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The most effective methods for generating B2B sales leads are outbound marketing (telemarketing, virtual/remote sales), event marketing (tradeshows, webinars, and seminars), and online marketing (email newsletters, websites, search, and blogs), according to a recent report by

On the other hand, the B2B sales and marketing professionals surveyed rated social media as the least effective lead generation strategy.

Among the top social networks, LinkedIn was rated the most effective tool, but it still barely reached above the bottom quartile in marketing method effectiveness.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on a survey of 423 B2B professionals, the majority of whom (57%) have marketing budgets under $500k.

Most Common Lead Generation Methods

Company websites, email, and tradeshows are the most common methods employed in B2Bs' lead generation strategy.

Brand Awareness

The same effective methods of a lead generation strategy (outbound marketing, events, and online) were also rated highest for driving brand awareness.

Top B2B Marketing Challenges

Generating leads and improving the quality of those leads were rated as the biggest challenges faced in B2B marketing.

About the research: The report was based on a survey of 423 B2B sales and marketing professionals. Only 12% of respondents have marketing budgets large enough to allow them to undertake large scale campaigns such as broad reach marketing.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji