How To Use AI To Understand What Any Company Does

B2B companies are hard to understand. Their products are technical and their websites are filled with industry jargon. But you need to understand what a company does if you want to successfully prospect into it. These prompts will help you understand what any company does in minutes.

Gautam Rishi
2024-02-28

Do you ever find yourself after a few minutes on a B2B website thinking, “I have no idea what this company does…”?

It’s more common than you may think.

B2B companies are confusing.

The products are technical and complex. Their websites are often filled with industry jargon.

The thing is, most B2B companies sell to very specific and often highly technical personas. If their ICP are engineers or data scientists then they don’t really need to appeal to a wide audience. They don’t even need to be broadly understood.

But you’re a sales pro. It’s your job to know what your target company does. And if you ever want to successfully prospect into it, then you need to know exactly what they do and who they do it for.

Account research takes time

Unfortunately, reps often don’t have the luxury of deep diving into every account they prospect.

With hundreds of accounts on a standard contact list, there’s just not the time to research each one. But doing little or no research leads to a shallow understanding of a company and stale and generic messages that’ll never get a response. Sometimes it even leads to targeting the wrong accounts in the first place.

AI can help you learn about any company in a few minutes.

These prompts are how you do it.

4 prompts to speed up account research

To run these prompts you’ll need access to an LLM like ChatGPT or Gemini. We’ll use ChatGPT for these examples.

⚙️Note: This process only works with GPT-4 as you’ll be providing links for ChatGPT to browse—this is a feature only available with GPT-4.

First, ask ChatGPT to read the home, about, and product pages on your target company’s website.

Every B2B website in the world has these three pages.

  • The home page contains high-level messaging.
  • About often describes the reason the company was started (the pain point). 
  • Product is a deep dive on what the product does.

Prompt 1

  • Go to this URL {link} Read the page and await my next prompt.

Repeat this process for the about page, the product page, and any other pages that have vital information. Pricing and persona pages are useful context for 

💡Tip: You can also use a converter like this one to scrape text from a website page. They work by converting HTML code into plain text which you can copy and paste directly into ChatGPT.

Prompt 2

Next, ask it to run a search. This will give you more balanced information from sources other than the company itself so you get a broader understanding of what they do.

Provide a timeframe to make sure you’re not getting old outdated information.

  • Now do a search for information about [company]. Summarize your findings and include recent news and noteworthy events. Only include information from the last 12 months.

Press releases, review site profiles and the reviews themselves, and articles in industry publications are all great sources of information that tend to be more balanced and neutral compared to the material the company produces.

RELATED READING: Prompt Engineering for Sales 101: How to Use AI to Supercharge Prospecting

Prompt 3

Now it has the context it needs to provide a good overview of what the company does. 

Use this prompt to generate a summary of the findings:

Based on the above information, provide ~100 word answers in simple language to these questions:

What does [company] do?

Who are [company]’s ideal customers?

How does [company]’s product work?

What is the one big problem [company] solves for their customers?

What you’re left with is a neat summary in simple language of exactly what this company does, plus who they sell to.

Bonus Prompt

Here’s how you take this prompt chain from awesome to mind-blowing.

This final prompt will arm you with everything you need to walk into the meeting like a pro.

(Because after research like this, you’d better believe you’re getting that meeting!)

  • Act as a senior sales representative. You’re in the elevator with the CEO of [target company]. What are some insightful complements I could offer or questions I could ask? Give three examples. Use a conversational tone.

These insights not only act as natural ice breakers, but they also demonstrate that you've done your homework and genuinely understand the company.

Your prospect will be impressed by your depth of knowledge and your call will be off to a great start.

Company research = done.

Boom. Company research done. 

Once you get the hang of the workflow it should take less than 2 minutes for one company. Much faster than doing it manually.

But imagine researching 50 companies in 2 minutes…

That’s what OneShot does. With OneShot, you can research your entire contact list with just one click. Prospect background, company information, recent news & events, everything.

Our AI is here to help you cut tedious manual prospecting tasks from your workflow.

Want to see it in action? Grab your demo right here.

OneShot.ai uses AI to power outbound at scale. See how by booking a demo.

How to get information about a company

When researching a company, there are numerous sources of information available.

These sources range from company websites, financial reports, and social media platforms, to government databases, industry reports, and news articles. Each source offers different types of company data, and the choice depends on the specific information you need.

How you choose and prioritize these sources is key to efficient account research.

Researching public vs. private companies

Researching private companies—organizations that aren't listed on public stock exchanges—presents many unique challenges.

As such, the approach to researching public and private companies varies significantly.

Publicly traded companies are legally required to disclose detailed information, including financial reports, to regulatory bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom. This makes it easier to access their financial data, annual reports, and other forms of corporate information.

In contrast, private companies are not subject to these disclosure requirements, making private company research more challenging. With private companies, you might rely more on company websites, industry-specific directories, press releases, and other forms of public information to gather insights about the company. However, the depth of available information is often less compared to public companies.

Why it's important to find company information

Finding detailed information about a company is crucial for several reasons.

It enables sales professionals to understand their target accounts better, tailor their sales strategies, and communicate more effectively with stakeholders within the company.

