Gartner Blog Network

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

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

Word, Slide, and Second Counts Increase Your Appeal to the Mediocre

by Hank Barnes  |  September 22, 2020

Last Friday, I found a post on LinkedIn from Dale Gibbons that warmed my soul – In it he talks about the obsession with “counts.”  Whether that be second counts for a video, slide counts for a presentation, or word counts for a document.   How often have you had someone comment on the length […]

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Checklists : Critical “Confidence” Content

by Hank Barnes  |  September 15, 2020

My last couple of posts have focused quite a bit on mindsets and attitudes.    The backstory behind both of these, and really the challenges in B2B Buying and Selling , is confidence.    The majority of organizations are not confident in their ability to make a good technology buying decision.   This could be due […]

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The Pessimism Problem

by Hank Barnes  |  September 8, 2020

Last week, I discussed how an organization’s POV on technology (Strategic or Supportive) is a big indicator of both satisfaction and success (with technology).   This week we’ll look at things from a slightly different view, pessimism. Late last year (pre-COVID obviously) we were fielding a survey focused on customer experience and subscription renewal decisions.   The […]

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Organizational Mindset Towards Technology – The #1 Predictor of Success and CX

by Hank Barnes  |  September 1, 2020

Hello, yeah, it’s been a while. It’s been an interesting year for all of us and I’ve had my own set of craziness.  The end result was I dropped off the face of the blogging earth back at the end of December.   We’ll it is time to get those blogging shoes back on.   I’ve been […]

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The Golden Triangle of Great B2B Context

by Hank Barnes  |  December 17, 2019

As the year comes to an end, I figured it was time to revisit old favorite topics.   Even as I approach 7 years at Gartner–7 years of working with clients on issues related to differentiation and storytelling–I still see the same pattern of mistakes being repeated.   The central problem:  an uncontrollable belief that the most […]

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What Matters Least to Line-of-Business Buyers

by Hank Barnes  |  December 10, 2019

A few weeks ago, I shared some data in a post on a different take on differentiation.  That data reflected the most important criteria for evaluating technology providers for line-of-business buyers. Then late last week, i was checking things out in my twitter feed when I saw this from Maureen Blandford (link to the conversation […]

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A (Possible) New Way of Categorizing Enterprise Technology Purchases

by Hank Barnes  |  December 3, 2019

In our studies of enterprise technology buying behaviors, we often focus broadly, looking at team-based buying in general, or by focusing on specific categories (e.g. application software or security) that too are broad.  We’ve done this largely because we see the team dynamics playing the biggest factor.   Even when we look at objectives, such as […]

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Coordination Complexities of Larger Enterprise Deals

by Hank Barnes  |  November 26, 2019

It is hard to argue with the idea that a bigger deal is better for technology vendors.   Of course, there are some situations where I might disagree (one of my startups closed the biggest deal in our history and it caused us to lose focus on our ideal customers, changed our competitive mix (where our […]

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The C-Level Mythology

by Hank Barnes  |  November 19, 2019

Last week, I joined in a bit of a twitter dialog with Frank Scavo, when he shared this: The whole dialog can be found here.   I jumped in because I hate the word alignment.  Can’t stand it.   From where I sit, enterprises use it to pretend that groups are cooperating across silos.   What I’ve experienced […]

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A Different Perspective on Differentiation

by Hank Barnes  |  November 12, 2019

I write and talk about differentiation a lot.  And our vendor clients are constantly looking for help in uncovering and communicating differentiation.  Its very much focused on what makes them special and different than specific alternatives.   Differentiation is critical for success. But recently, I saw some data that provided another perspective.  My colleague, Derry Finkeldey,  led […]

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