Techniques for Sales Forecasting

ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

How long?

  • 5 days
  • in person

What are the topics?

ICTD International Centre for Training and Development


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Who should attend

All companies analyzing the feasibility of sales forecasts based on statistical tools, or wishing to improve their forecasting processes. The course is specifically intended for those involved in the optimization of the supply chain, production, purchasing, and marketing.

About the course

Few activities are as important to the success of a company as sales forecasting. The difference between adequate and excellent sales forecasting and planning can make a significant difference in a company’s competitiveness and market position. Yet for most companies, excellence in these core business functions remains out of reach.

During this seminar you will discover the methods available for making sales forecasts, and will understand the limits and uses of a forecasting system in order for you to set up, within your company, the forecasting technique best suited to your business sector requirements.

## Course Objectives

By the end of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Define the nature and concept of marketing in a competitive environment
  • Understand the process of planning for marketing activities
  • Apply the techniques used in assessing market opportunities
  • Gather information necessary for implementing successful marketing strategies
  • Understand the implications of the 4Ps in marketing
  • Understand the distribution channel dynamics and how it fits the overall product marketing mix
  • Assess and select the most strategic value- added partnerships that complement core marketing activities
  • Apply a logical step-by-step process to produce a sound marketing plan
  • Present a marketing plan that builds on marketing audit findings
  • Use marketing audit findings to identify effective strategies and tactics
  • Develop the components of the strategic marketing plan
  • Understand and implement the different marketing warfare strategies (offensive, defensive and flanking)

## Course Outline

The first day presents the various forecasting methods and illustrates them extensively through case studies in Excel. The objective of the first day is to:

  • show the simplicity of implementing the main methods
  • thoroughly understand their operation
  • grasp their limits of use

I. Diversity of Forecasting Problems II. How to Analyze a Sales History

  • Data presentation
  • Moving averages
  • How to detect and correct abnormal values
  • Breaking down chronological series
  • Trends

III. How to Analyze Seasonal Variation and Why

  • Calculating seasonal coefficients
  • Fixed and additive seasonal coefficients
  • Multiplicative and sliding seasonal coefficients
  • Test for detecting a seasonal variation
  • Calculating the seasonal variation by item category
  • Seasonal variation and promotions
  • Forecasting by extrapolation of trends and seasonal variation

IV. The Most Widely-Used Forecasting Method: Exponential Smoothing

  • General principles
  • Calculation methods
  • First-order exponential smoothing: stationary series
  • Second-order exponential smoothing: linear trends
  • Triple smoothing: quadratic trends
  • Holt's Model: different adaptability between means and trends
  • Holt-Winters Model: including seasonal variation
  • Optimization of the smoothness ratio
  • Self-regulation of a smoothing system
  • How to factor in promotions
  • Forecasting for items with erratic demand

V. A More Original Method: The Explanatory Approach

  • The concept of correlation
  • Building an explanatory model
  • Including explanatory factors
  • The statistical interpretation of a model
  • The logic of the upstream sector
  • The advanced indicator model
  • How to select explanatory factors
  • Example: Forecasting visits to the Eiffel Tower
  • Calculating elasticity (sales/prices, sales/advertising, etc.)

VI. Test

VII. Measuring the Quality of a Forecast

  • Indicators for a given item
  • How to judge the overall quality of the forecast
  • Sample dashboards and alert tools
  • How to define a forecast quality objective

VIII. Organizing the Information System and Choosing a Forecasting Technique

  • Aggregate level to use to calculate a forecast
  • How to ensure consistency between monthly and weekly forecasts
  • Integrating the order book when preparing a forecast
  • How to calculate daily forecasts

IV. Choosing an IT Solution

  • Overview of the main forecasting software packages
  • How to choose a package

X. Sample Applications by Sector

Based on participants' requests, the trainer can analyze a few of the sales histories provided by attendees or can provide examples of forecasting systems used in different sectors: agri-foodstuffs, textile-clothing, electrical equipment, mass distribution, distribution of automotive supplies, etc.

XI. Reasons for Making Sales Forecasts

  • Flexibility and forecasts

  • Forecast errors and safety stocks

XII. In-Depth Round Table Discussion of Sales Forecasting Problems

XIII. Conclusion – Course Assessment

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Techniques for Sales Forecasting at ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

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