This is an answer to the question posted here 2 years ago:way to change dropdown to inline list
I ran into this same problem and have found the solution. First, if you are using permalinks in your site structure, you will have to implement the 404 Error with pretty permalinks fix. If you don’t use permalinks, it should work without any changes to the plugin. If you do use permalinks and don’t implement this fix, the plugin won’t be able to properly deal with the parsing of the url when you are in a category.
Second, it is simply a matter of choosing the correct url and making a normal link that can be clicked on. So, to order by post date descending, I made the link
To find any other links, just use the default dropdown menu to sort your page by how you would like, and grab the URL from your browser. Only add the part that smart sort adds (everything including and after the ?). Don’t add your domain name.