Automate renewals process for a $1B SaaS company

Learn how we automated the renewals process of a SaaS company, which unlocked $60M in ARR - all via Salesforce automation.

$60M ARR in renewals

on autopilot

One of the AcmeCorp’s themes is to become a Cloud-first company, meaning that the Cloud business grows to be a certain percentage of the company's total revenue. Our responsibility was to help standardizing Cloud reporting and operations via a streamlined quoting and order processing function.

As part of achieving the goals above, our team delivered automated end-to-end renewals processing for AcmeCorp renewals team, who have repeatedly expressed a desire to move toward increased automation since every renewal is manually quoted, distributed, and booked by a member of their team.

Given the projected steady growth of AcmeCorp’s customer base, the renewals team concerns around not delivering a sustained level of customer success are well-warranted.

The remainder of this brief dives into an overview of the current renewals process before Automated Renewals, details of the implementation, technical trade-offs we had to make, and alternatives considered.

Legacy process, main pain point

Before automating the renewals process, AcmeCorp’s renewals team would manually do the following process:

AcmeCorp’s renewals team had a lot of pain points, but the main one is they can't be part of a "streamlined order processing" function without scaling their customer success program via automation.

Conservative estimation: Assume each renewal manager has twenty-five renewals renewals (that would be auto-renewal eligible) to process each day. Each renewal manager takes five minutes to go through the end-to-end process above. That's ~2 hours per day manually clicking buttons.

Introducing Auto-Renewals

Consultants at Culminate automated sending out email nurture communications to 25% of AcmeCorp’s customers at key dates before their contract expiration, via a pilot program, using three critical technical processes:


A batch Apex job will generate renewal quotes, opportunities, and order forms, then another Batch Apex job will send the order form via email (using DocuSign APIs).

DocuSign APIs

Using information from Salesforce, DocuSign will grab the renewal order form to send to the customer on regular cadences ahead of their renewal date.


Also using information from Salesforce, Gainsight will notify the customer with relevant information about their renewal.

Technical Approach

At 180 days before contract expiration

Opportunities will enter the automated renewal nurture flow, with Gainsight sending the first email communication to the customer.

At 120 & 90 days...

Gainsight will notify the customer that they will send them their upcoming renewal in a few hours. Via Batch Apex, Salesforce will generate a renewal order form snapshot. Another Batch Apex process will impersonate the renewal manager, construct the email and send the order form to the customer. The order forms expire when the opportunity reaches the next email communications milestone.

At 60 & 30 days...

The only difference between the 120/90 and 60/30 flow is that the order forms become executable, the verbiage sent to the customer is slightly different, and DocuSign will send automated reminders notifying them their envelopes will expire if they don't take action.

1+  days after the renewal date

If the customer signed the order form at 60/30, they are continuing the yearly service. Otherwise, they go to a monthly service.

The diagrams below outline 1) the technical flow for sending order forms via DocuSign APIs within Batch Apex; 2) how the batch parses a config file to build the relevant request to the customer based on communication step and order form type.


Speed to market vs. seamless customer experience at the onset

At every date milestone ahead of the renewal, both Gainsight and DocuSign will send the customer one email each. When given a choice between having the CRM team spend additional sprints developing a solution to consolidate the communication to one email or go-live, the renewals team chose the latter, with the intent to implement the former as a fast-follow feature.

Speed to market vs. scaling

The Apex batch that generates order forms can only process one order form at a time. As automation flow will include more opportunities, the processing time to handle all of the order forms will become a bottleneck.

Alternatives considered

Increase percentage of renewals in automation flow

We chose not to do this because of the potential risks associated with running more nuanced deals through the automation process without observing/monitoring the pilot program's success.

Gainsight sends one email, includes a link to DocuSign envelope

DocuSign's native signing URL is time-limited and must be used within five minutes, so how can we create a URL that will last longer and be sent with Gainsight's email? By building a DocuSign URL-generating application that Gainsight can use to send in their email to the customer. The client, however, opted out of the feature instead for speed to market.

Use DocuSign's Apex "SDK"

We chose not to do this at time because there were feature gaps in DocuSign's Apex Toolkit (no conditional fields or composite template matching) but were available using the APIs natively. Without these features, the customer would not be able to fill in important deal information synced back to our records in Salesforce.

Results, next steps

Renewals managers were ecstatic about the automated nurture communication in their UAT sessions with the our team.

There are updates in the pipeline for renewals automation after it goes live:

AWS Lambda, not Salesforce batches

We want to farm the creation of order forms and API invocations to compute services not subject to Salesforce governor limits at scale. This benefit will compound as more renewals through automation.

Apex SDK feature parity

At the time of this implementation, we let DocuSign's engineering team know about the features that would help our Customer: release 1) conditional fields and 2) composite template matching in future releases. This means that the Customer can move to DocuSign's Apex SDK in the future.


Automated 25% of renewal deals, auto-generating $60M in ARR without human interaction with a customer.

“We sped up the process of packaging and deploying our code by 50%.”

Developer Lead | Fintech company

Drastic reduction

in changes made directly in prod


reduction in deployment times

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