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A TYNESIDE technology firm is celebrating its first year in business having beaten its sales targets by 22 percent, revealing over £180,000 worth of contracts and has plans to boost staff numbers by 50 percent.

Established in August 2016, Gosforth-based ION was launched by technology specialist Rob Mathieson and is a registered consulting partner for the world’s number one customer relationship management (CRM) system, Salesforce.

The CRM, which can be tailor made for each business type, helps companies connect to customers and prospects by using the latest cloud and data science technologies, and typically increases sales revenue by 37 percent.

In the firm’s first financial year, 44 projects were won including Lynch Healthcare, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts, Generator, Gateshead College and Sterling Pharmaceuticals among others, and the team has experienced dramatic expansion increasing to nine full time staff and two part time staff, with a view to recruit a further five in the next few months.

Director Rob Mathieson attributes the success of ION’s first year not only to the product, but also to the technical experience within the team and the support of its investors.

He said: “We are very excited and encouraged by the figures from our first financial year. It has shown a very strong start for the business performing above our expectations.

“CRM is at the forefront for businesses looking to aggressively grow and we’ve found progressively more companies are switching to more effective CRMs with a higher level of adoption and we’re happy to be able to provide it.”

ION secured major private investment last January from former CEO of Onyx Group and chairman of Redu Group Neil Stephenson, along with The Specials Laboratory and Gabriel Investors founder, Fiona Crushank OBE, and CEO of Altec Engineering, Alistair Waite. A move that Mr Stephenson says was a “sound investment”.

“ION has proven to do what it set out to do, become a sustainable, fast growing company with fantastic potential for returns,” said Mr Stephenson.

“As one of the leading CRM providers in the UK, the potential for ION to expand providing Salesforce further afield is very promising and I am very positive about the next financial year moving forward.”

With customers throughout the North East, Aberdeen, London and Wales, ION is expanding nationally, creating further job opportunities by the end of the year.

Mr Mathieson continued: “It is a very exciting time for us and we are looking forward to seeing the business help more customers increase their sales and grow in the way that they want to.

“The success of our first financial year certainly demonstrates our capacity to deliver and lays a strong foundation for our continued national expansion.”

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