Gartner Blog Network

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
4+ years at Gartner
29 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

The High Cost of Buying Complexity

by Hank Barnes  |  October 24, 2017

Last week, I attended the CEB Sales and Marketing Summit.  This was my first chance to see my new colleagues in action, with clients.   The event was excellent, with a great spirit of collaboration that develops based on the model of leadership councils.   I will  be sharing some of my thoughts from the event in […]

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Setting Strategies – Where to Focus

by Hank Barnes  |  October 17, 2017

As tech providers define and refine their strategies, there are a wide variety of factors to consider.   These include (among others) market factors, competition, customers, and their own capabilities.    There are no black and white answers.   Pretty much every decision is impacted by a wide variety of controllable and uncontrollable items. That […]

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The Elements of Disruption

by Hank Barnes  |  October 10, 2017

Last week, I did a presentation at the Gartner Symposium and IT Expo on “Lessons Learned from the Digital Giants.”   Much of the content for the presentation came from research that a team of analysts at Gartner have developed around disruption.  Out of that work emerged a key idea that really hit home for me, […]

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Scenarios – The Missing Link in Simplifying B2B Buying and Selling?

by Hank Barnes  |  October 3, 2017

There is no doubt about it.  The world of B2B technology is getting more complex.   And that is making both buying and selling in this environment more challenging.  My colleagues from CEB (now Gartner), Nick Toman and Brent Adamson, talk about this all the time and have written books on the subject.  Others, like […]

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Letting Your Customers Tell Your Story

by Hank Barnes  |  September 26, 2017

Last year, I shared an example from HPE, where they had turned to their advocates to develop content reflecting best practices in ITSM.   I loved the concept as it reflected actual practitioners discussing best practices rather than a vendor.  When vendors tout best practices, many view them with skepticism, feeling these might be best […]

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Art of Possible vs. Proven Paths to Success

by Hank Barnes  |  September 19, 2017

Following my recent blog on hype cycles, I’m worried about the continued hype around “The Art of the Possible.”   The term seems to be growing in popularity over the last 10 years, with many vendors focusing on this as part of their sales discussions with customer.  Gartner is in the game too. For example, […]

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The Many Uses of Product Reviews

by Hank Barnes  |  September 12, 2017

As I’ve discussed before, technology buyers are increasingly relying on user reviews as a key part of their buying process.  There are now a wide array of review sites like G2Crowd and IT Central Station, or Gartner owned sites like Gartner Peer Insights, Software Advice, Capterra, and GetApp.  There are probably more sites and this […]

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Develop the Full Story–Then Shorten It

by Hank Barnes  |  September 5, 2017

Frequently during discussions with clients, I hear a desire for “a catchy, short one-liner to describe us.”   Whether you call this a tag line or a USP or something else, the quest for brevity is a regular occurrence.   And there is nothing wrong with that.   Customers are overwhelmed with information and have […]

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The Potential Impact of GlassDoor on Sales and Marketing Efforts

by Hank Barnes  |  August 29, 2017

We’ve all heard the advice to periodically “Google Yourself.”   But now, it is becoming increasingly important for you to Google your company on a regular basis.   If you are responsible for search engine optimization, you may be doing it anyway.   But, I’d advise anyone who works with customers and prospects to do […]

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Digital Disruption Demands Demystification (Hype Cycle Season)

by Hank Barnes  |  August 22, 2017

Okay, okay, my title is alliteratively overwhelming, but at a time when seemingly every article talks about disruption, it is important to separate hype from reality.   Gartner Hype Cycles are designed to help the technology buyer do just that (and, by extension, help the technology provider community adapt their approaches to market realities). We […]

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