Tracking Renewals in Salesforce

Ryan Baer

November 7, 2022
you notice your sales data is out of date
you feel like you lack clarity on current pipeline
you want to see reports on booked and forecasted revenue but can’t
you missed an important action item for a potential customer
you expanded your sales team and it’s hard to see who owns what account
you’re seeing duplicates in the data
What does “CRM set up” mean/involve?
When is the best time to set up your CRM and why?
What are the costs if you wait?
What are the benefits if you move quickly?
How do most companies implement their CRM?
Should you get Salesforce or another CRM?

Recurring revenue is a staple of any SaaS business.  However, Salesforce requires additional configuration to effectively track the renewals process.  Here are some important tips to keep in mind when setting up your renewals process in Salesforce:

Track the Right Data Points

In addition to the standard Close Date field, we suggest creating custom fields to track Contract Start Date, Contract Term, and Contract End Date on the Opportunity.  This is an important input for when the renewal opportunity will close, and therefore when you should be engaging the customer accordingly.  Additionally, it’s helpful to modify the picklist values of the standard Opportunity Type field to include both New Business and Renewal options to distinguish between the two for reporting purposes.

It’s also important to distinguish between recurring and one-time revenue.  Salesforce offers 1 default field to track the Amount associated with the Opportunity, but only recurring revenue should be pulled through from the parent Opportunity to the renewal.  To track recurring revenue, we suggest configuring your price book in Salesforce, adding Opportunity Products with the prices and quantities associated with each Opportunity, and using roll-up formula fields to track ARR, MRR, One-Time Revenue, and Total Contract Value on the Opportunity.  Some renewal Opportunities may include expansion from the initial Opportunity, so it can be helpful to have a separate custom field tracking Net New ARR to capture expansion revenue as well.

Create the Renewal Opportunity on Closed Won

When an opportunity is marked as Closed Won, create a separate opportunity to track the renewal.  This renewal opportunity should have:

  • Opportunity Type = Renewal
  • Close Date = 1 day before the Parent Opportunity Contract End Date
  • The same Opportunity Products and recurring revenue as the Parent Opportunity

While you can do this manually each time you close an Opportunity, it’s best to leverage a Salesforce flow to automate this process.  Salesforce also requires you to set an Opportunity Stage value when creating a new Opportunity.  If using the same Stage values for Renewals as for New Business, we suggest creating Renewal Opportunities one stage prior to Closed Won (e.g. Negotiating, if using Swantide’s Opportunity Stage recommendations), as the weighted probability of closing this deal is most aligned with SaaS industry benchmarks.

Using the Type field to distinguish Renewals from New Business allows you to analyze pipeline, won/loss ratios, and average sales cycle for each Opportunity Type. Some teams may use different Opportunity Stages to track Renewals vs. New Business.  This will require using Salesforce’s Record Type feature, which allows you to track different data points and different field layouts on various types of records.  However, note that the use of record types adds additional overhead to keep page layouts and picklist values up to date as your sales process evolves.  We’ve found record types to be unnecessary for most early-stage teams, although they can be useful in certain circumstances.

Transfer Ownership to the Right User

Determine who from your company should be managing renewals.  The most common approaches we see are either the AE who sold the initial opportunity, or the Customer Success Manager associated with the Account.  The Opportunity Owner will have this Opportunity appear in certain reports and list views and has additional permissions that non-Owner users do not.

If you want to associate a Customer Success Manager with the parent Opportunity, consider using Salesforce’s Account and Opportunity Teams.  While this feature is only available for Enterprise Edition users, it is a useful way to associate multiple users with one Opportunity.

Dashboard or Notifications

Many SaaS businesses are built on 12-month contracts, which can make it difficult to keep track of which customers are renewing in a given month.  We suggest building a report or dashboard showing all Renewal Opportunities closing in the next 90 days, or an email alert to the Opportunity owner when a Renewal is 90 days out.  This helps prevent renewals from falling through the cracks.

How Swantide Can Help

Swantide’s workflows set up this renewal process without requiring any added configuration from your team on the Salesforce backend.  Our renewals workflow includes:

  • Custom fields to track Contract Start Date, Contract Term, Contract End Date, and Net New ARR
  • Configure your price book to track ARR, MRR, and One-Time Revenue
  • An automation that creates a Renewal Opportunity with all of the relevant data points when an Opportunity is marked as Closed Won.
  • Add Account/Opportunity Teams to your page layout to track team members involved with renewals
  • Dashboard to track the status of upcoming renewals

If you're interested in learning more about Swantide's renewals workflows or any of our other Salesforce workflows, feel free to reach out to for more information.

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