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 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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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.”    […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

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 […]

Read more »

The Issues with “Drop In” Decision Makers

by Hank Barnes  |  July 23, 2019

In a recent post, I shared some of our finding regarding the composition of buying teams with regard to active vs. occasional participation.  That got a few of us thinking and we decided to dig a little bit deeper into one aspect of this, one “team role”–the decision makers.  We wanted to see if the […]

Read more »

The Absence of Context

by Hank Barnes  |  July 16, 2019

Context is critical–to pretty much everything.  But too often, context is either assumed or not established.  Examples of this can be seen daily: Blog posts touting essential customer experience strategies –without establishing clarity of whether this is for consumers or B2B situations (and if you are going to tell me “its all the same now,” […]

Read more »

Occasional Buying Team Participants – Added Value or Added Complexity

by Hank Barnes  |  July 9, 2019

Beyond having a diverse range of groups and perspectives as part of technology buying teams, there also are diverse levels of participation.  In our most recent study, we discovered that there are a similar number of “occasional” participants in relation to active participants in buying teams (with a noted exception that as the spend increases, […]

Read more »