Qualitative sales forecasting methods rely more on judgment and intuition than on historical data: surveys of buyer intentions, such as questionnaires, telephone polls, and consumer interviews.
Delphi technique: a body of experts, consulted separately, is asked to arrive at a consensus opinion.
Sales force composite: based on the combined estimates of experienced sales personnel.
Quantitative: sales forecasting methods make use of past data to predict future sales.
Market tests: to gauge consumer response (usually to a new or modified product) under actual conditions.
Trend: projections / analysis (also called Time Series) involves forecasting sales based on the historical relationship between sales and time, which is expressed as a growth rate (percentage) and each measure is plotted on a growth curve.
Moving average: all observations are given equal weight and only a few of the previous observations are considered.
Exponential smoothing: gives greater weight to more recent observations and considers all past observations.
Regression analysis: can be used to forecast a dependent variable (i.e., sales) as a result of changes in one or more independent variables (i.e., advertising).
Input-output models: forecast impacts of the change in outputs (sales) of one industry on the out puts of the purchasing industry (i.e., a reduction in supply of aluminium cans produced by the canning industry would effect the supply of canned drinks that would be produced by the drink manufacturers).