Definition: In Survey of Expert’s Opinions, the specialized group of people in the concerned fields, from both inside and outside the organization, are approached and asked to give their opinions on sales trend.
The Survey of Expert’s Opinions is the most common method of sales forecasting, employed by the organizations. This method is also based on the judgment of experienced people but is different from the jury method.
In the case of a jury method, the group of executives within the organization are gathered to forecast the sales, whereas, in the case of the Survey of Expert’s Opinions, the experts from both inside and outside the organization are approached to give their estimates on sales. This is a comprehensive sale forecasting method that helps in developing the overall industry sales forecast, while the jury method is restricted to the company sales forecast.
The expert’s opinions method is used when the organization wants the forecast to be more accurate and which holds true for the entire industry. This is only possible through the group of experts who have the complete information on the overall economic environment and the conditions prevailing in the industry. Hence, people from outside the organization, who are very close to the market are approached and are required to sit with the company’s executives and reach to the final forecast.
The Survey of Expert’s Opinions gives due weights to the experience and expertise of people who know the market and the firm. This method, when employed successfully can give accurate forecasts.
But however, this also suffers from the demerits. Firstly, the experts from outside may be reluctant to give the complete information about the conditions prevailing in the industry. Secondly, the discussions could be biased that may result in false predictions. Thirdly, the responsibility to take decisions is distributed on all and hence no single person could be held responsible in case the forecast proves to be wrong. Finally, a general forecast is made and could not be readily broken down into the product-wise, month-wise and department-wise forecasts.