Undoubtedly, you have heard of virtual data rooms (VDRs), and perhaps you have even used one. However, identifying the virtual data room that is the best fit for your business and documents is not as simple as doing a Google search and scanning through a few reviews.
The legwork behind VDR shopping is of the utmost importance, and while it takes a bit of time, it does not have to be complicated and will surely yield positive outcomes for your business and its stakeholders. Here, we simplify and fortify the process of selecting a virtual data room.
The article below will go into detail on each step so you can confidently navigate the VDR waters.
Before you can begin talking to colleagues and going down the rabbit hole of VDR reviews, you must hone in on what you will use the data room for and how it will enhance your current practices. Additionally, you need to honestly analyze your (and your peers’) abilities related to technology.
As you take stock of the potential users’ capabilities, you will be able to continue to refine your VDR criteria. If not everyone on your team is technologically savvy, you will want a VDR that is known for being intuitive. Additionally, customer service and support might become more of a priority for you vs. a company of employees that are very technologically astute. The following are basic questions to begin with as you work to define your needs:
Step one should organically help you create a set of criteria for your optimal VDR. With these criteria in mind, you now need to determine the features that will best address your business’ unique goals. Some VDRs are simply just VDRs - a secure place to store documents, while others contain features that promote collaboration, due diligence, and still others go further with project management features.
You can find a complete list of features for each category by reading the article “Advanced VDR Features that Data Rooms Should Have”
VDRs can be very cost-effective, but their pricing models do vary. Before you begin your hunt, be sure to set a ballpark budget as this will help narrow your search. Additionally, you will want to consider the length of your project (or if the time frame is unknown, this should also be noted) and the number of users your data room will have.
To learn more about how virtual data room pricing, check out our blog “How much should a virtual data room cost.”
Compare which data rooms meet your needs and criteria. There are useful comparison charts out there to help you such as:
When purchasing almost any new service, reading online reviews is a step we all take; however, the review waters of virtual data room reviews can get a bit murky. While you still need to read reviews, you must be aware that some reviews and review sites are fake and companies can now buy reviews.
A simple place to start is searching “Provider name + Reviews” on Google. As you read reviews, be aware of red flags such as 5-star reviews (these are very rare unless the company has purchased a review) and poor spelling and grammar.
The following sites have also proven to be trustworthy (while we cannot guarantee every review is accurate, these sites have actual customer reviews and fewer red flags than many review sites):
As you comb through the reviews be sure to pay special attention to what reviewers have to say about the features that correspond to your specific needs. You can also read more here “How to spot fake virtual data room reviews and sites”
You can also research the company itself on websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed. These types of websites give potential users a better idea of what the company culture and opinions from current and past employees.
With a few well-reviewed VDRs that fit your specific needs in your sights, begin to contact the providers. As you review their websites pay attention to the following:
While it is important to spend time on their sites (are they intuitive? visually pleasing?), you must go beyond this step and speak with representatives; this can be done via online chats or over the phone. Now you will have a true sense of how any future problems will be handled.
Additionally, you will want to ask some specific questions, beginning with confirming the price(s) and the features you have deemed necessary for your business. Most importantly, you should ask if other companies in your sector are also using this VDR - this will give you a sense of how useful the VDR can potentially be for your industry.
Finally, do not select a VDR without testing it out yourself via a free trial. Most VDR providers (the good ones at least) will allow you to test their software. As you work through the trial, pay attention to interface, ease of use, and efficiency. Also, consider not only your experience, but also that of the other potential users on your team based on their technological skills.
Confidently selecting the VDR that complements your business needs can be simplified by following the above process. Securing and sharing documents virtually has become the new norm and will only increase in popularity within the next few years; therefore, in order to grow your business, increase your collaboration, boost efficiency, and possibly reduce redundant tasks, this VDR selection process should be at the top of your to-do list.
Or learn more about DealRoom’s virtual data room.