|- A variant of the opinion poll and survey method is said to be expert’s opinion survey. The participants are supplied the responses to previous questions from others in the group by a coordinator or leader of same sort. The leader provides each expert with the responses of the others including their reasons.|
- Outside experts such as consultant firms, investment analysts, who are professionally trained for the purpose of the forecasting demand, may be asked to estimate demand.
In survey of sales forces, information regarding likely sales is obtained from those who are closest to the market and have an initiate insight to the market.
- Each expert is told about the prediction of the other experts and asked in the light of the other’s views whether he/she should revise his prediction about future demand. The experts are again shown each other’s revised forecasts and asked to reconsider their forecasts future till a consensus is reached or until referring the opinion of others.
In survey of sales forces, the responses of the various salesmen or representatives are then aggregated to arrive at total demand forecast for the product.
- Predictions of the demand by experts are not always based on any hard data but they can provide useful information about demand for the product.
Sales forecasts provided by sales representatives are biased either upward or downward. However, as a result of experience some corrective factors are applied to sales estimates furnished by salesmen.
The merits and limitations of expert’s opinion and survey of sales forces can be explained as below:
Merits of Expert’s Opinion
- It facilitates the maintenance of anonymity of the respondent’s identity throughout the course. This enables the respondent to be candid and forth right in his view.
- It renders if possible to pose the problem to the experts at one time and have their response.
- Predictions for demand by experts should always be based on some hard data, but they are not based on any hard data.
- It is very costly or otherwise not possible to conduct complete enumeration. Outside experts may charge huge fees for giving their opinion.
- The experts who consider themselves experts may not like to be influenced by the predictions of others on a panel of experts. As a result there may not be any revision in subsequent rounds of seeking their opinion about other’s forecasts.
- It is easy and cheap to do.
- It has further advantage of increasing the motivation of salesmen to achieve the self-selected target for which they had made a forecast.
- Sales representatives may not provide correct forecast. Some sales representatives would like to make too optimistic sales forecast.
- Some salesmen would like to make too pessimistic sales forecast so that they get higher payments for exceeding the targets based on their sales predictions.
- Sales forecasts provided by sales representatives are biased forecast either upward or downward.