What Actually Does the Term “Digital Twin”​ Really Mean and How Does It Impact on Your Revenue Creation?

There is a term that is being bandied about in the world called "the digital twin" but what does it mean and did you know it has a revenue impact on your business?

Wikipedia describes a digital twin as

"A digital twin is a virtual representation of a real-world physical system or product (a physical twin) that serves as the indistinguishable digital counterpart."

There is also this article here, which describes a digital twin as

"Digital twins are virtual replicas of a physical product, process, or system that bridge the physical and digital worlds."

Often these definitions are seem to be able a physical product, but it also means ourselves.

We all have one, we all have a digital twin.

Think about it, there you are in the physical world, walking the dog and then you log onto Linkedin and you are in the digital world. Your Linkedin profile, is your digital twin.

In fact all of your social media profiles are your digital twin. 

So what is digital transformation?

Many leadership teams have looked at digital transformation and thought that technology would be the magic bullet. A new ERP system, a new cloud system, artificial intelligence, or automation ... would give us digital transformation. It didn't.

It's not the technology that differentiates you. 

Let me take you away from the land of applications and technology, to the land of real business and what it's taking place in digital today. More importantly why understanding you have a digital twin is critical to your success today, as an individual and as a business. 

We run a weekly podcast on Friday's at 14:00 UK / 09:00 AM US west coast, we call it the digital download (youtube link here) and the objective is about finding subjects in digital, debating them and sharing ideas.

It gives all DLA Ignite people who are available an opportunity to come on and discuss a weekly chosen topic. We debate it, the audience debate it with us, we don't draw conclusions, we let you do that, but what we do do is educate and try and offer you a subject "in the round".

The session we ran on 14th October, which you can watch here, was all about the importance of LinkedInLives / Podcasts etc. At 36:55, I asked the question to Eric Doyle who is with our partner Crux Consulting. I ask him the question, "explain what you mean by..."

"who is the leading technical and commercial digital influencer in your market or vertical" and this is what he said ...

"It's built on the concept that a split has happened in our universe. On one side is the analog (and physical) way of working, we have business cardsfilofaxes and things work in a particular way. I hire salespeople to get people on calls, I send out emails and I place adverts. This is a world we all know and understand, we grew up in it. And things chug along. 

But there is this curtain which is impenetrable has been formed and on the other side of that is the digital world. 

In the digital world and there is the digital twin of our business and industries. 

The access point to get through that curtain, a conduit is through social media. And be able to use social media strategically and well enough to get into the digital world, which will enable you to build within the digital twin of your sector. 

So who has the clearest sounding voice in your market in that digital sector? Is the leading technical and commercial digital influencer. 

If your company makes rubber seals for cars, or have engineering solutions for big energy projects, all products and services will have a leading technical and commercial digital influencers in that space. This will be supported by a digital twin of your business and employees."

Your task as a leader is to make sure your business and your people have a digital twin

Eric went on to describe..

"That all of us are influencing the digital world, influencing people on social media, and influencing on other forms of digital so that your prospects, your customers, your employees, your future employees, your investors see you and your company as the solution to your problem. And these people may have never met you, but they like you, they like what you say. And because of that, you are influencing them.

How the world works today in line with digital twins

"Who are the companies that when people leave schools, colleges and universities, people know where they are going to work. Why? because I've been following them on social for 4 years."

People are saying ...

"I've never met the people, I've never been to their office, in fact I've never been to the city where they have their office. But I want to work there, because they have influenced me on digital. I get their values, I get a sense of their culture, it looks cool."

"Or you could be an investor, I'm looking across the world for investment opportunities, where am I going to invest my money? Well I've seen this amazing company in digital, I know all about them, I know their Board, I know their operational team, I know their HR manager. I'm going to pursue a conversation with them. 

If you don't have access to digital today you are snookered!

You have to focus on your people and the skills required to be digital."

While being digital is about how you sell and market, but it also impacts the whole strategy of your business, it impacts on how you recruit and retain your talent, it impacts on your customer service, it impacts on your suppliers

All of these are digital and you have to have a strategy that supports the digital buyer, the digital job seeker, the digital supplier, the digital customer. It's no good leaving it to chance or tactics. 

Imagine ...

Tomorrow, you and I are going to meet at the lobby of your target customer. 

Imagine that I have a key card to get into the building, we wave to security and I let you through the security barriers. Impressive eh!

We walk over to the elevators and I press the button to go up to the relevant floors where we can meet with the people you need to sell to. Now you have never met these people before so i will introduce you. That will mean you will get to meet the people you need to meet in this target customer of yours.

Pick whatever department you want, I will take you there and introduce you. 

For example, say you sell accounting systems, ERP systems, then I can take you and introduce you to the people in Finance. Or maybe you sell human resources (HR) software and I take you to meet the HR people. Or maybe you sell CRM, customer experience (CX) and I can take you to meet all the people in marketing and sales.

Now if I walked you into finance, (or any of the other departments) and I started to introduce you to the people there one-by-one. Now, you wouldn't hand everybody a brochure and walk away, would you? 

This is your chance to get into the business, meet the people, build relationships. Kinda cool! 

