How to prepare your KAMs for a recession

A recession is coming. Over two-thirds of economists now believe a recession is likely to hit in 2023. The probability of a recession has now risen from 30% to about 60%.  During a recession, it’s essential to protect your revenue and prepare for future growth. The best way to do that is by shoring up your top accounts since they represent 70-80% of your revenue.

During a recession, businesses look for ways to cut costs by re-evaluating vendor relationships and eliminating as many as possible or shopping for lower-cost options. Of course, you don’t want your business to be one of the vendor relationships that gets cut due to cost reduction efforts. So, you’ve got to become more than just another vendor in the eyes of your key accounts.

A strong key account management (KAM) program is the best way to differentiate your company from others by becoming a trusted advisor. Then you’ll be so valuable to them they won’t want to weather the rough economic times without you.

Prepare your KAMs

It’s not too late to up your KAMs’ game to become indispensable to your company’s top accounts. And if you don’t have a formal key account management program in place yet, you still have time to get started so your team can help your company protect your business’ revenue base and prepare for future growth.

Establish a structured KAM process

Key account management is critical to the long-term success of your organization. Although creating a KAM process may seem overwhelming, I assure you it’s worth the effort. Besides, without it, you have no real way to track results and address what isn’t working. 

An excellent example is Kapta’s process roadmap. It is a proven methodology for transforming customer relationships that enables KAMs to:

  • Know more so they can plan better
  • Act strategically and effectively to create meaningful change
  •  Measure results against plans and goals

Implementing this process allows KAMs to build engagement, reduce risk, standardize processes, and drive growth

Our KAM Process consists of 3 main elements: Know your client, Act on their behalf, and Measure what matters. Let’s look at how these elements help you prepare for a recession and continue to thrive:

  •  Know your client. The better KAMs know the client, their business, and their big picture strategies, the more valuable they become to the client. They’re able to act on behalf of the client to facilitate consistent progress toward their goals. If your client knowledge is significant, it’s more difficult to replace you with lower-cost options when times get tough. Doing so would cause your customer to experience delays in deliverables and revenue while another party got up to speed.  

  •  Act on their behalf. Customers know when you truly put them first. They can see and feel the difference. During a recession, clients are less tolerant of someone who isn’t acting in their behalf or providing any real or lasting value. But building action plans rooted in customer goals and remaining focused on that plan despite outside distractions leads to shared success for you and the client.

  • Measure what matters. As a recession approaches, ROI becomes increasingly important. Your clients want to see real results from their investment. So, measure results with tools like those included in the Kapta platform, provides KAMs real-time customer success metrics, while enabling them to gauge overall account health so they can catch issues before they blossom.

This process is what makes you an indispensable resource for your clients while increasing the odds of retaining them during difficult economic times and beyond.

Engage with your clients

Communication is the best way to develop and deepen your customer relationships while developing trust. Develop a cadence for contacting them so you aren’t only reaching out when it’s time to schedule a Quarterly Business Review or when there’s a problem. Staying in contact also makes it easier to keep abreast of client’s plans, challenges, and goals as they evolve.

Update your records

If you already have a process in place, KAMs need to revisit things like their Voice of Customer (VOC), SWOT analysis, org charts, and client goals and challenges. Keeping these up to date as the economy evolves enables KAMs to stay in tune with the changing needs of clients and adjust plans as needed.

Provide your KAMs with tools

KAMs are more effective and efficient when armed with a KAM platform like, Kapta. It keeps all their data and plan organized, accessible, and on schedule. CRMs are not sufficient for all the tasks involved in key account management because CRMs are not designed for strategic relationships needed when working with top clients.

Give them training

Proper training and reinforcement ensure that KAMs are prepared to provide the most value to clients. This gives them the ability to effectively attain the sought-after status of trusted advisor, establishing client bonds that are difficult to break during tough economic times like a recession.


Don’t wait to prepare your KAMs for a recession. Give them a structured process and tools to facilitate developing unbreakable client bonds to help protect your revenue throughout and beyond difficult times. This sets you up for growth after the recession.

Give your KAMs the training they need.  Register your reps for KAMGenius, the only online video course taught by KAM experts in easy-to-consume bite-sized videos full of actionable tips.

CEO at Kapta
Alex Raymond is the CEO of Kapta.