The Great Executive Dial-Off of 2015
CEO Dave Elkington was lounging on one of the fancy couches he recently had installed in the XANT offices on Thursday afternoon.
It was a rare occurrence that signaled the calm before the storm.
Elkington was preparing to participate in The Great Executive Dial-Off, a challenge issued by the company’s sales development specialists who contact and qualify inbound leads.
Elkington and seven other senior executives strapped on headsets and accepted the throwdown.
“You’ve got 40 guys over here with their jaws dropping,” regional sales executive Marshall McKinnon said. “You can feel the electricity on the floor. Don’t touch the walls because you’re gonna get shocked right now.”
The sales development crew challenged the execs to see who could schedule the most appointments in a two-hour time frame.
Participating executives included:
- Dave Elkington — CEO and founder
- Jim Steele — President of worldwide sales and chief customer officer
- Michael Critchfield — Senior vice president of sales
- Mike Plante — Vice president of demand generation
- Todd Riesterer — Senior vice president of talent acceleration
- Stan James — Senior director of sales
- Charlie Lippman — Corporate enterprise executive manager
- Robb Young — Director of client success
Sales development coach Jordan Timothy said the goal of the dial-off was to motivate and create unity among employees and executives.
“We wanted the reps to be able to see and learn from the executives’ talent, but we also wanted the execs to see what our reps do on a day-to-day basis and have some fun with it,” Timothy said.
Of course, Elkington had his own ideas.
“I’m here to beat everybody,” Elkington said, flashing his trademark Cheshire grin. “They have agendas, and they’re well structured. I don’t know what they are. I’m just here to win.”
Specialist Radhames Gomez revealed his pregame strategy.
“I’m gonna go for the leads that seem to be the most fruitful. We’re taking a smart approach,” Gomez said.
A few desks down, pacing the floor in anticipation, Ryan Dance was raring to start dialing.
“I’m gonna beat Dave today,” Dance said. “Dave’s a little rusty on the system, and hopefully on these phone lines we’ll be able to pass him up.”
Eager-eyed employees from all departments packed the sales floor to watch and cheer.
McKinnon stood on the sidelines with a smile.
“This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. We’ve got the CEO sitting next to a new guy that got hired a month ago. And he’s working the same calls, same list, same technology. He’s going to deal with the same struggles we have, and this is just cool,” he said.
The sales development team beat the execs by a ratio of 2:1 in appointments set.
Individually, Elkington finished on top by scheduling two appointments and generating one qualified opportunity.
Vice President of Demand Generation Mike Plante was another top performer. He said the pressure he felt on the floor surprised him.
“It was really difficult,” Plante said. “It was good to see and experience their same day-to-day pressure.”
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- Xant Team