We all know the type: Maverick sales guys and gals who can sell anything by saying whatever they please. In the mid-2000s, thousands of salespeople still worked for the Yellow Pages, newspapers, and television and radio stations. They drove around, bringing donuts to customers and trying to create connections and close millions in sales. They were the rising stars. And then…Google went public.

As online advertising exploded, the local advertising landscape began evolving into a very different world. Suddenly, it seemed as if everyone forgot how to sell offline — everyone except for a select few. At one such company, Yodle, we sold online advertising to local businesses, and for the first few years, we struggled to hire people with the energy and productivity of our superstar founders. Then, we realized we were chasing an impossible goal: We didn’t need to find diamonds in the rough. We needed to make the process, not the people, the driver of our sales team.

By focusing on sales strategy over salespeople, we built an enterprise worthy of a $342 million acquisition. Our new approach succeeded almost immediately. People beat quotas and goals more often, and as our revenue and pipeline grew, our team was ready to handle the influx. We didn’t do this by landing giant new clients or luck out with a few hires; we developed a sales process that was simple, repeatable, predictable, and scalable, and it led us to a successful exit.

Stop trying to find that magician from Glengarry Glen Ross, that salesperson who can sell anything. Following these steps will help you build a stronger sales team:

1. Identify and hire for a specific personality.

Near-perfect salespeople do exist. They’re also nearly impossible to find, so why waste time looking for them?

Because we wanted our sales process to mirror the behavior of our high performers, we started looking for people who shared qualities that our top people possessed but who hadn’t yet proven themselves to be superstars. Above all, we were seeking coachability. A simple way to find this was role-playing in an interview: We would ask the candidate to give us a sales pitch, and then we would provide feedback on how to change the pitch. By asking a series of questions to gain insight on how candidates handled feedback, we could test how well they incorporated it into their thinking.

This was critical — to teach people how to sell, we needed them to be capable of learning and eager to do so. Once we found a coachable crew, we threw the team members into a rigorous month-long boot camp. Some didn’t make the cut, but the ones who did proved our theory right away.

Those who made it through training tended to have the strongest work ethics. Taking those results, we added tenacity to our list of target traits. By de-emphasizing a sales background and experience in favor of trust in our new process, we developed a cohesive and highly effective sales team.

2. Tailor tech to your sales team’s needs.

Sales pros excel at talking to people. They close business if they are talking to customers, not wasting time on research or administrative tasks. “Talk time” was one of the critical indicators of sales performance. Talking is what they should do.

So ideally, the salespeople’s tech serves to remove all barriers to productive conversations. That means creating a system where they don’t have to perform extensive research on customers and industries or figure out whom to call today. Sales technology should automate those decisions and provide data on each prospect so that salespeople are prepared for every interaction. We had a custom call list ready for hundreds of reps each day based on very customized parameters, such as their category preference, strengths, geography, or product expertise.

Knowing that most salespeople are motivated primarily by commission, we created a real-time commission calculator in our customer relationship management software that took into account their commission plan, product profitability, and customer needs. For example, if a salesperson received an extra 8 percent bonus after the seventh deal made in a month, the software made it clear exactly how much money that call was worth. Being able to see that a sale was worth $4,850 instead of $2,862 was a major driver of our sales team’s success.

The more we fine-tuned our usage of tech by relying on real data, the better our results were.

3. Standardize everything.

Removing operational inefficiency was the best thing we ever did for our sales team. Everything from scripts and schedules to training and evaluations was standardized and made measurable. As a result, we created a consistently successful process that could scale easily.

We integrated our sales system with a speech-recognition provider to recognize client stalling tactics and turn it into data that would help reps focus on real solutions. For example, when a prospect raised a specific objection — such as, “Let me talk to my partner and see what he thinks…” — we could look at the historical data our speech-recognition tech had gathered. If it showed that Meg had converted three sales from similar situations, for instance, we knew that closing objection handling should be integrated in our training so others can benefit from her expertise.

Standardization allowed us to prevent salespeople from exaggerating, diverting too far from the script, promising too much, or getting too social. Our data proved time and time again that more deviation from the process lowered success rates, allowing us to whittle down our approach until we were left with the strategy that yielded the highest close rate.

4. Never stop evolving.

We didn’t end up selling for hundreds of millions of dollars by prescribing a sales process and sticking to it without regular evaluation and refinement. Left unchecked, salespeople sometimes develop bad habits, so it’s up to the process to reinforce proven strategies that keep the team successful. Our team members learned new things about themselves in relation to our process upon hire, at boot camp, during on-the-job experience, and after regular reviews.

Don’t waste your time on factors outside of your control. You never know when you’ll find a rock star salesperson, and you can’t put your company on hold until you do. Use these strategies to develop a sales process that is a superstar unto itself.