Each month, Tony Uphoff, visionary CEO of Thomasnet.com, joins Cloud Wars Live for a recurring segment. “Uphoff on Industry” will explore the innovations, upheavals, and breakthroughs reshaping the the world of manufacturing and industrial markets. Join Tony and me as we discuss disruptive new trends in the digital-industrial world. These include how we design, source and manufacture products. And also the new ways in which industrial companies are getting up to speed on marketing, sales and customer experience.
In this episode: Tony and I begin by discussing the passing of Mark Hurd, co-CEO of Oracle. Tony says Mark could be tough, but Tony had huge admiration for his business acumen.
Next, Tony gets us into a conversation about the challenges emerging as the manufacturing industry embraces digital transformation. Most importantly: as sales reps become more obsolete, how do companies understand their customers?
Tony says that your prospective customer knows more about your products, your offering, your competitors, and the marketplace than your best sales rep could ever know.
This trend came up during Tony’s recent keynote address at the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA). The audience appreciated Tony’s candor about these challenges. He recalls one person saying to him aftertwards: “You punched us right in the face with the reality of where our buyer’s going – even if we didn’t want to hear it.”
Tony has been busy! He was also recently on Fox Business News to talk about the state of U.S. manufacturing. Prior to his appearance, the stock market tanked by 500 points. Tony says that made it a fascinating time to go on the show—because the markets were reacting to the ISM survey of manufacturers.
Lastly, Tony has a new podcast called “Thomas Industry Update.” Their first guest is Anne Evans, director at the Department of Commerce, who is helping U.S. companies understand the complexities of exporting. Check out the podcast, available on all platforms: www.thomasnet.com/update.
You can also stream the audio-only version of this episode:
'In the average industrial sale today, the purchase process is 70+ percent of the way through before a buyer engages with a sales rep.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet 'The true north, if you will, is the use of the data and analytics that can help you understand who a buyer is, what they're looking for, and where they might be in a process before you engage with them.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet 'The millennial generation—and these are professional buyers, these aren't consumers—if they can't find it on your website, they're going to go find it somewhere else.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet
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Cloud Wars Live Digital All-Stars
Tony Uphoff is one of our regular Digital All-Stars. The All-Stars are experts who will appear in regular video podcasts focused on the critical themes shaping (and re-shaping!) the business world in the digital age of 2019. Our intention is to provide regular chunks of timely ideas, insights and conversations on high-priority subjects from industry veterans with diverse backgrounds.