Typical 24: Doug Barnes, Twilio

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days…

[image_library_tag 8f87f5a8-d3c1-4f33-a9ff-8d0b8f68262c 200x223 alt="03-04-2017-doug-barnes-twilio" title="03-04-2017-doug-barnes-twilio - " width="200" height="223"class="left "]Name: Doug Barnes

Job title: Sales Director, EMEA

Company: Twilio

Location: London, UK

Years’ experience: 14 years. Four with Twilio, with the last two in the UK (I’m originally from the US)


  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    Between 0730 and 0800.
  2. Is your job varied?
    In a typical day, I might be meeting with Twilio customers like ING, Just Eat or Deliveroo, having conversations with new prospects, hosting 1:1 trainings with my colleagues, recruiting for open roles in London, Dublin and Germany or working with my business partners on the marketing, product, support or engineering teams at Twilio. Every day is unique when you’re working for a company growing as fast as Twilio.
  3. Is your job creative?
    Twilio is a software development platform so our team constantly has to be creative to figure out the right approach for each business we work with. It’s a very different process than if we were selling a pre-packaged solution because every business uses Twilio in a different way.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    Working with customers and prospects to get the most out of Twilio, and supporting my team’s career progression through direct training and deal coaching.
  5. Do you personalise your desk?
    Not really. We do however name all our conference rooms in the Twilio office after London landmarks -- Seven Dials being my favourite since it’s a great place to wander with a camera.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    It’s definitely an area I focus on at work and in my personal life. I’ve recently taken up photography and spend a lot of time taking pictures of all the amazing places in Europe I travel to for work. We’ve also started a tradition at the Twilio office where we pick a “theme” and then get a group together to go take pictures of the chosen subject. We’ve photographed street art, old markets and next up we’re headed to some traditional London landmarks like Brick Lane and Soho. These field trips typically end with an evening at a local pub so it’s been a great creative and social outlet for the team here in London. 
  7. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    My role is very collaborative so I’m almost always working with another team member. I work most often with Solutions Architects, Technical Account Managers, and Product Managers to figure out the best ways to help our customers.
  8. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    10 to 11 hours per day.
  9. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    Email – too much. Taking calls – never enough.  In meetings – as little as possible.
  10. Do you use social media much for work?
    A little bit of LinkedIn and occasionally Twitter. I have a few colleagues who use LinkedIn really effectively; I’m trying to focus on sharing more quality content with my network.
  11. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    I really enjoy seeing a prospective customer reach that ‘aha!’’ moment -- when everything clicks into place for them as to how Twilio can help them achieve their goals. The process of establishing a long-term relationship and seeing their hard work come to fruition – whether it be better conversion rate, lower cost, more efficiency, etc. – is really rewarding.
  12. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    It varies – at Twilio London, we like to rotate who has control of Spotify. If it’s me, it’s usually something upbeat that encourages an impromptu sing-a-long! Billy Joel for example. My go to is really any upbeat 80s playlist.
  13. What do you do for lunch?
    Usually grab a quick bite with colleagues away from screens. Our office is smack dab between Shoreditch and the city so some of our favorite spots are Broadgate Circle, the market at Whitecross Lane and Singer Tavern.
  14. Do you socialise with work colleagues?
    As an expat, my social network and work network are very intertwined. I’m fortunate that our team at Twilio is made up of really interesting, smart people that happen to enjoy the same pubs as I do!
  15. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    I’m always happy to get rid of repetitive, manual reporting tasks - whether that’s expenses or quarter end financials. Twilio does a good job of investing in internal sales productivity tools to help with this.
  16. What is your last task of your day?
    Review the next day’s diary and make sure I have everything I need. If I have in person meetings, I like to make sure the presentation and materials are ready to go the day before. If I’m chatting with a new customer, I’ll check to make sure I’ve done my research so that I’m prepared for the conversation.
  17. How do you like to relax after work?
    I like to have a cold drink and cook dinner, usually with TV on in the background. My speciality is rack of lamb with roasted potatoes and vegetables.
  18. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    Working for an SF-based company can be challenging: if you don’t do a final review of your inbox before bed you might miss an important response or question that needs urgent attention. It’s important to get the balance right though, and not waste time on non-urgent emails out of hours.
  19. Do you take work projects home with you?
  20. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    Challenge yourself by taking computer science classes at university. Not necessarily to become a software engineer or learn how to code but to better understand how the business world works in 2017 – every company should be a software company.
  21. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
  22. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    MacBook Air.
  23. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    Yes, iPhone 6.