Sue, I have the same experience in my group, and this is how I handled it: First, whenever I was approached with a similar situation, I told the rep to watch what I was doing so that they could learn it for themselves. I didint pitch it as ‘so you wont bother me’, but more like ‘if you know how to check this, then you can solve your problem faster rather than waiting for ME to do it.” I like to give them the sense that they do not want to (or have to) wait around for ME to solve a problem that they can fix themsleves.
Later, I told them up front, that their evaluations would be based on more things than how many calls they take and how many sales they right up. Autonomy, Problem-Solving and Initiative would be EAQUALLY measured. I dont know how you do evaluations there, but I find this to be VERY useful. The slow and the weak usually improve or quit, because they understand that compensation is tied to all aspects of their performance.
I hope this helps.