Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
5+ years at Gartner
30 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 customer life cycle, and customer experience. Read Full Bio

Critical Selling Skill – Learning (and Sharing) How Customers Buy

by Hank Barnes  |  April 17, 2018

In today’s B2B technology selling environment, there is a critical selling skill that can make the difference between success and failure.  While it’s easy to focus on why customers buy, in the face of increased competition it may be more important to understand how customers buy. Competition, as I’ve discussed in the past, comes in […]

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Things I’d Like to See Go Away – The Logo Slide

by Hank Barnes  |  April 10, 2018

I’m going to start a new set of blog posts focused on things that I would like to see disappear–or at least disappear in certain contexts.   I’m not sure how long this series will go, but I’ve got a few ideas and welcome suggestions from readers. First on the list – The Logo Slide (as […]

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The Disappearing Opportunity

by Hank Barnes  |  April 3, 2018

Recently, I shared some of the early findings from Gartner’s most recent survey on technology buying habits, discussing how (for our respondents) 43% of the software buying efforts they explored were ad hoc–not part of any established plans.   In recently published research (Gartner clients can access here), we explore the topic in much greater detail.  […]

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The Risk of the “Risk Bias”

by Hank Barnes  |  March 27, 2018

“No one ever got fired for buying IBM” is a phrase we’ve all heard.  Today, that might change to a variety of other leading vendors.   It’s often the legitimate reason that newer vendors bring up when talking about their growth challenges.  Effectively many organizations have a risk bias when it comes to projects—-they prefer the […]

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Mindset Driven Dissonance

by Hank Barnes  |  March 20, 2018

While digital business is changing markets, many organizations still struggle with change.  They know they have to, but the can’t seem to do it.  We all know that change is hard, but why can’t it happen when everyone knows it needs to happen.   Here are a few observations: A desire for innovative new technologies, but […]

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What I Look For When Reviewing Web Sites

by Hank Barnes  |  March 13, 2018

A frequent inquiry request for Gartner clients is a Web site review.  This is a great idea since technology buyers tell us that they view vendor Web sites as vendor marketing activity that is most likely to get their attention.  Everyone expects you to have a Web site and that is where they go to learn […]

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Sharing the Value of Repetition

by Hank Barnes  |  March 6, 2018

I spend a lot of time helping clients tell their stories more effectively.   It’s pretty common for me to hear, “You are pretty good at this” (but I know I’m not perfect and can always get better).  Then they ask how.  My answer is “repetition.”  When you practice a skill over and over again, you […]

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The Quest for Agility Changes Buying Approaches

by Hank Barnes  |  February 27, 2018

As organizations look to become more agile, we are seeing changing in buying approaches–but all is not well.   In a recent Gartner survey, we discovered that our 506 respondents (in mid-sized enterprises or larger) had considered over 8000 significant software purchases (25K+ or 50K+ depending on organization size) in the past two years.   Most importantly, […]

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The Strongest Differentiator – A Different Point of View

by Hank Barnes  |  February 20, 2018

When looking for differentiation, I continue to see clients looking at their product features or service capabilities as their primary source of differentiation.   While in some cases, product can be a differentiator, that is seldom sustainable–as features always seem to get copied.  Similarly, service capabilities often come across as claims that everyone makes. But what […]

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Storytelling Mistake-Pulling Threads

by Hank Barnes  |  February 13, 2018

As B2B marketers embrace storytelling, I’m seeing an improvement in content quality and usefulness. They are embracing the idea of starting their stories with their customers’ situation rather than themselves.     The approach brings people in and lays the groundwork to reveal how specific products and services can help the customers get to a better […]

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