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

The Scale Excuse

by Hank Barnes  |  October 29, 2019

I’m sick of the word scale and would be ecstatic to not hear it again for the remainder of the year (and maybe longer).  Why?  Because in most cases, it comes across as an excuse. Yes, the ability to scale is important, but here is what I hear when scale comes into many of my […]

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The Rebirth of Enterprise Sales

by Hank Barnes  |  October 22, 2019

It seems that the death of enterprise sales teams has been greatly exaggerated.  Often these broad claims were accompanied, once you dug deeper, with added context–such as in commodity sales situations, but overall the largely held perspective was that customers are in control with ready access to information and advice.  This made sellers seem like […]

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The Vendor Conflict Between Closure and Continuous

by Hank Barnes  |  October 15, 2019

Closure. Closing the deal.  Completing a phase.  These are all things that organizations look for.  Many processes at vendors are all about closure.   The MQL hand-off.  The sales to customer success hand-off.    We cling to the idea of clear phases and beginnings and ends.  The funnel as a metaphor is about closure of “phases.” […]

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The Absolute Truths of Technology Marketing

by Hank Barnes  |  October 8, 2019

As marketers seek to contribute to company growth, they often look for truths–what are the things that we absolutely have to do.  In the past, I’ve had a few things at the top of my list to suggest: Clear Positioning and Use of Stories Ideal Customer Profiles Advocacy Marketing But the more I learn and […]

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Overstepping Your Value

by Hank Barnes  |  October 1, 2019

In tech, there is a constant stream of trends, big ideas and buzzwords that drive interest and, in some cases, waves of growth.   It is easy to tell when it is happening—when  many vendors adopt it.   We now see “marketing clouds” and “sales clouds” everywhere.   A few years back everything was Big Data. On the […]

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Making Validation Easier

by Hank Barnes  |  September 24, 2019

A key buying job is validation.    Once a buying team discovers information of value; they need to confirm that that information is accurate.   Validation can happen in many ways: through a trial or POC, by seeking the opinions of independent 3rd parties, through reviews and articles, through deeper vendor content, or from peers. But […]

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Doing What’s Expected vs. What is Needed

by Hank Barnes  |  September 17, 2019

As businesses grow, role definitions often become more rigid.    And management usually follows suit.   New employees join the company and learn their role, with very well defined views of what is expected.  Some of these expectations are useful and valuable, but many run the risk of veering into “stuff you have to do, don’t […]

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Vendors, Behave Like You Are Part of the Buying Team

by Hank Barnes  |  September 10, 2019

As we’ve continued to explore how enterprises make buying decisions, we’ve discovered that the biggest challenges often exist within the buying team.  Fundamentally, for all we talk about buying processes, many organizations don’t really have one.  Or at least one they execute consistently.  Instead, it is a mix of practices, politics, and “gut feel.”    […]

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Revisiting Thoughts on FUD (It’s Time for a New Approach)

by Hank Barnes  |  September 3, 2019

Four years ago, I wrote a post suggesting that sales and marketing teams abolish the practice (and mindset) of using FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) as a core part of competitive selling.   At the time, it was an idea based on our research on trust and the buying process.  My perspective was that when we […]

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The Cost of No Decisions May Be Greater Than We Think

by Hank Barnes  |  July 30, 2019

Four years ago, I wrote a post about the idea that when a buying team decides to do nothing, everybody loses.  It still feels valid today.  But, as we continue to study technology buying efforts, the “cost” of a no decision may be even greater than we think. As we continued to dive deeper and […]

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