Client Case Study
Benefit Recovery Group
AccuSource & Benefit Recovery Group: A Sprint to Build a National Sales Team
Memphis, Tennessee has many calling cards: the blues on Beale Street, barbecue joints, majestic views of the Mississippi River and, of course, is home to a host of internationally-known entertainers and business leaders. While not a household name, Memphis also claims as one of its own, Tom Lawrence, a legal rock star who is the leading authority on subrogation law and has handled two cases on the topic before the U.S. Supreme Court.
If you are a HR professional working in compensation and benefits at a self-insured company, you know – or should know – the work of Mr. Lawrence and the company he founded in 1999 – Benefit Recovery Group (BRG). As the leader in the evolution of subrogation law, the firm serves a client list from industries across the nation, including many belonging to the Fortune 500. And, most impressively, BRG boasts a 100% client retention rate over nearly two decades.
Like many small companies serving clients in a highly-specialized space, BRG methodically grew its business by word-of-mouth, based on Mr. Lawrence’s reputation and body of work. In 2015, Mr. Lawrence decided that the time was right to add a sales pro to the BRG team. That led to the hiring of Dan Cooper in January 2016 who was given the task of proving the case that BRG should have a business development component built into its management structure.
“I have a law degree so that was helpful for me when I came on board and began learning more about subrogation and why big companies with self-funded insurance plans need the expertise of BRG,” Mr. Cooper said.
Benefit Recovery Group Teams with AccuSource Group
Later in 2016, Laura Hescock joined Benefit Recovery Group as Chief Strategy Officer. By then, Mr. Cooper’s sales efforts were bearing fruit – so much, in fact, that the BRG team decided to build out the biz dev function even further, by hiring five more sales associates across the country.
In July 2016, Ms. Hescock and Mr. Cooper began an engagement with Brian Whitehill and his team of recruiters at AccuSource. The high-level objectives, while straightforward, were not easy: find five sales pros and have them placed by October.
“Our case was unique and we presented the AccuSource team with a variety of challenges,” Ms. Hescock explained. “We wanted people geographically dispersed throughout the country, we wanted them close to the airport and we needed them to have a background in benefits that would allow for a quick learning curve to the intricacies of subrogation.”
One more wrinkle to add to the equation: BRG had never worked with a recruiting firm.
“So, we had quite a bit to learn too from Brian and his team about their process and placing trust in it,” Ms. Hescock said.
Team AccuSource: The Process of Finding the Right ‘Sales Athletes’
For Team AccuSource, BRG’s staffing assignment was the definition of a “scratch build.” From the outset of their work, they knew the likelihood of finding a robust set of potential hires with a deep level of expertise in subrogation was unlikely. But they knew too, there were sales people out there who had called on corporate benefits directors in prior roles.
“Brian quickly introduced us to the term ‘sales athlete,’” Mr. Cooper explained. “While the benefits/HR piece was important to us, Brian reminded us to not overlook the importance of a candidate’s motivation, work ethic and ability to close.”
Once AccuSource began its work, it quickly put into place a process grounded in communication and organization. There were weekly calls to review potential candidates. Spreadsheets were tracked. AccuSource began screening candidates and started getting a feel for the types best suited to put on the phone with the BRG team. During the four-month engagement, Mr. Cooper conducted several dozen phone interviews, plus those conducted in person in Memphis.
“AccuSource saved us so much time in conducting those initial screenings,” Mr. Cooper said. “And they did an outstanding job talking BRG up to a group that was largely unfamiliar with us and our work. But we challenged them too. There was a lot of mutual respect.”
AccuSource Wins for Benefit Recovery Group
By October, AccuSource and BRG, together, had met the goal and five new sales associates joined the BRG team, four of whom were placed by Team AccuSource. Those candidates were based in:
- Cleveland serving the Northeast region;
- Cincinnati serving the Mid-Atlantic region;
- Atlanta, serving the Southeast region and;
- Irvine, Calif., serving the West region
The fifth hire, based in Dallas serving the Southwest region, was sourced directly by BRG.
“This engagement with Laura, Dan and the BRG team was definitely a sprint,” said Brian Whitehill, founder and CEO of AccuSource. “And it was a great exercise in placing trust in one another and our ways of working. We wish them nothing but success as they continue to play a leading role in saving companies valuable healthcare dollars which, in turn, are passed down to employees.”
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