Microsoft is pushing sales of its CRM product through a variety of channels, including resellers of rival products and ASPs.
The software giant is also working with telephony vendors on joint offerings and support.
Most leading phone vendors have stepped up efforts to capture the small-business market, tabling new IP telephony and hybrid systems over the past few months.
At present, Microsoft is selling the product through its Large Account Resellers, business partners already selling its ERP technologies and a number of CRM resellers.
Michala Alexander, UK CRM product manager at Microsoft, said: "The key market for us is greenfield sites. While we have a couple of relatively large installations in the US, this isn't our target market.
"The computer telephony integration market - including Avaya and Genesys - has also jumped all over CRM."
Alexander added that certified resellers get a further 20 per cent margin by registering deals where they have led the sales process and integration.
Microsoft is competing against vendors of SME CRM products such as ACT, Onyx, Goldmine, Saleslogic, Siebel, Pivotal and Salesforce.com.
"Salesforce is doing phenomenally well, although some of the others are having interesting times," said Alexander.
She added that a number of hosting providers selling hosted Exchange and other offerings now sell CRM.
Evan Kirchheimer, lead CRM analyst at Datamonitor, said: "A lot of growth will come from hosted solutions.
"CRM on demand is something Salesforce.com has used to go directly after Siebel's market."
He added that vendors have misunderstood the needs of the SME market.
"SMEs need the same functionality as larger companies. Getting the SME market is more about dealing with how much SMEs want to pay, so companies such as Microsoft and Salesforce.com are democratising the market," he said.
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