iRooms from Imprima

Knowledge – Global Experience

Q&A – how to get the sell-side team on board?

An efficient Q&A process needs to provide a smooth way in which the sell-side team can respond quickly and easily to questions raised by bidding teams, maintaining full confidentiality and traceability.

However, the sell-side teams can still push back when it comes to using the Q&A. This can be due to several factors, but most notably:

  • Lack of time: they have a day job to do as well.
  • Fear of technology: they may not be comfortable logging into a VDR platform.

Taking these 2 points into consideration, what can be done to ensure that they use the Q&A workflow inside VDRs, considering the advantages it can bring to a deal? How can this resistance be overcome? Traditional solutions have included any combination of the below:

  • Extra Training: the sell-team need to be available for this to work – it also should be intuitive to avoid training
  • Data room administrators can do it for them: more work for the DM and lack of traceability, increased use of mail and sharing of confidential documents outside of the VDR.
  • Excel spreadsheets: creates confusion over document versioning and tracking

These solutions can be time consuming and increase overall frustration during the deal itself. It ultimately requires the data room administrator to compensate for their lack of their buy-in.

Darren Levy, the iRooms Product Manager talks about the importance of ensuring that the all parties use the Q&A to its full value during a deal.

“We need to remember, answering questions via a Q&A platform is not a day job. In many cases, they are participating as sell-side experts because of their specialist knowledge in certain areas of a business. To ensure that your project uses the Q&A to its full extent, and therefore to maximise VDR security, we as VDR providers need to understand this and create the necessary tools to facilitate it.”- Darren Levy, iRooms Product Manager


Imprima has developed a solution to counter this issue whilst maintaining full data room protection and traceability by combing tools that the user would already be comfortable with and clear instructions. Whether they are logged into the data room or not.

  • Bulk actions using Excel: Specifically tailored to what the expert needs. The sell-side expert can download an excel template with all the questions requiring their attention listed on the document itself. All they need to do is enter the answers and upload.
  • Clear calls to action: Providing links to the specific data room question via email alerts, the communication tab.
  • Clear overview in Excel: The sell-side expert can download a Q&A overview in excel of all the questions and actions that they have an access to. These questions also have links to inside the data room, taking them straight to the relevant question.
  • Link to the question reference: The sell-side expert can easily see the document or folder or topic to which the question relates. The user can even open the documents directly from inside the question.


The result in doing so will increase the usage of the Q&A sell-side team, reducing the workload of the deal managers leading to increased efficiency and increasing the overall security of your deal.