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

Buyer Readiness Does Not Mean Buyer Knowledge

by Hank Barnes  |  September 25, 2018

We’ve talked about buyer readiness at Gartner for a long time.  Our feeling is that there are 4 stages of readiness (buying, shopping, aware, unaware) that you may encounter when engaging with a prospective customer (either marketing or sales).   A recent personal experience is serving as a good reminder that even advanced stages of readiness […]

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Fundamentals Rarely Change-Situations Do

by Hank Barnes  |  September 18, 2018

One of the best parts of the Influencer Day that my colleagues (in our Gartner for Sales Leaders and Gartner for Marketing leaders practices) hold is the more off the cuff discussions that flow around the event. For the last two years, I’ve gotten the opportunity to get to know Jill Konrath a little better.  […]

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Buying – A (Small) Piece of the Puzzle

by Hank Barnes  |  September 11, 2018

Recent discussions around the buying process, the sales process, and purchase regret have spurred a lot of discussion on whether we have our priorities straight.  Dave Brock talks about this a lot–and covered it very recently as a result of many of these same discussions.   The buy is often on a small piece in the […]

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Purchase Regret – The Bane of Land and Expand Strategies

by Hank Barnes  |  September 4, 2018

The (expanded) Gartner team has spent many years understanding the buying process in B2B environments.   Personally, I’ve focused heavily on B2B tech buying (and really the whole customer life cycle).   But there is one dimension to my colleagues research that I’ve not spent much time talking or writing about. Purchase Regret.     We consider purchase […]

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If Less is More, Why Does Everyone Clamor for More?

by Hank Barnes  |  August 28, 2018

Focus.    When things aren’t going well, it’s one of the first things that people bring up.  “We have to focus.” Quality beats Quantity.  We hear that too  (as long as the quantity is sufficient to meet objectives). And yet, all around us are examples where what we do differs from what we say. For […]

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Spot The Difference – The Reality of Most Differentiation Efforts

by Hank Barnes  |  August 21, 2018

Remember Squeeze, a great 80’s band that was renowned for their songwriting tandem, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook.  Well, in 2010, they released a new album titled, Spot the Difference.  It was re-recordings of classic Squeeze songs with a small difference.  Part of the reason for doing this was so the band could “own a […]

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“Next” Practice for Building Customer Interest and Trust

by Hank Barnes  |  August 14, 2018

I am not a fan of most “best practices” as they generally reflect ideas that “everyone is doing.”  As a result, they are great for becoming more efficient, but they often don’t help you stand out.  But “next practices” are things that not everyone does.  They could help you stand apart from alternatives.  I was […]

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Things I’d Like To See Go Away – Desperate Unsubscribe Pages

by Hank Barnes  |  August 7, 2018

Warning: I’m venting.   My mother is getting older and I’ve been helping her out quite a bit lately.   One of the things I wanted to do is make it easier for her to manage her e-mail, to find messages that are important. Easier said than done. Her e-mail box was loaded with messages from politicians, […]

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Story Centered Marketing – A New Approach to Marketing Strategy?

by Hank Barnes  |  July 31, 2018

It’s not hard to recognize that I’m a big fan of storytelling.  It’s the focus of many of my posts and it dominates my client interactions.  But, a recent conversation gave me a fresh perspective and idea that I think it worthy of some consideration–particularly for tech vendors with a decent size marketing budget. A […]

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Things I’d Like to See Go Away – CX Washing

by Hank Barnes  |  July 24, 2018

It has been a little while since my last post in this series, but a diginomica “discussion extract” article from a discussion between Jon Reed and Esteban Kolsky triggered another idea. Let’s turn our sights toward customer experience.    As the idea has moved to the forefront of company initiatives (and imperatives), naturally, the vendor […]

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