Choosing a virtual data room for your business is not an “everyday” investment. You simply cannot just keep transferring your business data to a new data room every other month just because you made bad decisions. But the question stands, how to find the right online data room software for your organization?
Obviously, you can read online comparisons of different data room services, check out customer reviews, ask for recommendations from industry experts, etc. However, one of the best ways to make more informed decisions is using the virtual data room free trial period effectively.
Free trials allow you to explore virtual data rooms from different perspectives to see if they fit your needs. But how to use that trial period effectively? We are going to answer this question in our guide, so stay tuned!
The purpose of free trials
As mentioned earlier, data room software is a long-term investment, an asset for a company that is expected to yield profitable results in the future.
Some businesses use virtual data rooms just for data storage, while bigger organizations may use them for data storage and sharing, decision making, virtual collaboration, and a tool to directly deal with the clients (common in the M&A industry, real estate markets, etc.).
Now, before making such a big investment, buyers would love to have hands-on experience and find the answers they are looking for. One of the best things about free trials is that they can help buyers discover “hidden” amazing features which they initially thought were not needed. In fact, a free trial may urge you to buy additional features you didn’t plan to buy.
In short, free trials are a test drive to let you know whether you will buy this “car” or not.
How long should a free trial be?
Well, the right question here should be, “how long do the virtual data room service providers offer free trials?” because it varies from seller to seller.
Still, from buyers’ perspective, the free trial should last for at least 15 to 30 days so that buyers can assess things properly. Also, how much time a buyer needs for a free trial also depends on different factors.
For example, if an organization wants to buy a virtual data room subscription just as a data repository, then a one-to-two-week free trial would do nicely. However, if a buyer is looking for advanced features, then a 30-day free trial is necessary.
Free trial periods of some renowned virtual data room providers
The question is, do all the virtual data room providers offer free trials, and for how long? The short answer is no.
Almost half of the SaaS providers don’t offer free trials at all. In the virtual data room industry, Merrill, known as one of the industry leaders, is a common example that doesn’t offer free trials. Intralinks also stands on the same list.
Similarly, there are different data room services that provide a 14-day free trial period. Common examples include iDeals, Caplinked, SecureDocs, etc. Last but not least, Firmroom and Sharefile offer a 30-day trial period.
How to make the most out of a free trial?
How to utilize your free trial period effectively? Here are some useful tips.
1. Look out for their response time and customer support service
You might be wondering why we start our list with customer support. Without a doubt, this is the most important feature you must look for, no matter if you just need a data repository or an advanced business solution.
The quality of customer support services will give you an idea of what you should expect in the future. Of course, you will need customer support for different reasons in the future, and you simply cannot go well with “poor” customer support.
Always look out for these things:
• What is their response time?
• How calmly do they answer your questions?
• Are the customer support representatives patient and courteous?
• Do they respond promptly?
• Are they willing to solve your problem by any possible means?
• Do they offer 24/7 support services?
2. Check out the restrictions on accessing, copying, printing, editing, or downloading documents
Every electronic data room is essentially a data repository, and businesses use data rooms to store, share, or transfer business files. As a business owner, you would love to have a straightforward process for creating, opening, viewing and sharing data files.
Make sure you don’t need any additional software to open or view files in the virtual data room. Also, make sure that copying, printing, or downloading any document is smooth and easy.
3. Check out if the interface is user-friendly and intuitive
There are no simple words to say that but always go for a user-friendly and intuitive interface. Ideally, the interface should be so simple that a person with basic tech knowledge must be able to use the data room easily.
Make sure it is easy to navigate through the data room. Remember, you are using a virtual data room for your ease, not to get frustrated.
4. Lookout for virtual data room’s compatibility with your operating system and mobile devices
A data room is simply useless if it doesn’t completely integrate with your organization’s operating system. You need to make sure that it is not only compatible with different operating systems and software you are using in your organization, but it is also compatible with other devices such as tablets, smartphones, etc.
Apart from that, don’t forget to check out:
• The data loading methods
• Flexibility in user access settings
• Customization, Q&A section, and speed of the data room
Virtual data room is not an expense; it is an asset for your organization that can affect your business operations significantly. Therefore, it is important to invest wisely and choose the best data room for your business by utilizing the free trial period effectively. Hopefully, the above-mentioned tips can help you assess things better.