NextAdvisor Stewart Townsend: Break Down Your Big Goals Into Smaller Achievable Tasks

Stewart's dream mentor is Peter DruckerStewart Townsend is one of the NextAdvisors signed up to advise our community in our Business Advice Programme.

Stewart has spent twelve years in Pre-sales, Partner Relations, Marketing and Business Development in the IT industry.

Recently he developed the channel partner programme for DataSift, a $30m funded startup based in Reading, which will accelerate their revenue growth.

As of January 2013 he joined the EMEA management team at Zendesk in a senior role as Business Development Director to build out a channel plan across Europe to increase and accelerate revenue.

His role at Oracle to develop a lead generating social media strategy for Enterprise 2.0 gave Stewart a deep understanding of the corporate account base, whilst for the previous nine years at Sun Microsystems, Stewart has worked with independent software vendors, channel partners and small businesses/startups and so he has a deep understanding of corporate and small business processes and requirements.

Stewart is ready to start advising you on your business. For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here

His appointment as EMEA Manager for the Emerging Business Team at Sun Microsystems focused on developing and executing a EMEA strategy to support start-ups and early stage companies, working with the investor community, startup community, entrepreneurship groups, government and Academia.

Stewart has negotiated alliances with key partners such as Bebo, MySpace and NTT Europe to help enable expansion and support of the programme on a global scale, outside of his EMEA remit.

He is a regular speaker and ambassador at key industry events in Europe on the subject of entrepreneurship, innovation, growing sales in/out of region and using social media as a sales enabler.

Outside corporate land, Stewart is a social entrepreneur and runs with The Alternative School an education provider focused on delivering education in a more holistic manner, is a mentor to The NextWomen community, and on advisory boards for Media140 and WhiteBull.

Stewart holds one of the first MA Social Media to be awarded in the UK and is recognised as an advisor on the strategic and business benefits of a fully integrated social media plan. Stewart is known for his global events and lead generation, one of the largest is Big Data Week, which incorporates 27 countries, 100 cities and 25000+ attendees.

TNW: Tell us about your current role/venture. What’s at the top of your mind with regard to your business?

ST: At present I'm Business Development director at Zendesk. My role is to build a structured channel program in EMEA to deliver revenue back to the business. 

The element that is always top of my mind is keeping customers satisfied; they should always feel it has been a pleasure, and this should be core to anyone running a business unit.

TNW: Which business topics are you most interested in providing advice on?

ST: My passion is developing channels to develop revenue streams through out-of-the-box thinking, sales growth and social selling as a tool to enable revenue growth outside of the standard marketing funnel.

TNW: How should a NextAdvisee approach their relationship with you, to get the best out of you?

ST: Harrass me, call me and nudge me! I'm not ignorant, just busy and thus chasing me down for that meeting or call is the best way to get time with me. In terms of education and knowledge, I'll slam dunk information in large chunks, mainly through images or drawings, which is hard to do over a call as I'm a visual person.

TNW: What do you see as the benefits of an advice relationship, for the advisor?

ST: Gaining more knowledge about what's happening out there in the world, outside of my sector or interests and keeping me abreast of the latest trends.

TNW: Which business matters have you most needed advice on during your career?

ST: Politics inside organisations. I've never wanted to go down that route, but sometimes you have to.

TNW: What is the most useful lesson you have learned from a mentor?


Be patient and keep calm. No one person drives a company to success, so work as a team or unit all the time.

TNW: Who would be your dream mentor in a fantasy world (they can be living or a historical figure)?

ST: Peter Drucker - a strategic thinker who made concepts simple to understand.

TNW: Is there anything we haven’t asked you, but you would like to share with our community?

ST: For any challenge, break it down into manageable achievable chunks. Advising a small business recently, who had to sell 2000 tickets for an event and had no plan or aims, we broke it down into the number of tickets to be sold per working day and then the tasks required in order to achieve this. Within 2 days, we started to see targets being hit and achievements that were contributing to the goal. 

Don't be daunted by a large target or challenge; once its broken into smaller goals, then anything is reachable.

Stewart is ready to start advising you on your business. For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here

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