Prospecting for 401(k) business

Jason Roper

By Jason Roper
Head of Emerging Market Sales, Workplace Solutions Distributions for MassMutual.
Posted on Oct 4, 2018

The opportunity for qualified plan sales is large and growing. With $7.7 trillion in retirement plan assets,1 and 550,000 401(k) plans ,2 the chance to cultivate new business and the need to retain current clients becomes clear when 38 percent of plan sponsors are actively looking to replace their retirement plan advisor.3

Many financial professionals see the opportunity, but they are reluctant to engage because they feel they are not experts and don’t know where to start. They don’t know how to identify prospects and position themselves for success.

How to find prospects

One of the best tools for prospecting qualified plan sales opportunities is Planisphere, which is an upgrade of DataMaster ProSM from Larkspur Data. It will guide you through every step of the sales cycle and help you to work smarter and be more efficient.

Through real-time data feeds coming directly from the Department of Labor, Planisphere puts information from 1.5 million qualified plans from across the country at your fingertips. It’s public information culled from the 5500 form which all qualified retirement plan sponsors must file annually. It can be the right tool for gaining insights into not only one, but many of the deficiencies that a plan may have and helps an advisor to enhance a consultative approach with targeted, impactful suggestions.

The research reports generated can not only be a prospecting tool for new business but also can help advisors provide consultative advice to their existing clients about their plan. It can raise an advisor’s value by addressing common plan challenges and offering solutions.

Planisphere’s ability to search by a plan sponsor, geographic location or plan deficiencies is a real advantage for financial professionals. They can get insights into plans that are in their local communities. Advisors can also identify opportunities to begin the conversation about identifying more options to improve the outcomes of their clients’ plans.

Providing insight into a client’s current plan, and identifying opportunities to improve the outcomes can be an advantage to advisors. This consultative approach to solving problems can add value to your client relationships and provide the right foundation to approach new prospects. The ability to identify not only one but many of the plan’s deficiencies can be a tremendous competitive advantage.

Create your value proposition

Once you identify your prospects and gather the competitive intelligence from Planisphere, you need to create your value proposition to present to clients and prospects.

Creating a persuasive value proposition for clients and prospects can be the “secret to winning” in the marketplace. Consultative suggestions can improve both your profile with current clients and improve your chances of winning new clients, but delivering a clear value proposition can also give you an edge in the marketplace.

We’ve developed a robust tool to help advisors create a personalized value proposition for their clients and prospects. Our new tool can help financial professionals differentiate themselves in their respective markets. By leveraging research about what plan sponsors want from financial advisors, we created a tool to help advisors develop a personalized value proposition for their clients and prospects.

If you are unsure how to create your value proposition, go to Advisor Advantage+, and you’ll see that we have made the process easy.

When you have the right research and the right tools to help differentiate yourself in the marketplace, you’re in a better position to succeed.

Advisor Advantage+ can be THE advantage to help financial professionals compete and win in today’s intensely competitive marketplace because it has all the right resources and tools for success.



1 Investment Company Institute, “Quarterly Retirement Market Data,” 3Q17.

2 Investment Company Institute, “Frequently Asked Questions About 401(k) Plan Research,” October 2018

3 Callan, “2017 Defined Contribution Trends Survey,” January 2017.

The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual, its employees and representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to seek advice from your own tax or legal counsel. Opinions expressed by those interviewed are their own, and do not necessarily represent the views of MassMutual.