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

Can You Target Too Much?

by Hank Barnes  |  October 18, 2016

I was very hesitant about the title of this blog.    I’m a big believer in having a very focused target market.  But, at the same time, I do believe that the quest for measurement may be causing marketers to target too much (particularly around advertising and other demand generation investments. Here is what I […]

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Master the Discovery Demo to Balance Prospect Demands with Your Needs

by Hank Barnes  |  October 11, 2016

Demonstrations continue to be at the top of the list of things that influence technology buyers.   And, as technology skills continue to expand across the workforce, buyers often want demos sooner rather than later.    For providers targeting SMB buyers using online channels, this is an accepted part of the strategy–they offer free trials, […]

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The Differentiation Two-Step

by Hank Barnes  |  October 4, 2016

When providers try to communicate differentiation (no matter how many times we advise against this), it is almost always a laundry list of items.   “Here are the five or ten things that make us special.”   That approach rarely works. But, I’ve come to realize that there is a time for detail and a […]

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In Enterprise Tech, Sell Broadly (Within An Account) Is The Only Answer

by Hank Barnes  |  September 27, 2016

A couple of questions we hear regularly from tech providers is “how can we sell to the business?” or “how can I make my message apply to the CxO?  We want to sell high.” While these are great questions, they could lead your sales teams astray.  Particularly, if they cause the sellers to think that one […]

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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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