Understanding company information enables sales pros to tailor their pitches and solutions more effectively to meet the specific needs and challenges of the target company. Knowing the company's current projects, industry position, where they sit in the competitive landscape, and financial health helps in crafting personalized and relevant sales propositions.

Additionally, understanding a company's corporate culture and values can guide the approach and communication style, making interactions more engaging and impactful.

In essence, well-researched company information is a key ingredient for successful sales outreach and engagement, fostering deeper client relationships and enhancing the likelihood of successful deals.

Where to find company information

Whether public or private, there are many sources of rich company information—if you know where to look. Here's a brief rundown of the best sources:

  • Annual Reports: These reports provide comprehensive information on a company's financial performance, strategy, and corporate governance. They are essential for understanding the financial health and long-term strategy of the company. Public companies are required to produce an annual report.
  • Press Releases: Companies issue press releases to announce new products, changes in management, or significant events. They are a timely source for the latest company developments.
  • Social Media Accounts: Companies' social media platforms are another great source of up to date information, offering insights into their brand image, customer engagement, and market trends.
  • Business Directories: Online directories like LinkedIn, Bloomberg, or Hoover's provide basic company details, key personnel, and often financial information.
  • Review Sites: Sites like G2, TrustRadius, Glassdoor, or Consumer Reports can give an understanding of the company's reputation from an employee or consumer perspective.
  • Company Website: The most direct source for company information. These websites often contain details about the company's history, leadership team, product offerings, and contact information.
  • Government Databases and Public Records: Useful for legal and regulatory information, these sources provide official company data, especially useful for public companies.
  • Industry Reports: Offer insights into the broader market environment of the company, including competition and industry trends.
  • Local Economic and Business Journals: These sources can provide information about smaller or local companies, contributing to an understanding of the company's regional impact.
  • Trade Associations: Industry-specific organizations often have databases and publications that offer insights into companies operating within that sector.
  • Financial News Sources and Major Newspapers: These can provide current news, analyses, and expert opinions about companies, especially useful for understanding market perceptions and recent developments.

Using AI to find & summarize company information

The thing about research is it's very easy to fall into the rabbit hole.

It's all too common to be digging into a company and, before you know it, half an hour has passed and you've got no real concrete material to show for it.

This is where AI can help. AI tools can not only find company information that would manually take forever, but synthesize that information down into digestible summaries using its ability to analyze tens of thousands of datapoints and compress them down to a manageable format.

If you're about to research companies, use the four prompts outlined at the top of this article to help find and distill that company data.

How to find useful information on company websites

A company's website is one of the primary sources of information about the organization.

However, there are three major factors to keep in mind when searching for information on the official company website:

  1. B2B websites are huge: It's not uncommon for a typical B2B website to be comprised of hundreds of pages. Efficient research means knowing which to read and which to ignore.
  2. They're inherently promotional: The content on a B2B website is purposefully biased to paint the business in a positive light. To gain the full picture, you must keep a critical eye as you gather information.
  3. Jargon-y and overly complex: Most B2B websites are needlessly complicated. Whether through an inability to clearly articulate their messaging, or a deliberate attempt to appear differentiated, there will likely be some industry jargon and buzzwords to decode.

Here's how to counter each of the above challenges:

  1. Start with the key pages: There are really only a handful of pages that contain the information you need to understand the company. They are the home page, the about page, the product page, the pricing page, and any roles or use case pages specific to the persona or challenge you address.
  2. Understand the website is biased: It's not a bad thing. A website is a marketing tool; its job is to highlight the best elements of the product and company. All you need to do is simply understand this and view the material though this lens.
  3. Learn to speak their language: Every industry and profession has jargon. By understanding the common industry terms used by your target accounts, you demonstrate that you belong and you can speak the language, giving your prospects a reason to trust you.

How to use government registries to find company information

Government websites and directories are a great source of information on companies big and small, public and private.

Businesses around the world are typically required to file certain certain company reports and information with government agencies, which can vary by country and company type. These filings often include registration details, financial statements, and other official documents.

Being public records, this information is accessible by anyone.

Here are some of the major government agencies and directories that store public company records:

United States

United Kingdom

  • Companies House: Every business incorporated in the UK is required to register to Companies House and must file annual financial statements. You can also track companies.
  • National Archives: Search for records of UK companies and businesses. Heads up — these are mostly dissolved companies.

Canada

Australia

Australian Government Directory: Searchable public directory of the structures, organisations and key people in the Australian Government.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission: Australia's equivalent of the SEC, this registry provides information about companies and organizations recorded on our registers.

More tips for finding relevant information in government registries:

1. Identify the Relevant Agency: This varies by country. In the U.S., it's often the Secretary of State or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for public companies.

2. Search Company Registries: Many countries maintain online registries where you can search for company information.

3. Utilize Public Record Databases: These databases can provide insights into legal filings, patents, and more.

4. Explore Local and Regional Directories: Some information, particularly for smaller or private companies, may be available in local government databases.

By navigating these resources, you can obtain a wide range of official data on companies, from basic registration details to in-depth financial information.

Leveraging social media to find company information

Leveraging social media to find company information involves monitoring and analyzing a company's profiles on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

These platforms can offer insights into the company's branding, customer engagement, latest news, and industry trends. They are also useful for understanding the company culture and employee perspectives, making them a valuable tool in gathering comprehensive company information.

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Gautam Rishi
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