What are the qualities of top-performing sales organizations? For one, they work efficiently. Those administrative and other non-selling tasks that nibble away at the day get cleared off their plate as much as possible. But ensuring time is spent productively takes more than delegating lower-value tasks. It’s also minimizing wasted effort by focusing on the right buyers with the right message. And it’s about speed. You need to get new hires up and running quickly, and help each individual salesperson maintain velocity through each stage in the sales process.

Whether you’re starting your sales organization from the foundation or looking to rehab a fixer upper, John G. Allen, Executive Vice President of Sales at G&A Partners, outlines a step-by-step guide to building a high-performance team that is productive and efficient.

Step 1 — Start simple

Make a list of all the things that you need to do to have a top-notch sales team, and prioritize the items based on the greatest immediate impact. Typically, a lot of smaller PEOs get so overwhelmed with everything they have to do to scale a sales team. They get stuck, do nothing, or they attempt to do a lot of things without a focused effort. First, you need to find a sales leader that demonstrates both the ability to prospect and sell, but also has the vision and the capabilities to scale a sales organization. Before anything else, you need someone that will lead the effort.

Step 2 — Track sales performance analytics

Identify a system that’s going to help you track your opportunities, the activity associated with those opportunities, and the activity associated with your sales reps. It also must provide you with visibility into those analytics as a sales leader, and the ability to customize and share dashboards so performance metrics can be shared with internal stakeholders.

Step 3 — Product and positioning

It’s one thing to have a sales team, it’s another thing to make sure you have something that you can actually sell at a high volume. Look at what you’re selling and determine whether or not you have the right product and positioning that will resonate in the market. For example, if you go to a certain market where you don’t have a master health plan and your comp policy doesn’t resonate, it just got a whole lot harder for you to get in the door.

Step 4 — Define your sales process

Make sure that you have the basic processes down from a sales standpoint, where you can say, “We have a way to identify leads and call on those leads. Once there’s an appointment set we have collateral and talk tracks that we can use when speaking with a prospect. We also have a professional looking proposal that touches on the important aspects and is clear and concise.” Make sure you have these items and a defined process for sales reps so that when you start hiring new people they know exactly how to follow it.

Step 5 — Design a training program

You need to ensure that your people are getting trained on the basics, because there’s nothing worse than hiring someone and then finding out three months later that they’ve never received the training and you’re left dealing with (or replacing) a low performer.

Download How to Win More Deals with A Smarter HRO Sales Process

This article is excerpted from the PrismHR eBook, How to Win More Deals with A Smarter HRO Sales Process.