Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes provides research and advisory services on go-to-market strategies for technology providers. His research efforts focus on understanding the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. He then applies that research to explore the implications on vendor strategies, supporting the efforts of product marketing, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and CEOs. Read Full Bio

Understanding Client Ambitions

by Hank Barnes  |  May 21, 2019

Do you understand your customer’s ambitions for the buying efforts and resulting projects that you are working with them on?   Are you sure? Ambitions are important.   They contribute to and reflect mindsets.   A positive mindset, supporting strong ambitions, are a critical component of success (as I blogged about recently–although my favorite team did hit a […]

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Great Customer Strategies Look to Behavior

by Hank Barnes  |  May 14, 2019

Focus is important to any successful strategy, particularly in terms of identifying segments and ideal customer profiles.   The phrase “we appeal to customers of all sizes” is, more often than not, a warning sign for a faulty strategy based on hope.   On the other hand, we also hear TSPs tell us that they are focused […]

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A Master Class on Leading Change (via the Coach and Captain of the Carolina Hurricanes)

by Hank Barnes  |  May 7, 2019

My favorite hockey team, the Carolina Hurricanes, just made it to the Eastern Conference finals, despite being one of the youngest (if not the youngest) teams with the lowest payroll in the league.    They aren’t done yet, but how they got there is a master class in leading change. embodying may of the ideas […]

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Dealing with Complexity Requires Coordinated Communications

by Hank Barnes  |  April 30, 2019

I thought this would be the first week in 6+ years that I did not publish a new post.   I’ve been dealing with a very complex situation in my immediate family that was occupying most of my time–both physical and mental. But, as things are turning around, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the experience […]

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Building Collective Confidence

by Hank Barnes  |  April 23, 2019

Our understanding of the complexities associated with technology buying continues to improve.  We know that buying is frequently done by diverse teams.  We know that, in many cases, many of those team members may never have been involved in a previous buying effort for the same type of “stuff.”   And, we know that market pressures […]

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New Research on Enterprise Buying Habits for Technology Coming Soon

by Hank Barnes  |  April 16, 2019

This post is a tease.  Let me get that out of the way first.  But, boy-o-boy, am I excited. At the beginning of this year, we kicked off our biggest survey of individuals involved in the buying process for enterprise technologies.  When were done, we’ll have perspectives from around 1500 respondents in mid-size, large, and […]

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The Story We Don’t Tell – But Should

by Hank Barnes  |  April 9, 2019

My last couple of posts have focused on the safe choice and the preference to “not be wrong” (which is often perceived as the safe choice).  As I continue to think about this and dive into some upcoming Gartner research on tech buying, something is becoming more and more apparent (or at least it is […]

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What Your Preference-Being Right or Not Being Wrong?

by Hank Barnes  |  April 2, 2019

A few weeks back, a post in my stream led me to an article called “The Power of Thought: How Critical Thinking Can Help Your Business” at the Knowledge@Wharton Web site.  The article is an interview with Gerald Zaltman, the author of an excellent book “Unlocked: Keys to Improve Your Thinking.” One of the topics […]

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The Never Ending Fight Against the “Safe Choice”

by Hank Barnes  |  March 26, 2019

It’s an uphill battle. Anytime you have a new idea or innovation that you want to bring to a company (whether it is internal or your are a vendor selling something to a customer), it is not easy. There are many forces you fighting against you.  The pull of the status quo is the most […]

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The Scientific Method and Selling

by Hank Barnes  |  March 19, 2019

In grade school, I remember learning the scientific method.  It is a formalized process for learning that has been around for centuries.  And, like anything that has stood the test of time, it offers a great approach that can still be used today. But not just for scientists–for anyone that wants to learn.  Including sales […]

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