A bit of background….
I have worked for IT consulting firms (B2B) for the past 8 years. More recently with Firms that are business a partners with major vendors. I have held just about every position within such a firm, Business\systems analysis, QA, Dev, PM and more recently Engagement manager. Every now and then I entertain the idea of staring up my own shop. My big fear is Lead generation.
I often go on sales calls with salesman as a technical\business process expert, but this is always later in the sales cycle. So, here is my question: How many leads of reasonable quality should I expect to get from the following sources:
1) Leads Passed along from the vendor (MS, Sage, IBM, Oracle exc.)
2) List purchasing
4) Going to conferences \ building a new Network
An I missing any other major sources?
Unfortunately, my current network won’t be of much use, most are clients of my current\past employers and I won’t steal them.
(Note this is not a Question about lead conversion, I understand what to expect there.)
It's impossible to put numbers on your question without an understanding of your product/service, the market competition and your ability to create compelling marketing. I think a better way of looking at it is what source is most likely to generate sales:
This is probably not the detailed answer you're looking for but I think you should start by asking Who your target client is and then try to put yourself in their shoes and see how you would go about locating the service provider ( You ).
A properly positioned website about your services can help heaps and could probably help with lead conversion as well.
As usual, getting the first few clients would be the toughest part and then you can build your network through them.
I could provide you more input on this if you could provide more details about your services and a sample profile of your prospective clients.
Just my 2cents.
Your question is too broad for me to truly answer it in a significant way.
It all depends on budget really, if you have a great PPC Manager, a solid site with good SEO ranking for niche terms you will be able to get more leads that you will ever handle.
Then again the important part is the niche, what's your specialty in the IT Industry? Can you consult on b2b for a very narrow field?
You need to also define what constitutes a 'quality' lead. How much are you willing to spend on each quality lead? What is this person looking for and what are the determining factors that will make them choose you?
Lead generation usually is a very simple & straightforward matter. What's tough is having a service/product that lends itself to be promoted.