CRM Talks #10 with David Palfreeman

David Palfreeman, Principal Consultant at Palfreeman Services, discusses the true value of CRM based on the synergy between marketing, sales, and service, the importance of correct attribution, and the future of CRM in three key areas.

WeAgency Digital
3 min readApr 20, 2023

In CRM Talks #10, we will speak with David Palfreeman, Principal Consultant at Palfreeman Services. He specializes in CRM, loyalty, and digital projects and has worked with renowned companies such as Coles/Flybuys, Virgin/Velocity, Qantas, NAB, T2 Tea, and most recently, Autobarn, where he implemented a CRM and loyalty program.

During the talk, he will discuss the true value of CRM based on the synergy between marketing, sales, and service, the importance of correct attribution, and the future of CRM in three key areas.

Could you provide your definition of CRM?

Companies often think they need a “CRM,” but there is much misunderstanding among customers about what CRM means and what it should be used for.

CRM covers three main elements: marketing, sales, and service. Different organizations will need to focus on different elements depending on their business.

Each of these elements can be further broken down into components, but ultimately it is about effectively communicating to your customers at scale in an efficient manner as possible through the right channel at the right time, with the right message.

Why is it necessary for companies to implement CRM?

It is far easier to retain a customer than to gain a new one.

CRM helps you to build that relationship with your customers to understand them better and identify what products and services are relevant to them. CRM not only helps to drive sales but should make your marketing and sales more effective and efficient.

Which CRM key metrics do you use?

It very much depends on the business, but one of the key metrics for me is attribution. This is very hard to do correctly. Often companies look at who they sent an offer out to and who responded. This is a good start, but for me, it is about the change in behavior you are looking for. For example, sending an offer to a customer who was going to buy your product anyway should not be attributed to that message as it did not change the customers’ behavior.

What are common mistakes made when working with CRM?

CRM Software vendors are particularly good at selling their solution as the answer to a company’s CRM problems.

However, there are usually several organization, process, governance, and data issues that need to be addressed to ensure the CRM solution is effective. In addition, a clear strategy is required on how a CRM solution should be used to achieve the organization’s objectives.

These objectives are usually focused on:

  • Acquiring customers
  • Retaining customers
  • Cross-selling to customers
  • Reducing costs.

Data quality issues are often underestimated, and this can severely impact the ability to use CRM effectively. For example, I recently worked with an automotive company where they were looking to send out service reminders about customers’ cars. There were 52 different spellings of “Mitsubishi” in the service records. You can’t send out a service reminder and spell the customer’s car incorrectly.

The true value of CRM is realized when the Marketing, Sales, and Service CRM data is all integrated, so salespeople are aligned and aware of the marketing messages customers are receiving and have visibility of any service issues those customers are facing.

How do you envision the future of CRM?

CRM is going to get more personalized and automated.

Loyalty programs will start to play a bigger part in the relationship you have with customers.

Customers now realize the value of their own data and want to be rewarded for sharing it with companies they are dealing with.

About Palfreeman Services

Palfreeman Services provide a range of CRM consultancy services.

Over the last 10 years, Palfreeman Services has developed its own CRM capability assessment model that includes: Data, Analytics, Segmentation, Actionable insights, Campaign Management, Digital channels, and reporting feedback and attribution. This is based on an industry-standard model.

Palfreeman Services uses this model with the business strategy to determine the gaps in capability across technology, process, people, and governance for each of the key CRM elements and develop a strategy and a plan to address the gaps in capability.

The model has been used at companies such as Coles, Origin, Qantas, Tabcorp and Western Sydney University, and others.



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