Using your competitors’ customer data to find sales prospects: reverse engineering a fintech unicorn’s ICP part 1

Using your competitors’ customer data to find sales prospects: reverse engineering a fintech unicorn’s ICP part 1

In this article, you’ll learn how to snoop on your competitors’ existing customers to find similar companies that fit that ideal customer profile (ICP). Part 1 of this series is going to be an overview of how to find customer data, what to watch out for, and why.

In part 2, we are going to use the data we discovered here to find similar companies with the same needs using tools like Google (through the power of advanced search commands) and LinkedIn.

As a case study, we’re going to reverse engineer Checkout.com’s ideal customer profile (ICP). So from here on, you’re wearing the pants of a new Checkout.com competitor trying to snoop. Our mission is to find out how to identify the ideal customer for Checkout.com’s payouts product category. This type of insight is helpful for building relevant lists.

Here’s a screenshot of a testimonial from one of Checkout.com’s Payout product customers. Pay attention to the highlighted keyword phrases. These show you the pain points/ the job these customers are getting done with the Payout product.

Company snoop overview

Checkout.com is a B2B payments infrastructure company that helps companies process, initiate payments and manage payment fraud globally. Its Payout product targets companies that need to pay out money to numerous customers (one to many) across borders.

Its customer base includes payments companies like Wise–formerly TransferWise, and MoneyGram.

The type of data you need to gather

As we research, we are going to keep an eye out for keyword clues around:

  • Technological profile

Is Checkout.com using technology that’s identifiable on their customers’ websites? Niches that have publicly identifiable technologies are easier to prospect.

  • Firmographics

This involves looking for patterns around customers’ company size and growth activities like fundraising, or increased hiring in growth departments (sales, marketing, engineering).

  • Voice of customer keyword profile

What words do current Checkout.com customers use to describe their own product and the problem they solve in the market? Though common among direct response copywriters, few in the sales world use voice of customer data to find prospects.

But if you build a good understanding of your voice of customer keywords, you can use search engines and advanced search commands (plus web scraping tools if you’re technical) to find companies in your ICP that are not obvious to the hundreds of competing sales reps parsing the same databases for leads.

Step 1: where to look for keywords

  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Case studies
  • Tech tracking platforms like BuiltWith or PublicWWW (a search engine for source code).

Case studies

From studying Checkout.com’s case studies (Wise and TransferGo case studies), here are the sentences with clues.

Wise Case study

Source, Wise Case Study: “Wise previously used local providers to power its Pay to Card processes but knew that to efficiently scale it needed a global provider.”

This phrase tells us that “local payments providers” are the alternative used by companies before they discover Checkout.com. Thus, similar companies with Pay to Card offerings would also use local providers.

If you were to identify those local providers, you could find the companies using them and position Checkout.com’s global offering against having to work with multiple local providers in each market. (This would work well in cold email copy)

TransferGo case study

Source, TransferGo Case Study: “In fact, our payments network more than doubled in size overnight, allowing customers to send funds in real time to 95 new markets.”

Context: the paragraph that preceded this, mentioned that the Checkout.com partnership had grown TransferGo’s coverage to 153 countries; TransferGo’s previous coverage would have been 58 markets.

This tells us that companies who’d benefit from Checkout.com’s payouts products currently send money to fewer countries than their existing clients–less than 58 markets, going by TransferGo’s previous coverage before the partnership.

Product sales pages

Another great way to learn about a company’s ICP is to read their product sales pages. The copy in these pages speaks to customers and their pain points. There’s a lot you can learn about one’s ICP here, especially if a professional copywriter wrote them.

From Checkout.com’s product page, I learnt that the payouts product is divided into two categories: payouts to cards and payouts to bank accounts. Here’s a summary of the ideal customer profile keyword phrases.

How to use this insight for prospecting

Let’s be practical, take what we’ve learned so far and type this into Google: intitle:”keyword.” This will pull up all the pages with your chosen keyword phrase in the title. For example, here’s what comes up when I search for companies with “payout to cards” offerings.

Image showing a search using the ICP keyword phrase “payouts to cards”

5 results are too few, but if you loosen the search commands by removing the quotation marks, you get more results to sift through. Here’s a screenshot of what came up on Google; companies with payouts to cards offerings with different use cases: paying affiliates, employees and customers.

Image showing a search using the ICP keyword phrase “payouts to cards” with 119, 000 results

Conclusion

We’ll go deeper into how you’d use the ICP keyword phrases we’ve collected, to build your sales prospecting list in the part-two article. In the meantime, try this process on your customers and see if the companies that show up in the search results are in your ICP.

Offer: If you need someone to research and curate your (or competitors’) voice of customer data from testimonials, case studies, G2 reviews and customer website copy, reach me at [email protected]. (I’m gauging interest in this as a service. For $300, let’s see what we dig up). You can use the insight in cold emails or marketing material.

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Gabriel Onyango
Gabriel Onyango
[email protected]

About Me

A writer, in a marketer's skin, wearing a cold emailer's floppy socks. The unorthodox combination of these is what you've probably experienced in this blog. Freelance cold email manager; open to working with teams on cold email campaigns, copy, ICP research (snooping()and custom list building. Connect with me on LinkedIn

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