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

The Impact of a Failure to Differentiate

by Hank Barnes  |  February 2, 2016

We recently processed the results of an update to our differentiation research from a few years back.  We’ve published research on that for Gartner clients (Tech Go-to-Market: Differentiation Challenges Continue to Plague Tech Providers – Paywall) in January, but I wanted to share some of the findings through this blog. At a high level, the results […]

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From Account Based Marketing to Account Based Value Creation

by Hank Barnes  |  January 26, 2016

Words and phrases sometimes bug me. Not all words (when I worked at IBM, there was a guy there who would say “every single word on a slide or document matters.”   That was a little crazy.  People skim more than read.  I think it was a desire by him to justify his existence. But some […]

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It is Time to Eliminate Hand-Offs in B2B Customer Management

by Hank Barnes  |  January 19, 2016

Last week, I wrote about the idea of needing to rethink “When We Win” in B2B tech sales.   If customer success is critical to your business growth, then focusing the energy and excitement on new customer acquisition is short sighted.    To change, a number of subtle, but important shifts need to occur.   […]

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When Do We Win (in Technology Sales)

by Hank Barnes  |  January 12, 2016

Over the holidays, I had a great conversation with Dave Brock.    It was a far ranging discussion flowing from customer journeys, to bad social selling practices, to situational selling, and more.   But one of the discussion areas really stuck with me. What should be the focused goal of sales?  While revenue is the […]

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The Skeptic Test – A Key Step to Messaging Improvement

by Hank Barnes  |  January 5, 2016

How do your messages work when viewed with a skeptical eye?   Have you ever tested them in that regard? If you haven’t, it is time to start. We all want to be viewed in a positive light, so provider’s use terms like “leading provider”, “best”, “most”, “only” and other superlatives to try to stand out. […]

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The problem with value propositions

by Hank Barnes  |  December 29, 2015

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of clients come to me very focused on their value proposition.    And I get it.  Having a good value proposition is important.   It’s kinda obvious–if you can’t offer value, then why would anyone become a customer?   But I still believe stories are more important.    And the foundation […]

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Using an “If This, Then That” Approach to Grow Customer Value (IVTMV)

by Hank Barnes  |  December 22, 2015

One of the most interesting Web services that has emerged in the recent memory is IFTTT.com.   IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That” and is designed to accelerate “personal workflows” (this is my interpretation of it).  You can use their service to create a simple way to do a repeatable task or to do […]

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Situational Sales Management

by Hank Barnes  |  December 15, 2015

Let me start this post with a disclaimer.  I am not, and have never been, a sales manager.  And I don’t claim to be an expert on sales management.   But I’ve seen sales managers in action and a wide range of behaviors and tactics.  Some are great coaches.  I think that is important.  Others are […]

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Influence Scales. Control Does Not.

by Hank Barnes  |  December 8, 2015

One of my favorite soundbites from the Gartner Symposium Keynote was “Influence Scales. Control Does Not.”   Peter Sondergaard made the statement as a rallying cry to CIOs to not feel threatened by IT spending shifting out of IT into the business.   Rather than worrying about controlling IT spend, use influence to make sure […]

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Looking for Tech Company Stories Again – Advocacy and Community for Retention and Growth

by Hank Barnes  |  December 1, 2015

Last year at this time, I reached out to all of you, asking to hear the stories of the impact Advocacy Marketing programs have had for tech providers.  That drove one of my research notes this year, Tech Go-to-Market Best Practice: Advocacy Marketing Delivers Value for Tech Providers (Gartner Subscription Required), and a couple of blog […]

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