The Three Lions are currently ranked fourth and Southgate wants his team to put in consistent performances to reach the summit.
Speaking ahead of England's final Euro 2024 qualifier against North Macedonia on Monday (20.11.23), the coach said: "Qualification's done.
"Some of the players have got three games to get into a squad, some have got maybe three to get into a team, maybe a couple more if we're talking about the team.
"There's some things we'd like to see. But if we're going to be a top team, then the level of performance has got to be spot on every time."
Southgate explained that he is motivated by the prospect of leading the national team to the top of the rankings for the first time.
He said: "Yeah, because ultimately you achieve that through consistency and you've got to play well in the tournaments as well because the ranking points are higher in the tournaments.
"Also, it sets behaviours every day on the training pitch, off the training pitch.
"If you are going to be the top-ranked team, there's no room for sloppiness or casualness. That's got to be our drive."
There is speculation that Euro 2024 could be Southgate's final tournament in charge but he hasn't given any thought to this match being his last qualifier in the hotseat.
He said: "I haven't thought about it, really.
"I feel almost as if we've almost talked too much about the Euros already and I didn't see our focus in the right place at the weekend.
"So, it's Monday, then it's March, then it's the summer. And we go from there."