Select your preferred player below to subscribe now:
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?
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.
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.