17 Most Effective Lead Generation Methods

I still receive requests to share again the 17 most effective lead generation methods that I gave in November of 2008 at a breakfast seminar at Novell from research first published in the 2008 Lead Generation issue BtoBOnline Magazine. 

I will share the 17 methods ranked first by effectiveness, then by popularity, then by the points of variance up or down. 

Popular isn’t necessarily good, it just means everyone else is doing it (email for example is ranked 1st as most popular, but ranked 7th in actual effectiveness.)  Take especial note of the degree of variance and whether it is positive or negative.  High positive variance shows extreme effectiveness that is relatively unused or unknown by your competition.

I believe that the best methods are those that are most Effective, but least Popular.  So look for a low number on Effective, and a high number on Variance:

Lead Generation Method Effective Popular Variance
Executive Seminars 1 8 7
Inside Sales 2 9 7
Search Marketing 3 6 3
Webinars 4 10 6
Tradeshows 5 3 -2
TV Advertising 6 17 11
Email 7 1 -6
Radio 8 15 7
PR 9 2 -7
Online video / podcasts/ rich media 10 12 2
Direct Mail 11 4 -7
Blogs 12 13 1
Sponsorships 13 7 -6
Online Ads 14 11 -3
Other Web 2.0 15 14 -1
Outdoor 16 16 0
Print 17 5 -12


At my company, XANT, we combine the first five (Executive Seminars, Inside Sales, Search Marketing, Webinars, and Trade Shows) to bring us the best results.

My personal background with founding the original inside sales division at Franklin Quest as the largest time management seminar company in the world (my team used to fill up 200+ seminars every month) gives me a pre-disposition towards seminars, so I love Executive Seminars and of course, Inside Sales is the best way to put “butts in seats.” 

Having the name XANT has ensured we appear at the top of the search engines for the industry we are named after, so search marketing has been a never-ending source of leads for us.  And every single sales demonstration we give is a custom webinar to prospective clients and we are busy trying to expand this offering to larger groups in live and on-demand venues.

One of my personal favorites is trade shows.  I will write my next post about some of the fun strategies we use for this. 

Especially interesting is the effectiveness of TV advertising and Radio, though these two are difficult to target to specific B2B niches, I have found.

Notably absent (this study was early last year) are the social medias like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  The jury is still out for me on these three, I’m seeing the buzz, still questioning actual research that demonstrates any sales being made for all the time that is spent.

If you are finding results out there in these areas, please let me know.

I hope this is helpful.

Author: Ken Krogue |
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

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