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

What’s Your Brand’s Unifying Theme?

by Hank Barnes  |  November 24, 2015

Lately, I’ve spent quite a bit of time with some of the largest providers in the tech industry.   For them, messaging and positioning challenges are different.   They have a number of different product lines.   They have products in many different levels of maturity.  They often have a complex branding challenge due to […]

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Gartner Peer Insights – A New Source for Insights for Tech Buyers

by Hank Barnes  |  November 17, 2015

A consistent theme that we remind our tech provider clients of is that buyers look to others–peers and influencers—to help with their buying process  (remember that 68% of their technology buying process is spent in activities that don’t directly involve the provider).  In our research on influencers, peer reviews continues to be one of the […]

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Applying Buying Situations to Marketing Objectives

by Hank Barnes  |  November 10, 2015

As regular readers know, our Future of IT Sales special report was just updated and a big theme for us going forward is using Buyers’ Situations to guide sales and marketing approaches.  Taking the ideas even further and focusing on marketing got me thinking this week. I was talking with my colleague Todd Berkowitz about […]

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Graceful Interruptions are Key to Marketing and Sales Success

by Hank Barnes  |  November 3, 2015

A couple of weeks back, I read Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount.   Given that I am not a sales rep, I found some of the motivational portions of the book less engaging (for me), but the heart of the book is outstanding.  I highly recommend it for anyone in a sales or marketing role. […]

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Situational Awareness is Key to Tech Sales Success

by Hank Barnes  |  October 27, 2015

As Gartner continues to explore The Future of IT Sales, one thing became has become increasingly clear.   Continued focus on methodology du jours (Challenger Selling, Social Selling, Value Selling, Power Selling, etc.) is missing the point.   Continued focus on sales processes that seek to give management a better view of activity, progress and […]

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions – Do Best Practices Help?

by Hank Barnes  |  October 20, 2015

Everyday we as individuals, and the companies we work in have to make decisions.  It is a fundamental part of our existence.   But are we really good at it?   As I look back at my life, I’ve made some very good decisions and some bad ones.  I suspect we all have.  And the […]

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What Do You Do — For Your Customers?

by Hank Barnes  |  October 13, 2015

I just got back from Gartner’s U.S. Symposium in Orlando.  Over the course of 4 1/2 days, I must have spoken to 50-60 tech providers.  At events like this one, the question of the day seems to be “What do you do?”  (WDYD)  I’m tired of that question–at least from a provider perspective.   It […]

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Buyers are More Prepared – Are You?

by Hank Barnes  |  October 6, 2015

There are two important facts that every B2B technology sales and marketing organization needs to embrace: Buyer preparedness – Whether you subscribe the some of the numbers on “percent of buying process complete before contacting sales” or not, what is definitely the case is that it is rarely ZERO (0%).  Buyers are more prepared than ever […]

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Wanna Be An Analyst – Why I Love My Job?

by Hank Barnes  |  September 29, 2015

I love my job.   It is both the most challenging and rewarding position I’ve ever held.    I wouldn’t trade it for the world and hope to be doing “the same thing” until I can’t work anymore (I can’t imagine ever retiring from something this fun–but every day is different, hence why “same thing” is […]

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Forget B2P – in B2B, it’s about B2T(eam)

by Hank Barnes  |  September 22, 2015

Forgive me for the acronym loaded title, but it seemed appropriate.   The combination of the growing recognition of the importance of customer experience and the digitalization of our entire lives has driven many to make statements like “there is no B2C or B2B, it is all B2P (erson) now.”   I think this is hogwash. […]

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