During the typical sales cycle, a key success factor is getting the end customer to accept the "pain points" or challenges that exist in his or her organization at that point in time. Hopefully the flip side of these challenges are the essence of the capabilities of the solution that you're trying to sell. What if the pain points are evident, but the customer is not there yet? Worse yet, what if the customer doesn't understand the root cause of the problem? Instead they are constantly reacting to fires or to requirements from powerful users instead of addressing the real problem!