Episode TwoHundredThirty

How to read a 10k like an Enterprise MEGADEALER

Guest: Jamal Reimer

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About This Episode

If you’ve not added the 10K to your sales arsenal, you’re missing out. 

What’s a 10K? It’s a document that public companies are required by the SEC to publish every year. And it’s essentially a report that provides transparency into how a company is performing. 

It’s all there. Risks, deals, mergers, acquisitions, management discussions, and financial reports. And if you use it the right way, it can be a crucial tool in your sales toolbox. 

But you’ve got to know how to use it. How to read it. How it’s organized. And that’s where Jamal Reimer comes in. Jamal was our guest on this special episode of the Sales Engagement podcast. Special because it’s not just an audio podcast.

Jamal was nice enough to use Zoom to walk us through how to read and utilize a 10k report. 

But Jamal walked us through what a 10K actually is, the 4 major areas of every 10K, and why the quarterly analyst calls are a goldmine if you’re looking for information on a company. 

What is a 10k? 

Like we mentioned already, a 10K is required by the SEC for every public company. And it exists to give the public a transparent glimpse into the performance of the company, as a deliverable to the shareholders. 

It typically goes into far more detail about how the company is doing than the annual report, so again, if you’re not utilizing the 10k in your sales arsenal, you’re missing out. 

But what’s in a 10k? Where do you even start? Every 10K contains the same sections, and there are usually well over 15 of them. But for the sake of time, we focused on 4 main sections. 

The Business Section

The business section of the 10k is where you’re going to get the most distilled information into WHO a company is and WHAT they’re up to. Most 10Ks will include some sort of mission statement or “about us” paragraph that will concisely define the company. 

If nothing else, this is incredibly helpful if you’re bringing executives into your meeting and they’re not sure what the company you’re prospecting does. You can literally just copy and paste out of the 10K, and it will give your executives a crystal clear summary of what they’re looking at. 

Not all 10Ks will feature a strategy section, but a lot of them do. The one we focused on for this interview went point by point through the five main areas of the company’s strategy. 

What better chance to individually address their strategic initiatives in a sales call than directly from their 10k? 

Risk Factors

Most companies don’t like to talk about their risks, but fortunately for you, the SEC dictates the things that are required to be addressed in a 10K document, and risks are one of those things. 

This gives you the chance to look at the risks that a company is actively facing, then go into your meetings armed with ways that your organization or product can help mitigate those risks. You can say, “I see here that cyber security is a huge risk for your company. Here are the ways we can help keep your company secure.” 

Take a list of 5-10 questions to the meeting, and if one lands, start to press deeper. If not, move on. Not everyone you meet with will care to talk about every risk, but they should at least be able to point you in the right direction. 


The management section is usually a whole lot of reading, but underneath all the words usually lies a clue as to what’s really going on with the company.

It’s a great way to get into the heads of the Sr. Management team, because you get to see what they are really up to, what’s driving them, and what they’re spending their time and energy focusing on. 

Financial Statements

There are a ton of financials in the 10k, and if you’re not an accountant, it can be daunting. Thankfully, this is where the quarterly analyst calls come in handy for you. 

When the quarterly reports come out on a company, there’s always a call with the CEO, CFO, and analysts from a lot of the major banks. And their job is to look for gaps and inconsistencies in the financials. So they’ll ask a lot of really pointed, direct questions. 

This is where the gold is. 

Search the company’s investor page, and listen to the quarterly analyst calls, and take more notes than you’ve ever taken before. 

The bottom line is that the 10k is a publicly available document that not a lot of people bother to look at. But you can use it to find out a few key things about the company you’re selling to: 

  • What does the company do? 
  • What are they trying to do RIGHT NOW? 
  • What are the risks that they are facing? 
  • What are their sales numbers doing? 

If you can chase down answers to these questions, you’re going to put yourself at a massive advantage in the long run.

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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