The Scottish outfit trailed by 34 points at the break, but fought back in the second half before going down 51-28 at the home of the champions.
Townsend was pleased to see Glasgow run in four tries to pick up a bonus point from the match in Pool 2.
"Our goal today was to show who we were," Townsend told reporters. "We did that in the second half. It wasn't us in the first. And if you stand off a good team like Toulon, that's what happens to you.
"To get a bonus point was a huge effort from the boys and I'm very proud of them. With 10 minutes to go, if a few passes had stuck, we could have been close to winning."
Glasgow host Exeter Chiefs in the competition next weekend.