Assembly Required: How to Hyperscale Your Sales, Dominate the Competition, and Become the Market Leader
May 30, 2017
Donald Scherer's new book is going to change the way many entrepreneurs build their companies.
Books have the power to change our lives. Finding the right book for the right person at the right time is the great challenge and reward of bookselling. When we think of this, we usually think of books that we didn't want to end, characters we'll never forget, new realities opened up to us that changed how we see the world. It is usually rather high-minded. But, with business books, the change is often very practical, and we can't wait for the book to end because it has immediate applicability we want to put to use. The sooner we're done, the sooner we can put it to work.
Business books are becoming broader, and more all-encompassing of the human condition, which is great. But sometimes you have a specific challenge to address, and that newer breed of business book, with their social- or neuroscientific exploration of business and who we are as people, as entertaining and informative as they are, isn't going to cut it. Perhaps you're a CEO, CFO, or sales executive at a mid-sized B2B technology company, and you simply need to get into the weeds of a technical topic like how to build new sales pipelines so you can grow your business. That's where books like Assembly Required are handy, and they can change our lives just as profoundly.
The book's author, Donald Scherer, was a tax attorney on track to becoming a partner at a Big Four accounting firm when he was bit by the entrepreneurial bug and set out to build a tax software company. It is not the overnight success story you might be expecting:
While I was filled with unbridled optimism and confidence, looking back now it is safe to say I was essentially clueless as to the ins and outs of establishing and running a small business. In fact, if I would have clearly understood the risks, I probably would have never made this leap […] I had the misguided impression that if the product was well designed and served a marketplace need, it would automatically find an audience and subsequently my fortunes would be made. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
His fortunes were eventually made when he sold the company, CrossBorder Solutions, to Thomson Reuters at auction for $80 million—which Scherer credits largely to the sales approach developed by the company:
While our products were certainly successful, the auction gained traction due to our web-meeting sales assembly line approach. Potential buyers believed that this sales platform could be used with other products and markets.
Thomson Reuters confirmed that part of it's reasoning in their press release, specifically citing CrossBorder's "innovative and web-based sales approach."
If you don't know what a "web-meeting sales assembly line approach" is, that's great. That means you haven't tapped its potential yet, and that's what the book is all about. Scherer explains why direct and inside sales approaches make it almost impossible to scale a technology company over the long-term, and how an assembly line methodology will allow you to reach more clients and close sales more effectively and efficiently. He also gives a brief history of these different sales methods, and a breakdown of how salespeople's time is spent in each method, and when you should deploy each method in response to different kinds of customers and where you are in the lifecycle of your business.
It is, as you'd expect from a former tax attorney, very lawyerly in its thoroughness and breakdown of information. He details step-by-step how the sales approach they developed at CrossBorder turned a start-up founded in his mother's living room in New York City into one of the world's largest tax software companies, all without any significant outside investment. He doesn't pretend it was easy, and you're not going to get an epiphany from the book that's going to change your life overnight. But, if you're willing to put in the work and follow the process, it may change the underlying structure and trajectory of your company. And that could be life-changing.
I know there are a lot of people out there for whom Assembly Required is the right book at the right time. Are you one of them?
We have 20 copies available.