Developing Ideas for Thought Leadership Content: Four Questions to Ask Your Sales Team

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Developing ideas for thought leadership content sales team

Marketing and sales both want content that compels prospects to act. Yet, according to eMarketer, 90 percent of content developed by the marketing team is never used in selling.

Fortunately, as a marketer, you don’t need to spin your wheels thinking of a new strategy. By utilizing your sales team’s input, you can develop thought leadership content that resonates with media, salespeople on the front lines of customer acquisition and prospects. How can your team create thought leadership content that sales teams want to share with prospects? Start with asking the right questions.

The importance of story mining

At PANBlast, we request story mining calls with key executives to uncover insights that can be used in developing thought leadership. That includes people holding the title of sales director, VP of sales or chief sales executive. Why? Sales team leads understand the root of your prospects’ day-to-day challenges and why prospects buy, making these individuals a great resource to use when the goal is developing thought leadership that speaks to prospects.

Story mining is exactly what it sounds like: speaking to someone with the goal of uncovering information, commentary or perspective about your industry/customers that can help shape a story.

Treat story mining sessions with your sales team lead(s) as more of a discussion rather than an interview. In doing so, you and your sales team may uncover other areas of discussion you originally never thought to discuss.

Questions to Ask Your Sales Team

To get you started, we put together four questions to ask your sales team leads. The answers to these questions will help drive topics for potential thought leadership pieces.

Question #1: Why do prospects purchase our solution over the competition?

Understanding the strengths and differentiators of your solution (both real and perceived) is vital to know how to position your solution to prospects. These responses should not be a comparison of features. Instead, these responses should showcase the unique benefits as to why prospects buy.

Question #2: Why do we lose?

This question is straightforward and will help you understand what weakness to address up front in your content.

Question #3: What are the top three customer pain points our product solves?

To ensure you’re meeting your target audience’s interests and needs, take time to identify and understand the most common pain points of your prospects.

Question #4: What are the common questions and objections you receive?

This question ties in with the previous question. Having the answer to common questions or objections will provide you with a solid understanding of potential hangups for prospects.


Asking these questions gives you the information you can use to develop thought leadership pieces. However, this is just one step in the process to work better with your sales team. Make sure to take time to analyze the feedback from your sales team and develop story angles.

If you’re not sure how to go about this process, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Our new workbook, “Sales and Marketing: Better Together,” provides resources, tips, and worksheets allowing you to better align your SaaS sales and marketing efforts through PR.