Sun Life Financial

"With Sales Cloud advisors have shorter sales cycles."

Rob Popazzi
AVP Sales Force Growth and Development

Sun Life boosts sales and transforms advisor relationships with Salesforce

Sun Life Financial’s reputation with its customers is founded on trust. This means it needs data, processes and people that it can trust.

“With Salesforce we can provide the best experience for our employees, advisors and clients, which will help us grow our wealth and insurance business in line with targets,” comments Rob Popazzi, AVP for Sales Force Growth and Development at Sun Life.

The Salesforce solutions are expected to boost revenue growth in Sun Life’s Individual Insurance and Investments business unit by up to 10 per cent over the next three years.

Celebrating 150 years in 2015, Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers.

Sun Life has two large departments who work together to distribute its insurance and investment products: the Distribution and Marketing team, which oversees wholesale activities with Sun Life Advisors and third parties, and the Sun Life Career Sales Force, which is a team of independent advisors that sell Sun Life products to individual clients.

“Salesforce helps us work more closely with financial advisors, enabling them to sell more. This benefits both their businesses and ours.” Rob Popazzi, AVP for Sales Force Growth and Development

Sun Life’s Salesforce journey began in 2013 with an advisor recruitment app on “We selected Salesforce due to its strong mobile and social elements,” explains Todd Francis, Delivery Director for the Salesforce Centre of Excellence at Sun Life in Canada. “We were looking five to 10 years ahead, and trying to imagine what our advisor community would look like then and what sort of tool they would want to use. Salesforce was it.”

Sun Life went on to deploy Sales Cloud within the Distribution and Marketing wholesaling organization in 2014 as part of a multi-year sales transformation program.

It is now used by nearly 300 sales representatives to assist with the effective selling of Sun Life products to the Career Sales Force and other third parties.

The key objectives of Sun Life’s sales transformation program included defining a common and more structured sales discipline across Wealth and Insurance lines of business and implementing a new Client Relationship Management (CRM) platform.

“Before Sales Cloud, the wholesaling sales team had to manage a significant amount of data, such as advisor profiles, using multiple spreadsheets and manual processes,” explains Amanda Rotundo, AVP for Distribution Development and Capability at Sun Life. “This was impacting productivity and the time spent on core selling activities.”

Now, they are not only able to access and update key data about advisors faster, but also share information across Wealth and Insurance teams, which helps identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

As Rotundo confirms: “With Salesforce CRM, we can drive synergies across our Wealth and Insurance wholesaling organization and sell as ‘One Sun Life.”

“It’s eliminated silos and reduced administration, enabling everyone to focus on selling activities.” she adds. The solution also enables the team to link key activities, such as calls, meetings, events, roadshows and campaigns, to specific advisors and analyze their impact on sales.

“Even when team members are on the road meeting with advisors, they can manage and track their conversations via their iPads and iPhones using the Salesforce1 Mobile App,” adds Rotundo.

Informed advisors

The Career Sales Force is also starting to benefit from Sales Cloud, following a phased rollout to more than 5,000 field managers, advisors and their staff, which was completed in February 2015. The solution supports independent advisors through the entire sales cycle with clients, from logging leads to closing opportunities.

“Advisors now have data about the sales cycle that they never had before, which helps them make improvements to business processes,” explains Popazzi. “For example, understanding how lead volumes relate to sales results means they know if they need to focus more time and resource on generating leads.”

Thanks to this insight, advisors can provide better services to clients, as Popazzi reveals, “Many of our experienced advisors service large client books. With Sales Cloud they will be able to leverage automated workflows that trigger alerts to connect with clients at certain milestones.”

Sun Life plans to develop dynamic dashboards for advisors with visual representations of sales health, opportunities and pending activity. “We also want to integrate Sales Cloud with our recognition and commission systems to create leader boards,” adds Popazzi.

With insights into advisors’ performance, Sun Life managers can pinpoint opportunities and challenges, and provide coaching and development where needed. For example, they can use the metrics from Sales Cloud to help advisors identify the best lead sources and how many appointments they need to book to achieve the required number of sales.

Many of these managers are also starting to leverage Salesforce Chatter, an enterprise social networking tool, to connect with their teams of advisors and share best practices.

Chatter and Sales Cloud are also used alongside Sun Life’s advisor recruitment app. “With 800 new independent advisors on-boarded and trained every year, the recruitment app is vital for managing the selection and take-on process,” explains Popazzi. “It logs the milestones that advisors have to achieve, enabling a much better flow of information than previously, when we had paper files that had to be handed from desk to desk.”

The app has not only significantly decreased admin time, but also improved forecasting. As Popazzi explains: “We can now make predictions based on data, rather than relying on anecdotal evidence.”

Transforming for the future

With the App Cloud, Sun Life can develop and launch apps quickly, and at a reasonable cost. Its latest app will support the six consulting teams that help advisors grow their business. “With the app, consultants can identify the most effective combination of resources and encourage greater collaboration,” adds Popazzi.

The App Cloud also makes it easy to connect to other web-based tools. For example, users can view the client portfolio and access an address change app, without having to leave the Sales Cloud interface.

“Salesforce is our hub. It supports a more connected way of working that will unlock greater efficiency,” concludes Francis.

About Sun Life Financial

Celebrating 150 years in 2015, Sun Life 
is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers.
 Sun Life and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, 
Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of March 31, 2015 the Sun Life group 
of companies had total assets under management of $813 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life
Sun Life