How Pipedrive’s clarity and activity tracking helped Air Tutors give more children access to education

Online tutoring company Air Tutors, which provides a digital learning platform with a custom-built interface, boasts some of the most experienced and unique tutors in the business.

  • Industry: Education
  • Location: USA
  • Key feature: Pipeline management

The company’s dedication to providing the best online learning experience for students has seen its popularity and business grow. It has become a valuable resource for schools looking to reduce the impact the COVID-19 lockdowns have had on education.


Months since adopting Pipedrive


Full-time members using Pipedrive, up from four

Making quality education accessible

Online tutoring can save time, as it reduces the need for tutors to commute, and improves learning potential by making lessons more interactive. Air Tutors has created its own innovative learning platform to increase interactivity and engagement, bringing benefits to students, schools and teachers in both public and private schools alike.

Air Tutors provides a fantastic solution to keep students up to date with their learning, especially relevant with loss of learning due to school closures during lockdowns. The company’s support for individual families is booming in addition to Air Tutors' school- and district-funded support for schools.

What makes us unique is that we have our own in-house interface, the way we interact with our school districts, the design of our program, as well as having a bevy of expert educators. We’ve got the most unique tutors in the business. They’re incredibly well experienced, they average ten years’ experience and a master’s degree, and we combine them with this really interactive interface.
We’re fortunate: we coordinate with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Brown University, a few places, to really make sure it’s not just an experience students enjoy, but that we're making the impact we think we are. And it turns out we are! And it turns out it is! So we had that momentum and about this time last year, when a lot of schools realized they weren’t coming back for spring semester, we saw a huge increase in the number of schools that came our way.

Hunter ShelburneDirector of Partnerships at Air Tutors

As you grow, it’s always difficult to realize what everyone needs to know, so there was an unnecessary siloing of information. Someone would know the details of a partnership and not realize that someone else needed them, or I’ll pick up the phone to someone and I wouldn’t have notes. Or really just basic projections, like how much are we going to make next month? How many new schools do we have in the pipeline? The Pipedrive dashboard really helped us track our upcoming partnerships, as well as make sure students were supported in the way districts prioritize them to be.
We’ve got a ton of marketing contacts because we’re national. We’re working with many school districts and every one of them has anywhere between a couple hundred and a couple of thousand families – we want to be able to use the CRM for both things. If I do that in many other CRMs, I’m paying by contact and that kills us. I’ve got tens of thousands of contacts that I want in the system, even if I’m not touching them, because I want them to be available.

Hunter ShelburneDirector of Partnerships at Air Tutors

The pain points that stopped Air Tutors from reaching more schools

Before taking on a CRM, Hunter and the team were keeping tabs of their deals on their phones and spreadsheets. While that worked when there were only a few local contacts, they knew they would need better record-keeping if they wanted to expand.

It wasn’t a case of not having enough data, but that the right people didn’t have access to the right information when they needed it. Crucial information relating to deals and contracts was being siloed away because reps didn’t know what information they needed to share with other reps.

It made it very difficult for Air Tutors to have transparency of its pipeline and track how its sales process and activities were affecting the team’s ability to close deals. What’s more, the company was reluctant to take on a CRM solution that charged per contact, as its database needed the capacity for large numbers of schools, students and families.

How Pipedrive enables Air Tutors to deliver exceptional teaching

I think the deals page and being able to see our pipelines are great features. I have several different pipelines and, before Pipedrive, I used to make an additional spreadsheet to compile all the names from all the other spreadsheets and things would get missed – somebody would add something and not tell me or I would add something that was outdated, things like that.

Hunter ShelburneDirector of Partnerships at Air Tutors

Air Tutors decided to invest in Pipedrive as its CRM and the team hasn’t looked back.

Pipedrive offered Air Tutors the ability to scale up its users as and when the team wanted, meaning Hunter wasn’t wasting money on seats he intended to use later. Air Tutors also got access to all the contact storage it needed at an affordable price point.

What’s more, any time Air Tutors has needed help from customer service, the team has been delighted with the service provided.

With their sales reps all now using Pipedrive, data has been accessible to everyone who needs it, from the CEO to managers and reps. The centralized hub of information that is displayed clearly in the pipeline view allows staff to instantly bring up previous communication and notes on contacts, as well as easily see how their deals are progressing through the pipeline.

Another great way Pipedrive has helped has been in integrating with third-party apps that Hunter and the Air Tutors team uses every day. Being able to sync data from their Gmail accounts for calendar and email functions, as well as view open rates and click rates, has been incredibly helpful. They also benefit from the fact that their cold calls are automatically logged via an integration with Pipedrive.

When it comes to measuring success, Air Tutors has found the insights Pipedrive gathers from each team member’s sales activities to be vital for training new staff and breaking into new territories.

By tracking their activities, Hunter can measure each team member’s performance while they’re still learning.

Thanks to the success Air Tutors has had with its sales team so far, the company is now moving its implementations team onto Pipedrive – and Hunter doesn’t plan to stop there. Over time, he wants to bring over everything that used to be done in Excel or other non-centralized platforms to Pipedrive.

I love the data we’re getting because we’re breaking a lot of new territories, so I’m able to compare the grind to the return on investment, then compare that to when we’re going into a new area. It gives us more matrices than just dollar signs to evaluate success.
What got Pipedrive over the line for me, outside of the pricing, was the customer service, just like, "oh, we can talk to a person!" After about a month, I had a whole lot more questions that I didn’t know to ask before, but they got me a meeting and I loved that and didn’t feel up-sold.

Hunter ShelburneDirector of Partnerships at Air Tutors

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