Yo sales savages!
What is you take on Mutual Success Plans (MSPs) or close plans or whatever name your org likes to call them.
My personal take is that 99% of the time MSPs are pushed by management typically when their totally unrealistic forecast numbers have failed multiple quarters in a row. Then they put the responsibility on their reps try and predict human behavior to get a more accurate forecast, so upper management won't fire their ass.
However, my experience is that the experienced customer see right through the so-called Mutual Success Plans for what they really are - close plans to ensure they sign by a given date, which really is not part of a "mutual" success.
Also, most of the time the sales manager will force the rep to introduce the MSP too early in the process, like way before the customer has decided to work with you. Their response or thought is, dude (or dudette) I haven't even decided that I want to work with you and you are asking me what the contract closing process is - are you out of your mind.
Alternatively, the MSP gets introduce so late, i.e. the customer has already told you that they will move forward with you, at which point the closing steps will be obvious anyway.
All in all - my take is that MSPs take a shit ton of work and rarely help. I think the real problem is the way companies go about forecasting, i.e. they try to forecast or predict individual deal which is like predicting human behavior - good luck with that one. Whereas, I think they right way is to predict close revenue based on what is in the pipeline for closing and what the historical performance has been. In essence I believe that forecasting and deal management are two completely different activities, because of course you still have to manage your deals professionally but you shouldn't confuse it with forecasting.
I'd love to hear everybody's take though!