Chris Orkney is the Business Development Director at xSMTHS, a Dynamic Technologies group company. It’s a senior position at a global company, and yet he works completely remotely, from anywhere in the world. Although he is based in the UK and works predominantly with UK-based clients, as the most senior salesperson at xSMTHS, he is involved in any strategic deals globally. For Chris, the xSMTHS culture is about achieving a good work-life balance, and their success in business is testament to the fact that remote working really works.
Born in South Africa to an English father and an Irish mother, Chris moved to the UK in 2008. He and his wife, who is Swedish, married earlier this year and they live in beautiful Hove on the South Coast. A sports-mad young man who was a provincial triathlete and duathlete, played high-level football and first team rugby, Chris might not fit the stereotype of a techie, and yet he sold his first database to Anglo American at the tender age of 17.
Despite wanting to work in technology, his path took a different course until 2018, when he implemented Salesforce for a travel company. The rest, as they say, is history. He has certified in Salesforce twice in Admin and as a Sales Cloud Consultant and is a Marketing Cloud Sales Champion. He was also one of the first 10 people globally to successfully complete the Marketing GTM Champions course.
His journey to xSMTHS was organic. He says, “I worked for Upper Sigma while it was part of the Dynamic Technologies Group as the Enterprise Account Executive, and after their acquisition by Litera I decided I still wanted to be part of Dynamic Technologies.” After some positive discussions, Chris was appointed at xSMTHS.
In his role at xSMTHS he is tasked with growing the company’s footprint across the UK. He says, “I love the fact that we are able to help companies with arguably one of the most important functions in a business, which is finding and winning clients and work.” Chris’s experience with Salesforce is pivotal to his role, as xSMTHS is a consultancy that prides itself on its specialists in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, including Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot), Marketing Cloud Engagement, Data Cloud (CDP), Marketing Cloud Personalisation (Interaction Studio), and Marketing Cloud Intelligence. Chris adds, “We also have consultants who are certified in and deliver projects across Salesforce Sales Cloud and Salesforce Service Cloud.”
For Chris, one of the biggest benefits of working at xSMTHS is the company culture. He says, “We are passionate about people being able to work remotely, promoting a healthy work-life balance, and we also ensure our people have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world whilst still being part of a cohesive company with a growing global presence.”
He adds, “Working as part of a global company that supports the team in allowing remote working is amazing, a lot of companies like to say they allow remote working by letting people work from home two or three times a week, but xSMTHS allows you to work from anywhere in the world. This culture is unlike any I’ve experienced because it allows you to see and experience the world while delivering in your career. I genuinely feel that connecting to colleagues is more about culture in the company than the location of your employees. And xSMTHS gets that right.”
Almost all of Chris’s family is based in East Sussex in the UK, so being able to see them in the evenings or on weekends is something he treasures. He says, “Working in Enterprise Sales, I do need to be on-site to meet with clients, which is very easy for me because I’m based an hour by train from London. It feels like I get the best of both worlds where I live. I can be in London in an hour for meetings which is convenient, I love the buzz of the city, but when working from home I can take a lunch break and go for a coffee with family or take a walk or cycle along the seafront.
“In the middle of summer when it’s still light out until 10pm, I can pop down to the water and kitesurf for a few hours after work, which still blows my mind. I think working in this way means you can achieve balance, I’m not living for my weekends, I’m enjoying every day. It’s thanks to xSMTHS that this is possible.”