A good business should be choosy about its clients. Some are better than others, and despite common assumptions, this is about quality more than quantity. A poor client can actually do more harm than good, and losing a possibly harmful client – a cheap one, or one that will be difficult to work with – is better than keeping them just for the sake of numbers. But how do you know who’s a good client, and who’s going to be bad for your company?

Prospects are being rushed through the pipeline.

There’s a lot of pressure on salespeople to close, and with good reason – it’s important to move prospects through the pipeline quickly. But that doesn’t mean rushing. It doesn’t mean neglecting due diligence. It doesn’t mean selling just to sell. Make sure prospects are good before picking up the pace and creating urgency to close.

You’re ending up with nightmare clients.

A prospect goes all the way through the pipeline and out the other side, then the trouble starts. The client doesn’t want to work with you. They nitpick everything you do for them. They’re rude, or hard to get in contact with. And worst yet, they’re not paying you enough to be worth it. How did you get here?

Salespeople aren’t communicating with prospects.

Communication is crucial in all parts of the sales process, but it’s important here in particular. Communication is the only way to properly assess a client, and this means going beyond simply talking about price and details of the deal. It means finding out about your client’s personality or culture, about how they function, and about their expectations for your relationship.

Your salespeople are holding onto bad prospects.

Your salespeople might be failing to qualify by choice, rather than by inability to do so. Perhaps they simply find a cheap prospect easier and less stressful than a better, more profitable one. Maybe they prefer to work with one product line rather than another, and this affects their decision-making process more than the quality of the client. No matter what, if this is an issue, you need to push your salespeople out of their comfort zone.