Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
Research Vice President
2+ years at Gartner
28 years IT Industry

Hank Barnes provides research and advisory services on go-to-market strategies for technology providers. He focuses on issues related to positioning, storytelling, the technology buying cycle, and customer experience. Read Full Bio

Timing is Everything — When is it right?

by Hank Barnes  |  June 30, 2015

I recently saw this short (under 7 minutes!) TED talk from Bill Gross on why startups succeed.  It is a must watch for any startup–or, perhaps more importantly, anyone thinking about starting a company. Bill presents a thorough analysis of startup success and finds one dominant factor.  It’s not the idea.  It’s not the team.  It’s […]

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Create Calmness, Clarity, and Confidence – The Anti-FUD

by Hank Barnes  |  June 23, 2015

I can’t tell you how many times I hear sales reps and clients talk about the need to create FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) in their prospects’ minds.  Every time I hear this, I cringe a little.  Gee, I wonder why most buyers don’t trust providers?   Maybe the focus on FUD is a big […]

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The Trust Cycle – Are you Developing or Eroding Trust?

by Hank Barnes  |  June 16, 2015

In our recent survey of technology buyers one simple idea emerged from all the data points about content, interactions, and information sources.   Trust drives the buying process. Trust, or the lack thereof, causes buyers to: Spend much of there time talking to independent influencers, rather than the companies they are considering, Value sales interactions […]

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Exploring Growth with Emerging Tech Companies in Boston

by Hank Barnes  |  June 9, 2015

Later this week (June 11), I’m exited to be participating in an event in Boston that Gartner is holding for the local CEO community of emerging technology companies (3pm start).   This won’t be a “Gartner talks at you for hours” event.  Instead, we’ll have a mix of short Gartner presentations to frame some areas […]

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Future of IT Sales Forecast: Cloudy Today, Brighter Tomorrow

by Hank Barnes  |  June 2, 2015

Yesterday, I shared my original Future of IT Sales post on LinkedIn  (as a note, I share older posts on LinkedIn every Monday and Thursday) in celebration of the release of our fifth wave of research on the topic.  It generated some nice feedback, but there is more to the story.   As our research deepens […]

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Is the Opposite of Your Strategy Sensible (an homage to a great article)

by Hank Barnes  |  May 26, 2015

A few weeks ago, what may have been one of my favorite articles on strategy and competition appeared online in the Harvard Business Review.  It was called “The First Question to Ask of Any Strategy”  by Roger L. Martin.  The question is “Is the opposite strategy stupid?”  If the answer is yes, then your  strategy […]

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Think “Whole Product” when defining Digital Business Moments

by Hank Barnes  |  May 19, 2015

When Geoffrey Moore wrote Crossing the Chasm, it was an instant classic.  Not a week goes by where I don’t hear clients talking about we need to “cross the chasm” or we are “in the chasm.”  The insights from it form the basis for the positioning work that we do with clients at Gartner.   […]

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Be Thoughtful in Telling Customers Something They Do Not Know

by Hank Barnes  |  May 12, 2015

With the changes in the buying process and ability for potential customers to do a substantial amount of research on their own (as our research–and that of others–shows), a common mantra for those opportunities where you get to engage is to “tell them something they don’t know.” I understand the sentiment, but I always cringe a […]

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“It Depends” is Usually the Right Answer (It’s Situational)

by Hank Barnes  |  May 5, 2015

As an analyst and advisor, clients come to me (and other analysts and influencers–whether with Gartner or other organizations) looking for insight and advice.   In many cases, they are looking for an answer.  But often, the answer is “It Depends.”  And that, while possibly being viewed as wishy-washy, is usually a good answer. But […]

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Transparent Qualification Makes Buying (and Selling) Easier

by Hank Barnes  |  April 28, 2015

These past few weeks I’ve been speaking with many clients about their messaging and positioning (well, actually these last two+ years, ) and a particular thought has been emerging.   The idea of transparent qualification.   I’ll explain the term in a moment, but let me start with some context. A fundamental element of positioning, […]

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