“Pay-per-lead generation company” is a broader reference to lead generation companies that, well, help to generate leads.
In other words, they might not only offer appointment-setting services. The pay-per-lead model can also include solutions like:
- Webinar promotion (pay per attendee or pay per registrant)
- Content syndication (pay per download)
- Intent data lead generation
This means every service is structured for the client to pay per lead instead of paying per service or every month. Like with the pay per appointment model, such companies are more focused on offering their clients quality leads over a mass amount of potential leads.
3 tips and 10 questions that will help you evaluate a B2B pay-per-lead generation company
I know — whether a vendor works specifically for your unique needs is a whole other conversation.
Say, you could be an emerging AI startup looking for specific tech buyers with a specific type of tech stack. Or that you
When selecting an appointment-setting company, consider the following tips to make an informed decision:
1 – Industry experience:
One of the key factors to consider is the appointment-setting company’s industry experience. Their industry expertise will ensure they can effectively engage potential leads, tailor messaging to resonate with your audience, and position your offerings in a compelling way.
By leveraging their experience, you can increase the likelihood of securing high-quality appointments that align with your business objectives and meet your KPIs.
Questions to ask your B2B appointment setting vendor
- 1 — How long have you been in the industry and in what verticals?
- 2 — Can you show me success metrics from a company similar to mine?
- 3 — How do you utilize your experience when crafting lead-generation campaigns?
2 – Lead generation approach:
Inquire about the appointment setting company’s lead generation process. Understanding how they research and qualify leads is crucial in assessing their ability to generate quality appointments.
A transparent and thorough methodology will help you gauge the quality of appointments they can deliver and make sure you’re receiving qualified prospects from your sales team.
Questions to ask your B2B appointment setting vendor
- 4 — What sources do you use to identify or generate leads?
- 5 — What criteria do you use for lead qualification?
- 6 — What are the steps involved in nurturing and converting leads into appointments?
- 7 — Do you send the same leads to multiple clients at a time?
3 – Results and communication:
Clear communication channels and regular reporting are essential to establish a strong working relationship and stay aligned. Inquire about the communication channels they use to keep you updated on the progress of the appointment-setting campaign.
And, what could be more important than understanding how they measure the success of each campaign?
A reliable appointment-setting company should provide detailed reports on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of appointments set, lead quality, conversion rates, and any relevant insights or feedback.
Questions to ask your B2B appointment setting vendor
- 8 — What is your pricing and is there any kind of performance guarantee?
- 9 — What happens if you meet my KPIs? [Ask them to give you an example of when they didn’t meet KPIs and why.]
- 10 — What percent of qualified leads turn into converted customers on average?
Remember, the best lead generation companies won’t mind answering all your questions! So, do your due diligence and make sure your next partner can deliver on all their promises.
B2B appointment setting example: IBM
From fast-growing startups like to tech conglomerates, like this success story from IBM, ViB has a proven track record of eliciting responses and improving your lead conversion rate.
After IBM’s acquisition of SevOne in early 2020, their VP of Demand Generation had the additional pressure to get more leads and continue scaling the organization. While the IBM team was successful, it was hard to maintain consistency, especially because their best reps were promoted quickly.
Together, IBM and ViB expanded their lead generation efforts by adding ViB’s appointment-setting services. Their team worked with ViB to frame up specific targeting criteria and qualification logic, and, in their words, it became a machine.
- 10x ROI for each closed opportunity
- $935,000 pipeline generated from sales appointments with a 20% lead-to-opportunity conversion rate
One big reason it was easy to get started — ViB’s assured pay per qualified meeting held model.
💡 For the full scoop, read IBM and other customers’ stories here:
As marketers, we all want the biggest bang for our buck. Lucky for you, working with a reputable lead generation partner can give you that and more!
With shrinking marketing budgets and increased expectations, it can be overwhelming to allocate money to something you’re unfamiliar with. So, if you’re looking to see what the impact could look like working with a leading demand generation partner, we suggest signing up for a trial — and I’ve got one right here.