Principal Funds Tool Aims To Be a GPS for RFPs

Principal Funds rolled out a tool to streamline and increase the success rate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

Mastering the Advisor RFP, which Principal Funds is billing as a playbook for successful outcomes, is a suite of materials that guides advisers through an RFP, and helps sharpen skills and efficiency in responding to retirement plan RFPs. The research-based toolkit offers insights to use when responding to RFPs. Five factors that can drive successful outcomes are identified and defined, including:

Differentiated story: Reinforcing a unique value proposition throughout the RFP response;

Efficient process: Building a repeatable process and assigning clear responsibility among internal resources;

Accessible tools: Generating a database of well-written RFP responses;

Prospect engagement: Creating meaningful touch points with the prospect before and after RFP delivery; and

Quality deliverables: Continuously evaluating RFP practices on both wins and non-wins.

Principal Funds worked with Ann Schleck and Company LLC to identify some of the factors that drive successful outcomes. It is becoming more of a requirement for advisers to submit RFPs in order to be selected as a consultant for a retirement plan, according to Ann Schleck, the firm’s founder and principal. “When RFP responses are used as a tool to screen advisers, it’s easy to get eliminated from consideration—especially if the plan sponsor can’t discern the important intangible differences,” Schleck said. Following the steps in the toolkit to create meaningful responses can help advisers put their best foot forward, she said.

A number of advisers told Principal Funds they found the RFP process more time consuming and less successful than they had hoped, said Rob Logan, regional vice president of Principal Funds. “We applied our expertise in the retirement space to create materials that help advisers better navigate the process, positioning them to win new business and retain current clients,” Logan said.

A copy of Mastering the Advisor RFP can be downloaded here.