I wrote a great article for the Digital Magazine Alister & Paine called How Consistency Rather Than Heroics Drives Revenue. It's a very comprehensive article and you should read that before you read today's thoughts...
I place a higher value on consistency than I do on talent. I don't care how much potential a salesperson has. If they aren't performing the basics - consistently - then the talent is wasted. Desire for success in sales, along with the Commitment to do what it takes to succeed, will carry an untalented salesperson further than a talented but lazy salesperson. You can see the difference in the "show up factor". What is talent worth if your salespeople haven't generated enough opportunities to work on? It's similar to the Hanley Ramirez story in baseball. It has been argued that because of his lack of hustle and effort, Hanley, one of the top players in all of baseball, does not meet the criteria of a great player, but only of a great talent. Consistency is missing from his game and he only plays hard when he wants to instead of for 9 innings every game.
Salespeople tend to be the same way - they work hard only when they want to - rather than consistently putting forth the effort required to over achieve.
So what can you do about that? Well you can't do what Ramirez' manager, Freddy Gonzalez, did when he benched Ramirez. But you can reset expectations, call it strike 1, and let your talented underachievers know that 3 strikes and they're out. You can do more with less.