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

Where to Start – Positioning and a Story

by Hank Barnes  |  August 25, 2015

I often speak to clients looking for help addressing the sales and marketing challenges they are facing.   They all understand there is no secret weapon–no single thing–that  will make everything magically better, but are looking for where to focus for biggest impact. My answer rarely changes. It is not inbound marketing. Or content marketing. […]

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The Language of Marketing v. Sales

by Hank Barnes  |  August 18, 2015

This week, I was briefed by an interesting company that has a solution that I should have loved.   They help businesses identify and prioritize segments for B2B Marketing and Sales.  I love segmentation and there was a lot to like about their approach.  They allow analysis of segments by a huge number of parameters. […]

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Getting Lost on the Customer Journey

by Hank Barnes  |  August 11, 2015

I’m a big believer, as most of you know, in Customer Experience.  But I have to admit that I struggle to fully understand Customer Journey Mapping.  This jumped to the front of my mind after reading a great post from Esteban Kolsky on the topic.  Esteban captured many of my concerns with journey mapping in his post. […]

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Considerations for Content Licensing

by Hank Barnes  |  August 4, 2015

Our research at Gartner shows that technology buyers are looking beyond providers for information they can trust.   Buyers place high value on 3rd party content from trusted sources, particularly expert reviews and analyst reports (any credible analyst, not just Gartner)–the top two types of influencer materials cited in recent research.     Therefore, we […]

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What is the Enterprise Personality of your Customer?

by Hank Barnes  |  July 28, 2015

Ever experienced a situation where everything felt right in a deal? The buying team, led by a champion in the business, seemed convinced.  You had developed, with them, a strong business case for change.  The only question seemed to be how soon would the deal close. And then nothing happens.  Your champion stops returning calls. […]

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Mission, Values and Trust

by Hank Barnes  |  July 21, 2015

I’ve never been a big fan of mission statements and list of organizational values.   I don’t hate them or think  they are useless.   But I view most of them with skepticism and find that they just aren’t that strong and value creating. But my perspective is changing.  And it is primarily driven by […]

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For Prospecting, Put in the Effort, or Don’t Bother

by Hank Barnes  |  July 14, 2015

Recently, Dave Brock published an excellent post about the negative impact the measuring activities can have on business performance.  It is the outcomes that matter.   Does it matter if you make 50 calls (activities) if they were made to prospects that don’t fit your ideal customer profile?   Or if none of those were […]

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Your Brand is Your Trust Foundation

by Hank Barnes  |  July 7, 2015

In the trust cycle, we’ve established that your brand perception is the basis for how buyers view you, in advance of actually getting to know you.  For new providers, this fact drives me to believe that investments in establishing a strong, positive brand impression should outweigh lead generation programs.  Of course, that means you have […]

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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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