Delivering first-class active pharmaceutical solutions, Sterling have been a player in the manufacturing pharma industry for more than 50 years.
Industry: Pharma
Location: Global, UK-based
Turnover: £55M


Delivering first-class active pharmaceutical solutions, Sterling have been a player in the manufacturing pharma industry for more than 50 years.  As the UK’s largest provider of active ingredient development and manufacturing services, they offer development and contract manufacturing solutions worldwide, with plants in the UK and North Carolina.  Planning to continue their global expansion to Asia, Sterling needed a serious CRM to back them up.

The Challenge

Headquartered in the North East of England, Sterling have more than doubled their sales since 2016.  Capable of handling even the most hazardous chemical processes, Sterling manufacture across the whole drug development lifecycle, from pre-clinical to commercial supply.

Before Salesforce, Sterling had no CRM system, no opportunity pipeline and no ability to track details of deals.  They were in desperate need of a way of tracking things, so that their reps could be managed remotely, and they could accurately predict deals on the horizon to ensure they had capacity to deal with them operationally.


Sterling now use Sales Cloud together with Pardot (Salesforce’s native marketing solution) to navigate industry events, global exhibitions and the notoriously competitive world of pharmaceutical sales.

Salesforce was just what the doctor ordered, optimized to handle the fast-paced needs of product development and product lifecycle, and Pardot was the perfect product to bridge the gap between the sales and marketing departments.

Thanks to the superior Salesforce Reports feature, Sterling would be able to view their data like never before.  Live information would be available, configured by ION in a view that mattered to their business needs.  This would mean no waiting about on reports being drawn up, and could be sent straight to users email inbox according to a pre-defined schedule (e.g. management reports delivered on a Monday morning).


Working on a cloud solution has been indispensable as their business has grown, sales reps can log on from any device whilst on the move and keep their pipeline updated as they go.  This is especially useful for a global sales team working in different time zones.

Thanks to the power of Salesforce, Sterling can easily create reports across multi-currency regions, and manage a workforce that spans continents.

They have greater visibility across the board, from pipeline through to marketing efforts.  All Opportunities are now logged and recorded, the data available to management within a few clicks and information about individual marketing campaigns can be found on a specific lead, helping to fully prepare the sales team ahead of speaking with clients.

Sterling Pharma started their CRM journey from ground zero. There was no current infrastructure for contact management, sales management or automated marketing. The project has been transformative to the business.
Rob Mathieson, Managing Director