Hidden Keywords and Sales Navigator: how to use voice of customer data to find your ideal customers

Hidden Keywords and Sales Navigator: how to use voice of customer data to find your ideal customers

Finding companies that resemble your ideal customers at scale is the key to sales prospecting. But if you’ve ever stared at Sales Navigator and wondered why your searches are not yielding the best of results, then this article will help you. We’re going to use Codat as a case study and try to uncover the keywords that pull up companies resembling those in their ideal customer profile (ICP).

Overview of Codat

Codat is a fintech company selling an API that helps financial institutions (for example lenders) and software companies (for example, business forecasting tools) connect to small businesses data. Codat Raised $10 million in June 2022 and aims to expand into the US. With such comes hiring and lots of sales prospecting to find new customers.

For the rest of this article, think of yourself as a Codat sales rep (or a startup challenging Codat… operating from a tiny bedroom with no windows).

Checklist 1: research existing customers

 What does Codat help its customers do?

From the screenshot below (an excerpt from their website) Codat’s customers are companies that need to underwrite credit risk. The obvious use case for Codat’s product is to help companies provide loans and automate accounting for small and medium-sized businesses.

From snooping on their website, Codat serves companies who have small businesses as customers and need access to their financial data to create value for them. These companies use the data for things like credit underwriting, onboarding and automated account reconciliation for their small business clients.

 Who are Codat’s existing customers?

I created a spreadsheet and put all the customers on their site in there.

Sales Navigator

From Codat’s customers, it’s obvious that the target companies would be in financial services. And most people would just go into Sales Navigator and filter for companies in financial services, spray and pray that these have the same needs as the 8 above.

Instead, we’re going to Zoom in.

Step 1

Search for an existing customer in LinkedIn Sales Navigator. And click on the three dots as highlighted in the image below.

Step 2

The three dots will open up a tab as shown in the image above. Click on ‘view more detail’ and you’ll find extra keywords in a section labelled ‘specialities’.

These are the keywords the ideal customer has used to describe themselves—the voice of customer data. And will help us find other companies that describe themselves the same way as our ideal customer.

Here is a screenshot of Zettle with their voice of customer keywords highlighted.

Checklist 2

 Put the keywords in the ‘specialities’ section in a column in the spreadsheet.

The way LinkedIn classifies industries does not reflect reality. If you filter your searches to only show financial services companies, for instance, you will miss out on potential customers in hidden niches.

But if you type the keywords we’ve found back into Sales Navigator, you’ll pull up customer segments that you would never have thought of—especially if you combine multiple keywords.

For instance, MainStreet helps companies find tax credits they’re eligible for and reduce their tax bill. One of the voice of customer keywords they’ve used to describe themselves is ‘GovTech’, which is not an industry on LinkedIn.

But when you search for ‘GovTech’ and filter to only show accounts in the financial services industry, you get 26 results. Most of them are useless at first glance, however, one of them is Claimer, a company in the same business as MainStreet (claiming tax credits) but niched on R&D claims. If you’re a founder and have no idea what your ICP looks like, doing this exercise using your competitors’ customers will help.


With this technique, you can include your competitors’ customers and build a bigger list of voice of customer keywords. Find recurring patterns, and combine them to come up with long tail keyword phrases that expose similar companies.

With your keyword combinations in hand, go to your favourite company databases (or use special Google search commands with the keywords, e.g. intitle:r&d tax claims) and find more companies fitting your ideal buyers.

For a deeper dive into using your newly discovered voice of customer keywords with special Google search commands to find your ICP (without relying on the same databases your competitors are using), I’m finishing up an article that’ll show you. Watch out for it.

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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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