Renewal playbooks


Hi All, first time poster here :)

I am in the process of building out Customer Success at our business which is a Series A start up with no prior CS function. I am about to start to build out our renewal playbook however would love if someone has an example to share with me to firstly validate my thought process so far but also to provide some guidance.

We have a range of contract lengths ranging from 1-5 years and our relationships with customers are typically high touch.

TIA for any assistance


  • Javed Maqsood
    Javed Maqsood Member Posts: 31 Contributor
    First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls 5 Likes First Comment

    Hi Adam - Here are a few tips to start off.

    • Start with a quarterly to yearly approach.
    • Look at all the customers who are coming up for renewal in the next 2 quarters.
    • Review your renewal cycle tasks and include those tasks in a simple playbook.
    • Pay attention to pricing strategy, customer communication, relationship with customer and knowledge of customer.
    • Decide when you want to initiate renewal conversation prior to expiry date.

    Use these techniques as starting point for your renewal playbook.

    DM me if you need more details on these.


    Javed Maqsood
    Advisor, Mentor
  • Rob_Elder
    Rob_Elder Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    Photogenic First Comment

    Hello Adam,

    I was involved in building out our Renewal motion. Here is a high level look of the playbook we developed.

    Note we segment our customers into 3 buckets - Strategic, Growth and Nurture/Digital.  We adopted a proactive quoting motion for Growth and Strategic customers. Nurture deals are highly transactional while Strategic is highly consultative. Growth somewhere in between.

    An overview of the Renewal Customer Journey is below. I would note that we created a Path (and associated picklist for stages) in SFDC to track progress. This allowed us to know where renewal dollars were at any time in the funnel.

    We started the renewal journey 120 days prior to renewal. For gov/EDU clients, this timeline could be longer, closer to 180 days. But I would start the renewal journey at least 90 days in advance of renewal date.

    • Stage 1 - Cultivate (> 120 days from expiration) - all open opps default to Cultivate until the RM begins working the deal.
    • Stage 2 - Discovery (120 - 90 days from expiration) - The RM is expected to conduct diligence on each deal in order to determine negotiation leverage along with likelihood to renew. We built a DD checklist for all RMs to complete. Typically, diligence includes a review of the account and strength of use case. Further, RM should conduct outreach to CSM, AE, and TAM (if applicable) to gauge health of the account. Depending on the size of the customer, the RM can conduct a pre-call to assess customer needs prior to building a quote.  If an upsell is on the table, RM would align with AE on pricing.
    • Stage 3 - Proposal (75-90 days from expiration) - Once diligence is complete (and I think Diligence is the most important as it sets the foundation), RM builds quote, submits for approval, and send quote to customer. Depending on the size and complexity of the renewal, a customer call would be warranted to review pricing. There is a lot of strategy involved in the pricing of the proposal. You noted your company is in the emerging growth phase, so you may want to try to lock up customers in multi-year deals so that you have more predictable revenue.  But whatever strategy you pursue, I would make sure it aligns with leadership objectives.
    • Stage 4 - Negotiation (1 - 74 days from expiration) - The negotiation begins once the customer has the quote. Every customer touch should be considered through the lens of an active negotiation. Like pricing, there are books about effective negotiation. We always sought to achieve a win-win outcome.
    • Stage 5 - Closed Won/Lost (0 days from expiration) - Once a fully executed agreement is received, RM marks deal Closed Won. If customer does not renew, opportunity stage is marked Closed Lost.

    General / Misc Items

    1) We manage renewals and forecast based on the opportunity object in SFDC.  

    2) Utilizing CPQ, we would build quotes at the quote level.  When a deal closed, we uploaded the fully executed agreement to the opportunity.

    3) When a deal is booked (Won/Lost), Renewals passes to Deal Desk for verification/booking. Then the deal goes to Billing team for invoicing (Net 30).

    4) Forecasting is handled at the opportunity level. At a minimum, you are considering likelihood to renew along with customer health when forecasting renewal dollars (although other factors should be considered that are dependent on your business model).

    Let me know if you would like to discuss further.