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Sean Luce

Manning Or Tebow…What Say You?


Denver Broncos quarterback legend John Elway, acting in his current role of VP of football operations for the club, chose Peyton Manning to be the team's new quarterback. That makes perfect sense. If John Elway was looking for a QB similar to himself, Peyton Manning would be the current NFL quarterback that comes closest. Tim Tebow, who was the Broncos QB last season, was not favored by Elway. During Tebow's unbelievable rookie year, Elway was critical of him for a lack of passing mechanics. Tebow helped Denver to a place among the final eight teams in the playoffs, defeating a not-too-shabby Pittsburgh Steelers team in the process. But Tebow's performances were still not good enough for Elway. Elway instead chose as his pick a future Hall of Fame quarterback recovering from neck surgery. If you were doing a sales hire, would you choose someone who was closest to your skills and talents?

On Tuesday, Luce Performance Group (LPG) had a webinar for one of our media clients. The webinar focused on the hiring assessments we conduct before we employ sales reps. Leading up to the webinar, Jon Morse, our recruiting coordinator, and I invested time reviewing hundreds of profiles of prospective employees who had taken the assessments over the past 11 years. We compared those who are currently selling versus those who were hired and did not make it in media sales. We use Profiles XT based in Waco, Texas. I feel these assessments have been one of the most important elements that we have implemented. When we added these assessments, they provided us insight into what is under the skin of sales reps versus only looking at their external impressions, references, and past history. Don't get me wrong. The external components, like checking references and past employment history, need to be inspected. Luce Performance Group considers the assessments for only 33 percent of the hiring equation. We do not use them as a screening tool. In addition, the assessments are used as coaching tools for new hires – we already have an idea of the new hire's strong suits as well as areas for improvement. In other words, it is like having an NFL combine report on potential players.

When LPG started using the assessments, we profiled the Peyton Mannings of the sales media force. Those would be our best "players." We then set our "blue lines" against that backdrop. Of course, not everyone is going to score like Peyton Manning, but we were thrilled to find quite a few Peyton types. I have often wondered if we were overlooking the Tim Tebows. I am thinking about a "winning" rep who had other intangible assets that made them successful. Sometimes, we just need to dig a little deeper in the hiring process. Since my early days in management, I have been taught to "hire slow and fire fast." I have tried to stay true to that. Hiring is the single most important thing in a sales organization. Hiring and training a new rep is an expensive endeavor. Managers need to make that investment pay off for their company. The assessments have been a useful tool for increasing our ratio of successful reps when we have looked inside the "blue lines."

In reviewing our most recent successful hires in sales, LPG determined that we needed to widen the latitude on the criteria indexes. We have some Tim Tebows who scored outside some of our lines. We went back to work and added these reps into our new blue lines. I think we now have a hybrid assessment that looks at the Peytons and Tims together, assuming that is possible.

If you had to choose one player or the other, who would you choose? I would personally take Tebow. With only two years of experience, Tebow is already pulling off incredible feats much like Elway did early in his career. I believe Peyton will do very well with the Broncos, and I think Tebow will eventually lead a team to the Super Bowl.

If you would like to preview the assessments we conduct at Luce Performance Group for our media companies, please email Jon Morse at He will provide you with the Manning/Tebow profile of sales reps!

Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at