Buyer hate when you begin a discovery call asking them a series of questions that’s CLEARLY available information in the public domain.This constant eye-rolling scenario is played out countless times a day.The seller acquires knowledge, but the customer gets nothing out of the 30 minute call.

If you’re looking for free data intelligence tools to help:

A. Build target account lists.

B. Collect insights to help Engage/Activate an Account.

C. Prepare for a Discovery Call.

You need great contextual insights. Here is where you could start.

I’ve made a quick video about this on LinkedIn if you like watching videos:

Google Alerts:

Use case – I personally use Google Alerts daily.This keeps me abreast of company, market and competitive intelligence.Each day, I receive a daily digest on a topic.If I’m selling into a specific account like “Canadian Tire”, I see M&A information, new store launches, if the CEO got caught in a “Me Too” moment… everything around the world that mentions Canadian Tire.I’m now as current as a 24 hour news agency!


Use case – I’ve used this tool a few times because it’s a crowdsourced version of a Google Alert.Users can submit information about the company like competitive intelligence.While it’s not perfect, it’s quick and dirty information when you need it.


Use case – if you sell into HR, CX and/or Operations, this is a gold mine!You have an inside, crowdsourced view of the opinion of those that work/worked at your customer.The main uses are:

  • You can search reviews of working culture, conditions, and environment.You can look for consistent red flags in the business that your solution solves.
  • Job posts and salary expectations – great if your solution works well in new or growing departments, or can offset the cost of a new hire.

EDGAR (Form 10k):

Use case – imagine you had access to the detailed business plans of any publicly traded company. You could see their competitive intelligence, new product launches, Top 3 priorities for the quarter… everything! Well, that’s what a Form 10K is. Every publicly traded company needs to submit a Form 10k, which you can source on this site. If you’re selling into the home improvement category like Canadian Tire, you could search Home Depot, Rona, etc. and see EVERYTHING they see as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats!

LinkedIn Mobile App (Company Insights Page)

Use case – role or department growth vs. retraction are both excellent trigger events for conversations.I like the mobile application view better than the desktop view, in which I can see where they’re hiring, for which roles, and the growth by department.Similar to Glassdoor, I’m looking to see if I can sell into growth departments, or perhaps displace a new hire with my solution.

Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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