Sun Life Financial is one of the world’s largest group benefits providers, serving more than 60,000 employers in workplaces across the country. Based in Toronto, Sun Life manages over CA $246 billion in assets and employs over 27,000 people around the globe.
Sun Life Financial built an in-house system to track all Client-hosting opportunities, but it needed a more robust approach. By choosing InviteManager’s integration with Salesforce, Sun Life made Client tickets easy and gave sales representatives a single place to go when searching for their next Client-hosting opportunity.
As one of the largest group benefits companies in the U.S, Sun Life markets its products and services through brokers and employers (collectively referred to as “Clients”). To educate Clients about its products and services, Sun Life invites them to a variety of live events, like NBA and NFL games, and provides educational programming before the events begin. Company-owned tickets and events are arranged through Sun Life’s national corporate partnerships with the New England Patriots and the Boston Celtics.
While Sun Life had originally attempted to manage these assets using Excel spreadsheets, it realized the difficulties of this approach and hired a company to build a proprietary, in-house system for employees to request event tickets. The system was web-based and designed to handle ticket requests from across the organization.
Although the in-house solution solved the immediate roadblock of organizing tickets and events, it did not interact with the organization’s CRM— Salesforce. This made it difficult to analyze data.
Our in-house system gave us a tiny preview of what a truly automated ticket system could actually do.”
Stephanie Quinn, Philanthropy, Sponsorships, & Events
Senior Integration Consultant
One System? Or Two?
The question Sun Life Financial faced was not whether to replace its system, but how. Should it look for one solution for managing Client relationships and another tickets and events? Or should it choose a single, integrated system?
To guide their decision-making, the firm reiterated its larger reason for making the change: to be more Client-focused.
“’Client focused’ means making it easy for us to serve our sales teams and our Clients,” explains Quinn. “We can serve our sales teams better by giving them one system for all of their needs: sales-related tasks and events-related tasks. This results in better service to our Clients because sales representatives are able to see what business-hosting opportunities are available and, with the click of a button, easily invite their Clients.”
During Quinn’s five years at Sun Life, she had seen the need for automation first hand. Rather than using its in-house system to order tickets and organize events, Quinn wanted to integrate this function with Salesforce, which Sun Life began using in early 2015. Quinn discovered that InviteManager could be integrated with Salesforce and learned how it gave users the ability to manage all of their events and attendees right within Salesforce.
The more we looked at it, the more we realized that combining ticket management with a CRM made a lot of sense.
One System to Rule Them All
Training and implementation is critical when replacing major systems.
The Sun Life team worked with InviteManager to arrange a training webinar and live demonstration to teach Sun Life’s sales reps how to request event tickets for their Clients. “My reps’ response was: ‘We can see and request tickets right in Salesforce and they’ll show up right in our Inbox? Great!’”
One of the best predictors of customer success is strong adoption during the first 60 days— the more people who use the new system immediately after its introduction, the greater the benefits received by the organization. By day 60, over 90 percent of Sun Life’s sales representatives had logged in and had started using InviteManager.
“Now, it’s all within Salesforce. Everything is loaded into one system so we can easily trace events to ticket users and further analyze our event data. We can now discover exactly what events were well received by our Clients. That’s something I never thought I would say before finding InviteManager.”
We have over 600 people in the system, and I haven’t received a single question or complaint. It’s awesome.”