Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
Research Vice President
3+ 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

94% = Enterprise Buying Teams That Have Abandoned a Buying Effort With No Decision (in the past 2 years)

by Hank Barnes  |  September 20, 2016

The bold headline comes from our most recent Gartner survey into Enterprise Buying Dynamics.   We run this survey approximately every 18 months to understand what influences enterprise technology buyers and how they approach these buying efforts. Let me be clear, this is not saying that 94% of the projects that B2B buying teams consider […]

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The One Thing

by Hank Barnes  |  September 13, 2016

I can’t count the number of times that I talk to tech providers and they tell me, “When we get to meet with the customer and present our product, we win.  Our problem is getting the meeting.”    It almost feels like a default, required answer for every CEO.   There is a big problem […]

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Best Kept Secrets (including some of Gartner’s) – Good or Bad?

by Hank Barnes  |  September 6, 2016

When you hear something is a best kept secret, what do you think?  Does your opinion change if it is coming from a friend?  What about if it comes from a technology provider, describing themselves?  I’ll admit, I once used that line to describe a company that I worked for.   And it was effective […]

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Dealing with the “happy customers won’t do case studies” problem

by Hank Barnes  |  August 30, 2016

I’m not a big fan of definitives (although I sometimes, probably too often, use them), but I do feel confident that every technology marketer has experienced the problem of happy customers not being willing to do a case study (or promote their use in some other way).  Usually this is done with the “our corporate policy prohibits […]

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Hype Cycle Reminders For Tech Providers

by Hank Barnes  |  August 23, 2016

It is hype cycle season here at Gartner, with updated and new hype cycles having been recently published or on their way.   Whenever new hype cycles are published, there tends to be a lot of focus on where things are on the graph and what, if anything is missing.   A key thing to […]

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How Hard Do You Make The Enterprise Buying Decision?

by Hank Barnes  |  August 16, 2016

It seems so obvious and like such a great opportunity.   A Tech Provider uncovers at issues they see in a number of accounts and decides to create a product or service to address those issues, enabling a more efficient and/or effective way of working.  But then they struggle to gain traction, despite the obvious (at least to them) […]

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Establish Your Market Context with a Strong ViewPoint

by Hank Barnes  |  August 9, 2016

When you write and talk about a topic a lot, you often find like minded people.   Through the work I’ve done around positioning, messaging, and storytelling, I’ve had several interactions with Ken Rutsky.   Through those exchanges, it is clear that we have similar views on many things (and enough uniqueness in our opinions […]

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Understanding Your Customer’s Perspective – Think “Whole Context”

by Hank Barnes  |  August 2, 2016

It is important to remember that each of our world views is skewed by our own perspective.   In marketing and sales, this can lead to a distorted sense of the reality of our customers. That distorted reality leads  to all sorts of issues: Misaligned expectations:  We forecast a deal when the customer is not even […]

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Forget Scripts, Adopt Situational Messaging

by Hank Barnes  |  July 26, 2016

A standard component of most sales training programs, call blitzes, and campaigns is “the script.”   The goal is to get everyone on the same page and communicating the same things.   And, while it makes sense conceptually, I believe it won’t work for most buying situations for one simple reason.   Every customer is […]

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Brainstorming on Branding

by Hank Barnes  |  July 19, 2016

I don’t profess to be a branding expert.   Branding is one of those words that means a lot of different things to different people. But branding goes hand in hand with messaging, particularly as it relates to brand promise.    So I thought I shared some thoughts on branding from my perspective. What does […]

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