As I introduce you to the people in your target department, you would hand them your business card. You might get people to scan the QR code on LinkedIn so you are connected. 

Either way you would also want to be remembered. So you might ask them a question about themsleves, maybe you spot that Manchester United mug on their desk, the Nick Saban bobblehead (doll). The photo of their family on their desk, you would start a conversation about them. You might crack a joke. You would start building trust. Maybe you would ask them about the business, be curious about them and the company?

As I walk you around the department, and introduce you to more and more people, you would get to know more and more people and the department would get to know you. In fact the whole department will know you, just think of the competitive advantage you now have.

We haven't needed to talk about product, we are connecting as humans, we are having conversations. We are being social. 

Just through this simple way of showing you around and introducing you to people, you are front of mind and your competition is not. This is so powerful!

I've now walked you around the whole department, they know you, you know them. It's time to see the big boss and I take you in and introduce you. 

You look around the office and see the photos of her fly fishing, you talk about when you had a fly fishing lesson in Scotland when you visited there last. You connect, you have a conversation. 

One of the things we do in life is find commonality with each other, because when we do that we start to know, like and trust each other.  

You then ask her some of the business related issues you picked these pointers up from her staff you have been talking to.  

If it's finance you might ask her about how long it takes to close the month end books, if it's human resources it might be about sourcing internal talent, if it's CRM you might ask about onboarding sales people.

I could go on, but you should get the picture now. 

It does not matter if you know nobody in this company, they could even be using a competitive solution. But by the time I've walked you around, they know you, they know you as a human, they are aware that you work for a company and you didn't even need to pitch to them. Now it's time to start moving some of those conversations to commercial interaction.

This is social selling

Now you can stop imagining, what I've described to you is social selling.

This is so powerful, so natural and is the killer blow you need today. 

Here at DLA Ignite, teach and coach you, to digitally walk into companies, build influence and trust, across the whole team from the ground floor to the top floor. From your ideal customers, to the stakeholders and the budget holders.

It could be new business, you could be trying to displace a competitor, it could be "landing and expanding" it could be part of an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy. 

Either way, using social selling and influence from DLA Ignite is the fastest way to success and we can get you there. 

On to the second story.

Now Imagine .....

How about if I said, I can take you to a place where all your prospects hang out, would you go?

I can pick you up in the car tomorrow and you can hang out there, having conversations with them.

When you arrived, what would you do?

Grab a coffee and go up to the first one and start a conversation? Of course you would.

Or would you walk in and say "buy my stuff, because we are great". Of course you wouldn't, as somebody would call security.

That's the difference. Selling on social is ...... social. You have conversations with people.

You don't go up to people and pitch to them as people will call security.

The great thing about social is that there is no "prime selling time (PST)", you can have as many conversations as you want. One of my customers, does his prospecting between putting the kids to bed and when he goes to bed.

It's time to bring your demand generation into the second decade of the 21st century and it's time to "start fishing where the fish are" ...... on social. 

The third story is about how you can bring all this together

One of the benefits of getting all you team(s) to social sell is that you as a business will start getting what we call digital dominance. So what on earth is that? 

Imagine this

You are at a conference and there are a drinks event that evening where all the people from the conference are invited. 

You have a conference call which makes you late for the drinks.

You arrive and everybody is there.

As you look around the room, you realise that the people in the room are your prospects and customers. Which is great news. Each of these prospects and customers are talking to somebody, they have a drink in hand and they are laughing and joking.

The question is this, these prospects and customers, are they talking to people from your business or are they talking to the competition?

If they are talking to your people, that's going to be great and make you feel great, if they are all talking to the competition, you are going to feel a sickness in the stomach. 

Now think about this in a digital landscape, LinkedInTwitter, all the research shows that your customers are hanging out on digital somewhere. Where these prospects and customers hangout, are they talking to people from your business or a competitor? 

It's no different from the drinks event.

This is your challenge and also your opportunity.

It's time to stop hiding behind the phones and the brochures and be the business that is out there having conversations with your prospects and customers on digital. 

Your job is to do this, before the competition does it and owns the space.

Owning your market sector or vertical, is digital dominance. 

What is social selling?

Here at DLA Ignite, we define social selling as

"Using your presence and behavior on Social Media to build influence,

make connections, grow relationships and trust, which leads to

conversation and commercial interaction."

It's not witchcraft, it's enabling your salespeople to work from home, (or the office) and create conversations with prospects and customers. Conversations on social media and conversations that convert. 

The problem with the name "social selling" is that people think that this is selling on social. All these pitches that you get on social are not social selling, they are spam.

The other thing you need to know about social selling is that this isn't about "putting out some videos" or "putting flowers on your profile" or "going viral". Here at DLA Ignite, engagement is important but we are about driving revenueEBITDA, for your business using social media. This is about you winning business from the competition and having a competitive advantage. 

Social is about having a strategy and there are two key drivers

With anything you do on social there are two questions you need to ask

1. How many leads / meetings / conversations will I get from this post / blog / activity?

2. How much revenue / EBITDA am I getting as a business?

Posting and hoping or posting random stuff is not a strategy, in fact I doubt it's driving anything for your business. 

Related: When Facing an Important Decision and Don’t Act Quickly ... Someone Else Will Decide for You